There comes a time where every small business thinks of scaling and expanding. While some succeed, most hit a glass ceiling and tend to fail. In fact, 60% of UK businesses go under in three years.
We've complied top areas to consider to make sure that the scaling of your business has the best chance of success.
1. Make sure you are prepared for growth
First make sure that your small business is prepared for growth and the risks. When a business starts to scale weaknesses can become apparent such as IT systems, cash flow and the internal processes.
Think carefully about how scaling will affect your operations and make sure procedures are in place in case things go awry.
2. Learn from competitors who have successfully grown
Next. learn from competitors who have successfully grown. Particularly those who have transitioned from a small firm to a medium-sized company. Understand their business model, how they've marketed new products and if they have hired initial staff.
3. Create a business plan
Next, create a comprehensive plan of your expansion. This should include expenses, how many staff you would need to employ and if any outside investors will be needed. Having a concrete plan can help you prepare for unexpected costs and will make it easier to pitch to investors if you need outside funding.
4. Invest in technology
Scaling an existing business is hard with outdated technology. If you are still running on old IT infrastructure that cannot facilitate your future plans it’s time to upgrade. One area is your telephony, expanding means more customers and you need phone systems that can handle this.
A switch to VoIP can help with access to business grade features making sure every lead is captured along with management tools and remote working.
5. Build a great team of employees
As your business scales you will likely need to hire more staff. Make sure that these employees understand your brand values and are motivated to assist with your growth plan. Create the right culture where your teams want to succeed, all members need to be recognised, rewarded and nurtured.
6. Develop key business relationships
Look for outside opportunities and key business relationships. This is a key for any business who wishes to expand. Reach out to your industry network and see whether your existing relationships can benefit your scaling project. Industry friends can quickly turn into business partners.
7. Access outside expertise and advice
Moving on from the previous point, seek outside expertise and advice. Having consultations with industry experts will help you identify weaknesses and opportunities. Scaling needs to be planned thoroughly with every precaution put in place. Industry knowledge will also allow your business to better perform and cater to customers.
8. Keep true to your brand values
Finally, make sure that you keep to your brand values. It’s important to not lose sight of what the purpose of your business is and what customer pain-points you are trying to solve. Staying true to your brand will make it easier to keep existing customers while you try and scale or introduce new products.
This means if you are known for a friendly and knowledgeable brand don't immediately lock content behind a paywall. Having a great brand story is what allows consumers to love a brand and engage with it.