Your business may have started small, but for many entrepreneurs, the goal is to go big. Whether you’re looking to increase sales and revenue, corner a new market or expand geographically, the task ahead can be daunting. But you’ve reached your goals so far and stabilised your sales, and now you want to take things further. This means creating and satisfying demand, and putting measures in place to ensure you can handle the increased pressure. So how do you scale up your business successfully while maintaining all the great work you’ve already done?
1. Understand and outline your goals and value proposition
Of course, to get to where you want to be, you need to know exactly where that is. That’s why the first thing you need to do is define your goals and plan how you’ll get there. You also need to ensure your goal is realistic and that there is a gap in the market for you. This is where your value proposition comes in – what are you offering and what is the evidence that people will want it?
2. Don’t be afraid to experiment
Not everything you try in business is going to work out, and a good entrepreneur will recognise this and press forward anyway. When you experiment, even if you fail, you get to know what works and what doesn’t, and you can use this data to take your business forward. This applies to creating new products, targeting new audiences, marketing, changing up your operations and more. If it works out, great – you can keep going and building on your successes. If it doesn’t work, know when it’s time to stop working in that way and move onto other ideas.
3. Get hands-on
While you’re experimenting, get hands-on with your approach. For example, if you want to find out if another country could be a good fit for your business, visit it yourself – it could work out cheaper than outsourcing market research and give you a richer account of the opportunities available. Not only can this hands-on approach help you save money, but it also helps you better understand your business, the market and your competitors.
4. Know when to be hands-off
Your business is your baby and it can be easy to want to get involved with every small aspect of it. But knowing when to delegate can help to firm up your business processes and free up your time. If you’re still on your own, this will mean hiring other people, but it will also mean they can take care of day-to-day operations while you focus on the big picture – which is what upscaling your business is all about. In order to effectively delegate, you’ll need to provide solid frameworks within your business, including job titles and descriptions that play to everyone’s strengths and help create a great team.
Another way to do this is to outsource some tasks. What is keeping you busy and not necessarily your strength? Can this be outsourced so you can concentrate on what really matters? You could consider outsourcing customer service, general admin, IT, marketing, HR and more.
5. Employ the right people
In order to be hands-off, you need to be able to trust the people in your business to take care of the day-to-day operations for you and excel in their roles. Upscaling is sometimes about hiring new employees, but it’s also about evaluating the expertise you have and where there are gaps. It may be difficult when people have been with the company right from the start, but it’s a good idea to evaluate whether you still have the skills required in your team as you expand, or if you need to reshuffle or rehire in order to get that expertise you need for business growth.
6. Be flexible
Being flexible ties in with experimenting, but also means you should be quick to adapt to new opportunities or change things up if your experiments aren’t working. In fact, start-up businesses are in a great position to be flexible, so use this to your advantage.
7. Use your size to your advantage
Lots of big companies say they offer a personal experience for their customers, but how many of them really form meaningful relationships? On the flipside, small business are much better placed to communicate with customers on a more personal level and create those long-lasting, closer relationships. Customers especially love local, independent businesses they can support and that are aligned with their values. Use this to your advantage.
8. Get your online house in order
There is plenty that can be said about online marketing and websites, but the main thing to remember is that digital marketing can really help you to upscale your business. You’ll be able to reach new customers and try different marketing channels such as email marketing and various social media platforms. There are lots of opportunities to experiment, collect and analyse data, and increase brand awareness, so make sure you’re thinking about how your online presence can help you to upscale your business and what part it plays in reaching your goals.
9. Maintain your culture
If your business started out with a very firm culture and values shared by all employees, this isn’t something you want to lose while you’re upscaling. While you’re looking to grow, make sure you keep in mind all the things that make you work well as a team, and your reasons for getting started in the first place. Holding onto those values will help make your business unique as you continue to grow, so keep putting the effort into maintaining your company culture.
10. Avoid burnout
Perhaps easier said than done, it’s important to avoid burnout and give yourself a break. Even in the midst of growing your business, everyone needs to take some time out to recharge, and once you’ve done this you can come back performing at your best and once again giving everything to the business you believe in.
Upscaling can be difficult for any business as it means changing the way you’re currently doing things and taking risks. But when those risks pay off, it will be worth it to see your company continue to go from strength to strength. If you need any company formation services, including VAT and EORI registration, offshore formations, business bank accounts or anything else to help your business grow, take a look at our products in the menu above or call 0800 0198 698.