What’s Involved When it’s Time to Scale Up Your Business
A vast majority of companies start as a small or medium-sized business, and there’s certainly a level of comfort to that. As a smaller business, risks are likely to be lower, the amount of moving parts to track is less, and you are more able to stay on top of everything on your own. However, the successful mid-size businesses may come to a point where they realize that continued success means scaling up. That might mean opening new locations, going from local to international, and adding new hires to your workforce.
The success of your mid-size business that made a scale up possible is a commendable achievement. So, as you shift to a large-sized business, here are some tips to keep in mind to ensure you stay successful as your company continues to grow.
Get Your Finances in Order
No matter what type of scaling up you’re hoping to do for your business, chances are it will require significantly more investment, capital, and (hopefully) revenue. While you may have been able to float on without having a full measure of your company’s financial health while operating as a smaller business, now that you’re scaling up, there is less room for error.
Any mistake in your finances, estimating risk, and evaluating profits will be more impactful, so you’ll want to plan wisely. That might mean increasing the amount of liquid funds available to you during this crucial time, performing internal audits to ensure the books look good, and investigating insurance policies and other plans to keep you, your business, and your employees protected.
Seek Out Assistance Where You Need It
Owners of smaller businesses often feel like they need to be the jack of all trades and know the ins and outs of every aspect of their business. If you’re looking to scale up, again, don’t assume that means you can keep doing it all as the business grows. It may be time to outsource financial and legal advisors to utilize the expertise you don’t have. You may also consider hiring more managers to take over some of the day-to-day tasks you’ve always done yourself. Whatever your business is, chances are there are the people you can learn from and hire to ensure smooth operations. Now is the time to seek out assistance where necessary.
As a small business, the owner has a more direct influence over every aspect of the company, from employee interactions to customer experience and more. But as you scale the company, chances are you won’t be as available to oversee all of this. To ensure the personal touches you prioritize—and that made you successful—continue, the best thing you can do is embed those practices in your company culture, even writing it up in an official handbook. Whether that’s encouraging company-wide meetings at a given frequency, instructing on how all customers or clients should be treated, or hiring the right people who will espouse the same values that you do, don’t underestimate the power of ‘soft’ features like company culture.
Keep in Mind the Ability to Scale Down
Lastly, a growing business needs to recognize that scaling up doesn’t have to be forever. If the scale up process goes poorly, if demand isn’t what you expected, or if you run into unexpected roadblocks, your scale up plan should have a contingency for how to scale down if necessary. While you’ll do everything you can to ensure your scale up is successful, leave the door open to return to smaller operations rather than go all or nothing.
Prospering amid business growth is a talent and an art, and you’ll want to retain as much expertise as you can during this critical time. If you’re thinking of scaling up your business and want to discuss with experts whether or not you’re ready, reach out to the professionals at Tobin & Collins today. We’re here to help your business reach the success of which you know is truly capable.