Every business reaches a time when they’ve hit the glass ceiling, but want to keep growing. But they’re not always sure how to. How can you know if it is the right time? Of course every business is different, so will be ready at different times, but below I’ve outlined some areas to consider BEFORE you start to grow your startup. If these six areas are set up correctly before you begin to grow, you’ll have a smoother journey.
Define what growth means to you and your business
The term ‘business growth’ is often thrown around, especially with entrepreneurs, so much so that it’s meaning has gotten somewhat lost. While there are a few different meanings of business growth flying around, it is actually different for every business. It is important to define what it will mean for you as a business before you set to implement the scaling up of your business.
If you want to grow to simply “make more money”, this isn’t enough. Any business can make more money but at the same time cause irreversible damage their brand, alienate their customer base and more. Get a plan in place with a clear definition as to why you want to grow now.
Focus on what you want to be – not what you are
Don’t make decisions based on what you are today, base them on where you want to become. This sort of thinking will push your brand to develop and grow, instead of standing still. The decisions to make in a 150k a year business are very different to those of a 5m a year business. If you want to become a £5m business – start thinking like one.
Keep your digital image fresh
It’s no secret that we are in a digital age. Your digital image needs to reflect your whole business. The majority of your customers will find you through a Google search engine, first landing on your website. Or alternatively throughs social channels. Ensure these channels are always up to date and looks good, reflecting your brand values.
Make sure you’re ready and fully prepared to scale
When your business begins to grow, weaknesses are often exposed. You need to ensure you’ve got a watertight structure before the growth begins. If your IT system, cash flow or members of the team will hold you back, fix these first. Don’t work on a ‘if it ain’t broke’ attitude as this will cause more problems later down the line, ensure your processes are robust now.
Build a great team
As you grow, it’s clear that you’ll need more staff. When hiring, take your time and make sure you get the right people. Consistency and quality are of primary importance, along with ensuring all employees share your brand values. The other side to this is creating the right company culture that also reflects your brands and retains staff. Your team members should be properly engaged, motivated, recognised and rewarded regularly.
Never compromise on quality
The quality of your business will make you stand out from your competitors, and keep customers coming back. There is no point in scaling up, if your product or customer service is weakening in quality, forcing customers to complain and go elsewhere. It’s inevitable that you’ll make some mistakes as you grow, so learn from them and improve as an outcome. Don’t repeat your mistakes.
Some have achieved reasonable growth but hit a glass ceiling. Others lack knowledge of scaling up; some even feel slightly scared by the prospect. It’s frustrating as a business owner to stand still regarding growth, but it can be detrimental if you don’t grow at the right time. By following the steps about it should give you a better understanding of the ‘how’ and ‘why’ you as a business should grow.
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