Every startup or small business dreams of explosive growth. But without a little planning, business owners may remain overwhelmed with day-to-day tasks and tasks and may not take the time to get out to work on their business strategy for growth.
If you have been dreaming of scaling your business, have a plan to scale it intelligently and sustainably over time.
What makes a business scalable?
Scaling up means that it grows slowly and steadily so that it can sustain that growth over time. A business is scalable if it can handle an increase in demand from customers without significantly increasing its expenses to meet that demand.
Scaling a technology company is easier than scaling other types of businesses. For example, a Software as a Service (SaaS) brand can easily handle a significant increase in customers simply by adding more servers to its system. On the flip side, a business that trades time for money, such as consulting, can be difficult to measure because, in this example, a consultant can only work with one client at a time, so it is limited in how many clients it can serve .
When should you expand the business?
A business that is established and has a steady cash flow is one that can be scaled up to higher levels.
On the other hand, a company that has unstable revenue or has a lot of debt may not be safe enough to launch the expansion strategy successfully. A new business may focus on establishing its roots and may not be ready to expand.
Entrepreneurs who are considering expansion should think carefully about whether their company is truly ready for growth because it will take time, money and effort to get there.
7 ways to expand your business
Now let’s look at some of the ways you can expand your business.
Expand your business model
You have made a name for yourself by offering certain products or services. It’s time to consider introducing new products to best serve what your customers want.
Consider related services or products that your customers may want. For example, if you sell home decor in a retail store, you can start offering live plants. If you are a business coach who works face to face with clients, you can start offering group coaching programs.
Invest in Partnerships
There is no reason for you to do all the heavy lifting when it comes to grading. Consider potential partners that you can work with to get more clients. With your own home decor store, you can partner with an interior designer who offers personalized decorating lessons in your store. She can promote the event to her contact list, exposing your brand to a wider audience.
Expansion happens from all sides: As your customer numbers grow, you’ll need new employees to help serve them. Look to hire team members with a skill set that complements yours so that you have experts in every area – from customer service to marketing.
One aspect that gets overlooked in scaling a business is simply optimizing processes, workflows, and internal processes. If you take advantage of automation to deal with, say, email marketing, you can save time and you can put that into other areas of your business.
Business growth depends on establishing strong operations, especially if you hire more employees. Document every task in your business so that new employees can ramp up work and get started with ease. It will make training easier and save time.
Constantly marketing your business
To attract more customers on a regular basis, you will need to take advantage of marketing tools like social media, content marketing, podcasts, advertising, and more. The better you establish your brand as a leader in your industry, the easier it will be to attract new customers.
As you do your marketing, keep an eye on the results. What are the marketing methods that bring the most traffic to your website and your sales? These are the channels you want to invest in the most. For any channels that don’t do the job, cut ties and reinvest your marketing money in what works.
Expand your brand’s reach online
Your scalability depends on the number of people who can purchase your products. Your website is probably where you sell your products, but you are not limited to it. Consider becoming a seller on Amazon or Etsy (depending on your audience) so you can reach more people with your products.
Get the money you need to grow
Expanding your business requires capital. You may not have cash on hand to cover expenses that you have, such as investing in software, equipment, or payroll, and that’s where small business loans come in. Yes, you will incur debt, but if all goes well, the revenue growth will cover more than the loan and interest.
You have many options when it comes to financing, including lines of credit, business cash advances, and bill financing.
Don’t want to get a loan? Look at business credit cards to help you make purchases for your business, or crowdfunding if you want to get excited about a new product and don’t want to have to repay a loan. Startups can also consider venture capital and bring in experienced investors with the right contacts to help them scale.
Avoid errors in measurement
Growing companies often make mistakes when expanding. Be aware of these so you can avoid them.
Scaling is too fast
Rapid growth may seem like a positive thing, but if your business is not ready, you could end up hurting the brand. Consider the small business that has appeared on Shark Tank or Oprah and has found that their web servers cannot handle the tens of thousands of views their websites get as a result. Or companies that couldn’t keep up with orders because they didn’t have enough stock on hand.
Your expansion strategy should take into account what you will need to accommodate growth. You may need to hire more employees, order more inventory, or increase your technology.
Having a lot of revenue streams
While yes, having new revenue streams can increase sales, it can also cause chaos if you stray too far from your brand’s core offerings. You cannot be all things to all people, and you cannot sell everything. It is better to own your niche and expand gradually and strategically from there than to combine a lot of revenue streams without understanding what your audience really needs.
Not updating your business plan
You may not have seen your business plan since you first wrote it all those years ago, but the expansion is a perfect opportunity to come back and update it to reflect the new direction your business is taking. Writing down your goals and how you will achieve them puts you in the right place to understand what the measurement really looks like.
Not paying attention to changing company culture
Small business owners sometimes overlook how expansion affects company culture. If you start your business with just three employees and expand to 50, it changes how your employees experience their jobs and your company.
Your leadership skills may need to adapt as your company grows. You may need to assign managers to supervise employees while you focus on the big picture. Consider working with mentors who can guide you through this process.
Rise to success
As your business grows, so does the future possibilities. Instead of striving for overnight success, plan for sustainable growth by carefully planning your expansion strategy, finding the right financing, and updating your plan as it changes.
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