So you’ve successfully started your own business. Now the next step can begin
Turning a business from an idea into a livelihood is no easy task, but the hard work doesn’t stop when your brand is finally established. Many businesses manage to reach a certain level of success, but then seem to hit a glass ceiling. In other words, they struggle to transition from a start-up into a scale-up.
If this sounds familiar, we’re here to help. Here are our top tips for getting your business to the next level.
Make sure you’re ready to grow
Scaling-up is an important but delicate process, and you might find that some of your business’s weaker areas are exposed as a result. Whether it’s your office tech, your team or your cash flow, you need to ensure that you’re ready and robust enough to take the next step.
Learn from your competitors
Take inspiration from competitors within your industry who have successfully reached new levels of interest. How have they done it? What are they selling and how are they doing it? Understand their business model and take away lessons from it.
Focus on where you want to be
Don’t base decisions on where you are. Instead, focus on what you want to become. Ask yourself what kind of business you want to be – what level of success are you aiming for? If you’re aiming to be a £1m a year turnover brand, then you need to start thinking like one.
Protect your values
You might be surprised at just how much and how quickly things change once you start scaling up your business. But through all this, you must keep your business values and USPs safe. After all, these are things that have helped you to be successful up to this point.
Build the right team
A business is only as good as its members, so surround yourself with the right people. As you scale up, you’re probably going to need to hire more employees, so make sure you get a firm grip on what you’re looking for. Find people who are engaged, motivated and passionate about the business.
Predict the future
This may sound impossible, but what we really mean is be prepared. Growing a business is rarely a smooth journey, and there will likely be more than a few bumps in the road. So prepare for as many worst-case scenarios as you can so you aren’t surprised.
Set clear guidelines
As we’ve mentioned, things change when a business grows. So make sure you have a clear set of rules in place that you and your employees can follow. That way, the processes at the heart of your business will survive.
Never compromise on quality
Quality enables growth. If your customers are used to a certain standard of services and products, you need to maintain this. There’s no point making your business bigger if your business practices are going to suffer as a result.
Work out what’s stopping you
Part of any good strategy for growth involves thinking about the possible barriers to scaling up. Be honest and ambitious with these. Do you lack the funding, or maybe the leadership knowledge? Perhaps you’re simply in the wrong premises? Understanding these elements is a large step towards remedying them.
Seek outside help when you need it
Just because you own your business, it doesn’t mean you have to be an expert on every aspect. Getting help from outside experts and outsourcers can help you increase your own knowledge base and improve your business at the same time.