All businesses want to be able to grow and develop as they become more successful, however, growth and scaling up can be challenging. Starting up a business is a risky time, full of challenges for directors where their aim is to make a profit and become more comfortable with day-to-day business transactions.
The process of scaling up
What happens when you have reached an initial comfortable position but you want to grow your business further? How do you make sure that you don’t upset the status quo of your business? How do you expand and explore new markets without neglecting your current customer base?
Have a clear plan in mind
Before you start to expand and develop your business, you should have a clear plan in mind featuring the strategies you will be using for this new chapter. The best way to succeed is to plan thoroughly and have a clear goal in mind before taking any decisive actions. By knowing what you want to do and how you are going to get there, you will be able to take steps towards growth and further success for your business.
Look after cash flow management
Cash flow problems can trip up many businesses whatever their size, if you can’t pay your creditors when debts fall due then you will struggle as a business. The old business cliché that ‘cash is king’ is very true and getting your cash position wrong could result in business failure.
Growing your business gobbles up cash so if your cash flow position is worse than anticipated, this is something to be dealt with before attempting any growth strategies. There are many ways to deal with your cash flow alongside bank loans and overdrafts. Strengthening your cash flow puts your business in the best position possible for you to expand with any cash needed there at your disposal.
Chasing up payments is an important part of keeping your cash flow stable and under control. Getting paid on time is essential to keeping your business running, but late payments still remain one of the biggest threats to small businesses.
A lot of businesses plug the cash gap from late payments with loans, overdrafts or borrowing money from friends and family. There are many options to deal with late payments including changing payment dates to one which suits your business (make sure you discuss this with those you supply to first).
If you are a B2B business, another option would be to look at factoring to allow you money when you need it and release yourself from the task of chasing up payments. Whatever you decide to do, receiving payments on time helps your cash flow which can help you grow and develop.
Grow the people working for you
To grow your business, you need to grow the people working for it. This could be through employing new staff to help with the increased workload or you could invest in your current staff to grow their skills and improve their workflow.
Investing in training and development of your staff can pay dividends, especially when it comes to improving their business understanding and engagement within the sector. Having motivated and productive staff can create a great working culture and should see your business grow and develop into a successful brand where everyone is on-message and committed to delivering success.
Document process, strategies and your brand
Another good way to grow your business is to become more recognisable and you can do this by becoming a brand and growing it. Creating a brand identity and brand guidelines will help you maintain a consistent aesthetic to the world.
Any new staff that you employ as part of scaling up your business should be aware of how you work and the identity you want to project to the world. Creating a brand identity with accompanying guideline documents can be time consuming, but it creates a cohesive message surrounding your company.
Diversify your business
You could do this by introducing new products and services or by targeting new markets that you have not yet looked into. Adding extra products to your business and entering new markets, provides you with the opportunity to increase sales and target a bigger proportion of society.
Diversification can be a good way for many businesses to scale up and develop, but you must not forget your roots. Your current products and services will need to maintain their high quality and you should not ignore your current market and their needs.
So there we have it, some ideas to help you scale up your business to achieve the sort of success you are aiming for and to fulfil your business potential. Make sure you plan, collaborate with current staff and test ideas to make the most informed decisions possible, at this next chapter of your business.