What You Should Keep in Mind When Deciding to Grow Your Business
Regardless of your background in business or what you are offering consumers, beginning a new business is a very risky venture. Statistics show that almost 90 percent of all start-ups fail, and of those 90 percent, roughly three out of four companies failed because they decided to scale up too quickly or too soon. While this may seem like a bleak outlook, the good news is that premature business scaling is completely preventable. Here are some things to keep in mind when scaling your business model.
Consider the State of Your Industry Over the Next Few Years
The state of your industry has a lot more to do with your business's success than you may believe. Before scaling your business model, consider what the state of the industry may be over the next three, five, or even ten years. Will the industry be able to support the growth of your business? Will you be able to see some profit before the product or service you are offering becomes obsolete? These, among others, are important questions you need to ask yourself before beginning your business growth.
Make Sure Every Aspect of Your Business is Scalable
Many small business owners believe that scaling their business is as simple as acquiring more customers and more sales while still using their same business operations. It is important to keep in mind that true scaling usually involves several overhauls of both your business's internal and external operations. Do you have recruitment processes in place to hire more employees to support the demand? Will the technology your business currently uses support a higher workload of increased transactions, accounts, and customers? Scaling your business is more than just selling more of what you are offering.
Think About Your Businesses Culture
When you scale your business, you will often have to hire more employees in order to support the larger operation. Many small business owners are used to working in small groups, usually less than ten employees, and often do not understand how the business culture and dynamic will change with a larger group of employees working together toward a common goal. When your business begins to grow, focusing on your company's culture will become very important.
Some questions you may want to consider include: "What is your company's culture now?" "What kind of culture do you want your business to have?" "How will you focus on, manage, and grow the company culture you desire?" By documenting best practices and guidelines from others, it will be possible to grow and nurture a culture that will work for your business as well as helping to formalize your strategic ideals, company mission, and other aspects of your growing business.
Keep Short Term and Long Term Goals in Balance
An important part of beginning and sustaining growth is making sure your goals are in balance. Investing in new technology, and/or a new business infrastructure is a short term goal that can help to lead to longer term growth. But, working toward a long term goal will likely put the shorter term goals on hold. It is important to keep the long term impacts to your business and the short term achievements toward traction is vital for business growth and can often be more of an art than a science.
Stacy O'Quinn is a work from home professional also serving as a small business mentor to dozens or entrepreneurs.