Business growth must be carefully planned to be successful. While you might think that blind optimism and reactive decision-making will work just fine, the reality is that you need to know where you are going and which steps are required to get there before you start. Try to grow without planning and you will end up with an unbalanced business that causes far more stress than it should.
Scaling any business up usually comes down to three major concerns: your IT capabilities, your workforce, and your efficiency. Each of these areas is essential to the way you do business and no two can hold things together without the third. And when you are scaling up, you need to be thinking of ways to make running your business easier, if only to make time for more complex ideas!
Every company is now reliant on IT in some way or other which means that you need to make sure that your IT can keep up with your demands. Cloud services are ideal for this as you can gradually grow the service to suit your needs so you don’t need to over-invest early on.
You should also think about the infrastructure you may require to run your business smoothly. At the point your small business begins to grow, it may not be sensible to house your IT infrastructure in your office. Again, outsourcing is often the best option here as it can also offer improved security.
Staffing and Freelancers
Hiring staff for the first time is a daunting task. If you are new to being a manager, it can feel quite strange to delegate tasks to someone new, especially when you have invested so much time, energy and money into your business. However, bringing new people onboard also opens the door to new talent. If you can keep an open mind, focus on creating a diverse team and let other ideas in, your business will be infinitely better off for it.
If you aren’t quite ready to hire someone full or even part-time, creating a network of freelancers is a good halfway house. Indeed, some businesses rely on freelancers almost exclusively, even when they could hire permanent staff. Freelancers are great for scaling up your business because they bring specialized talents, are project focused and are usually more affordable in the short term. Plus, if you aren’t really sure what you are looking for, a freelancer could guide you in the right direction.
Processes and Efficiency
Finally, you must look at your processes and work out where you can be more efficient in business. Efficiency is about maximizing your output with minimal input whether that means time, money, energy or materials. Often this comes down to working out which processes simply aren’t working, which can be modified and improved and which are okay now but may need revisiting in the future.
As you are scaling up your business, your efficiency will usually dictate how far you can go. However, you must always prepare for improved efficiency. There’s no point in being able to produce significantly more if you can’t get your product or service to the market straight away.