Bringing your small business to the big leagues is a challenge unlike any other you’ve faced as an entrepreneur/business owner. Scaling exposes your business to new opportunities to profit, but with it comes more responsibilities and a new set of challenges that can potentially derail your plans for expansion. To accomplish your goals of scaling your small business into a corporate giant, here are five things you should be doing.
Think Big and Jump
And no – delusional daydreaming does not count as thinking big and taking the leap. It’s basically useless for anyone to just lie down on their bed and think about becoming the next millionaire in town or, even bolder, the first trillionaire. If you have a $1 million business, think about why you can’t turn it into a $100 million business in the next 5 to 10 years. Once you’ve thought about a noteworthy goal, the next step is to jump at the idea. Be agile and execute your strategies with haste. According to authors of Harvard Business Review, the ability to read market trends quickly and act on the corresponding changes are important to a sustainable competitive edge.
Expand on Your Public Profile
While Microsoft and Apple are unchallenged brands in their respective industries, it was only through the world-renowned public profiles of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs that the companies grew to be top dogs. Steve Jobs was known to be a legend in creating a public profile and marketing companies far beyond their capabilities and resources. Use social media strategically to stir market interest and spread word about your brand. Bring email marketing agencies on board to build your email subscription list. Expand on your marketing channels so that your brand is visible from anywhere and at anytime.
Focus on the Right Things
A common mistake of business owners is that they spend so much time and energy working IN the business instead of ON it. Sure, finishing daily operations is important and keeps the business financially afloat. If you aren’t thinking about how to make it bigger, however, who will do it for you? Leave the daily tasks to your trusted managers and employees while you focus on more pivotal matters that are life-and-death to your business. Avoid disregarding important points for the next day or next week. Be clear on what core activities you need to be fixed on.
Evaluate Your Financial Position
According to Forbes, even if everything else signals “now is the time for expansion”, one cannot scale effectively without sufficient capital. Evaluate your existing cash flow and whether or not it can accommodate the expenses involved in trying to scale up a business. Scaling up means bringing more people in, increasing marketing and sales channels, and buying better assets, all of which culminate in more expenses for the business. Furthermore, evaluate your capacity to source funding from angel investors, banks, and other private investors. If you have been adding a great deal of debt recently, it can be harder and less advantageous to secure a small business loan since you’ll either get rejected or be offered with higher interest rates.
Find and Build Strong Connections
As a small business, look for every opportunity to hand out your business card and shake hands with like-minded entrepreneurs. As Ernst & Young puts it, you can expedite your business’ growth by building meaningful relationships. You’ll never know when you’ll need someone from a certain business or industry to open the doors and let you in. Networking also benefits you mentally whereby you can draw from the experience of peers and mentors. This trains you to be aware and confident enough to make tough business calls that less experienced entrepreneurs are able to make effectively.
If you have a small business that works – steady revenue stream and a fleet of dedicated and talented employees – it can be difficult and even scary to take the leap into the bigger pond. Nonetheless, it is a situation that every entrepreneur will find themselves in sooner or later. If you do find yourself looking to expand, remember the five tips above.
By: Kevin Faber