If your business has grown to the point that you’re considering scaling up – congratulations! But you may be wondering how to take the next step without overcommitting your resources or putting too great a strain on your budget. Use the tips below to help you avoid these obstacles while giving your business the additional space it needs to thrive.
Take Time to Plan
One of the most important parts of the process, which it’s vital not to overlook, is the planning stage of the scaling-up. Without proper planning, you run the risk of not using the resources you already have in the most efficient way or of investing in new systems, equipment, or processes that you may not need.
Consider carefully the reasons for the upscale and what you want it to achieve. Are you looking at simply driving up sales, or opening a franchise, for example? Think about how your competitors in the same industry have gone up about building up their businesses and what you can learn from this.
Map out your finances carefully and create a realistic budget for the changes you’re planning, and then offset this against the benefits that the up-scaling will bring and the anticipated extra revenue. If you will require funding, set out in your plan how you’ll secure this; if you decide to apply for a business bank loan, then check before you apply that your credit is in good order; if it’s not, take steps to enhance your score before applying, such as paying down any other debt. Alternatively, you could look at government loans or investor funding to provide the extra capital you need.
Make the Most of Project Management Software
Incorporating project management software into your businesses’ day-to-day processes is one of the best and easiest ways that you can manage scaling up your business efficiently; as well as helping you to save both money and time, this software will optimize collaboration within your team, and provide the analytic tools that you need to see where systems can be further fine-tuned.
Have a look here for the top 10 project management software packages for information on the benefits that you can expect this solution to deliver. Most support and promote automated workflows, meaning that your staff members can spend time on the jobs that really matter. Many also offer fully customizable templates that can be saved and used again for the next project or task to boost productivity and make for smoother systems.
Create Standardized Processes
As part of the scaling-up process, it’s vital to put in place standardized processes for the regular administrative and other tasks that your team will be undertaking regularly. Creating these systems in good time will allow you to hit the ground running once the changes have been made and will also ensure your staff is working as efficiently (and therefore as cost-effectively) as possible.
This is likely to involve delegation, so meeting with your team to discuss how this will happen, and gain their input, is valuable. Your business also may benefit, as part of this process, from investing in staff training programs or new IT systems.
Build Your Network
Part of growing your network will mean nurturing the business connections you have while making the new ones you’ll need for the next stage of growth. These new links could be with suppliers that you’ve never used before but who can cater to the larger orders you’ll need to soon be making, sales channels partners, or service providers.
These relationships could help you with, for example, marketing information or introduce you to brand new client bases. Take as many opportunities as possible to attend networking events that are relevant to your industry or to be an active member of online forums to help establish new links.
Level Up Your Marketing
Once everything’s in place, and you’re ready to go, it’s time to boost your marketing efforts. For the best results, ensure your sales team is fully trained, briefed, and motivated to deliver the results you’re looking for.
Automate marketing processes as far as possible – using mail-out and scheduling software, for example – but keep the human touch, too; the vast majority of customers say that human contact, as opposed to dealing with a chatbot, for example, positively impacts their purchasing experience, and influences their decision to remain loyal to a brand.
It’s really important, too, to ensure that your marketing campaigns are measurable in terms of the results they deliver so that you can capitalize in the future on what’s worked and tweak what’s not been so effective.
Protect the Values of Your Business
And finally, but perhaps most importantly, while you’re scaling up your enterprise, never lose sight of what has made your business successful to this point, whether that’s its overarching ethos, its commitment to quality, or its innovative approach to problem-solving. It is vital to retain this for successful growth and to retain the loyal customer base you’ve worked hard to build.
The positive, unique aspects of your business are your most powerful resource in ensuring that the next steps in its journey are successful.