The right way to scale a business without risking failure
No one starts a business without hopes of that little shop around the corner becoming a “Walmart” someday. Any business that fails to grow, will soon be sucked in by its competitors, experience high staff turnover, customer migration to competitors, depreciation in the quality of goods and services, financial stagnation, and many more.
So, when it’s time to grow, how can you do it? Don’t worry… I’m here to show you how.
I’ve created a checklist in no specific order for you to implement.
Nail The Business Fundamentals
Castles are not built from the roof. And neither is a house built from the foundation up. This is the same thing with your business. If you try to scale without the basics properly laid down, the common pitfalls that come with unplanned growth are just a second away from happening.
But, what are the basics?
The correlation between financial prudence and business success shouldn’t be new to you. I’m sure you must have heard it over and over again.
Before you decide to scale, you should have a complete record of your income, profits, and the likes because the moment you blow up, you should expect your balance sheet to become a large franken-sheet, with many figures popping up here and there.
If you feel you can’t handle it, learn, or better still, hire someone. Frequent internal audits should be the norm. You can’t grow your business, unaware of your profits — or ignorant of whether you’re running at a profit or not. Instead of growing, you will be sliding backward without even knowing it.
Love your customers
Customers- who are you not to love them? Moreover, the business rests on their patronage.
There can’t be a business without the customers. They are the life wire of any business and should be given priority.
You should be able to know your present customers and have a tight relationship with them. They should be willing ambassadors of your business.
That’s not all:
As the new customers come in, have a fail-proof onboarding system in place. You should be there to hold their hands along the way…
Know how to sell
This may come as a surprise to many, but there are sincere business owners who don’t know how to sell. Strange right? Moreover, business is primarily selling, right?
Some stumbled into the entrepreneurial sphere without any prior knowledge of the skill called “selling”.
Up until this moment, you may have been trying some stuff that may have been working out. But, when your business grows, it wouldn’t be wise to continue making such risky decisions based on guesswork. You should have a solid knowledge of the art that is selling, before diving in. selling is a skill, which like any, can be learned.
How can you learn?
Read, meet sales experts, get a business coach, and many more.
All through your business journey, you will interact with people with different characters. It’s important you know how to deal with each situation and people’s traits as they come. This becomes more important as your business grows.
Master your market.
The market is the essential aspect of your success. You should know your target market, their needs, pain points, and how best you could serve them. By doing this, you would be able to put them first in your sales copies, upgrades, discounts, and every other decision.
Another aspect of your market you must pay attention to is your competitors: especially those already at the level you wish to scale to. What they have done to guarantee their success, should serve as a benchmark for you. Instead of inventing the wheel, adapt what they’ve done, make changes, and replicate their success.
Build your brand.
People tend to associate their perception of a person’s character with the business as a whole. The trust that investors and customers will repose in you will all depend on your branding.
You should visit radio houses, get involved in organic advertising, and incorporate other initiatives that position you as an authority and show your integrity to others.
Delegate some stuff but know Them anyway.
If you’re one that does everything by yourself, scaling your business would be draining.
The most successful people delegate stuff to focus on other things that are necessary. That way, they are able to build proficiency.
However, that does not mean you shouldn’t know them. Delegate them but have a basic knowledge which is enough to stand in a supervisory role.
Balance frugality with wisdom.
It’s good to save money.
Do not let your drive to save money rob you of quality services or products. The best services and products are never cheap. You could get a printer for cheap that packs up in a month or purchase one that costs more, but lasts longer. Be penny-wise but never pound foolish.
You should also note that a higher price does not necessarily correlate with quality. Do not stop at just comparing the prices but also use wisdom to determine the quality you would be getting.
Make data your companion
Data is king. I’m sure you might have heard this over and over again.
What role does data play?
You remember the quote “know your customer” right? Well, that’s impossible without data. It gives you insight into their thoughts, wants, decision-making process, etc.
When a company refuses to prioritize data, they default to building their customer outreach on stereotypes — what the general opinion is about the behaviors, thinking process, etc., of their different customer segments. Although they might claim to know their customers, they actually don’t.
Data plays a huge role not just in customer acquisition, but in keeping your returning customers. Data tells you what’s working well, holes that exist in your strategy, and so on.
Aside from that, you can’t increase productivity, focus on what is necessary, and grow your company without data. You should invest in a good data analytic tool to make the process easier.
Focusing on data is a double-edged sword — it could be destructive just as it’s helpful. In present times, we are bombarded with several data metrics that could leave one light-headed. Focusing on the wrong metric is of no use to your business at all. You should find the metrics relevant to your business, and give a laser-eyed focus to them.
Listen and act
Keep your ears to the ground to know what your customers are saying. Don’t just listen, but act. Know the problems they’re facing and make changes immediately.
It is really frustrating to customers, when businesses ask for customer feedback and implements none of them. Customers will find the door quicker than a baseball traveling at full speed. And you wouldn’t want that.
The best way to do this is to be where your customers are: social media groups, web forums, etc. You shouldn’t leave complaints to organically resolve themselves. If you don’t have the time, employ someone to be your “captain” online.
Keep your workers happy.
I decided to end my list with this important tip. It’s often said but hardly adhered to.
Your workers are your greatest resource. Trust me… without them, your business would flop or at best, growth will be a drag race.
The question is: How can you make your workers happy?
These tips will surely guide you.
Initiate training programs.
By doing so, you are leaving an imprint in others -which they will forever be grateful for — and growing your company too.
Have an open-door policy.
Now, I’m not talking about doing so in theory. I’m talking about putting boots to the ground.
News flash: If you have to constantly remind employees that you have an open-door policy, then you really have none. When a culture of openness exists, It will naturally manifest.
Ask questions and be open to change.
Promote work-life balance.
Encourage your workers to have a life outside the office.
Don’t just preach it, but show it.
Your policies should show it. Do they have holidays? Do you enforce working on holidays? When do they go on vacation?
Involve employees in company decisions.
You will get the best out of your workforce if they feel they have a stake in the business. It’s a very bad omen if your employees don’t care for the business as much as or almost like you do. Communicate policy changes with them.
It’s so sad that in some cases, workers get the news of a company takeover from social media. That’s not just unfair, but flat-out terrible.
Have a clear organizational structure.
Nothing is more frustrating than having undefined leaders. The workplace becomes a zoo, where every man is for himself. In the long run, the workers would become frustrated and leave. Don’t blame them…a structureless organization is a bad place to work in.
Create a clear career pathway.
Create room for growth. If workers feel there is no room for growth career-wise, they will leave- in droves.
Offer rewards and benefits.
Reward hard-working employees. Also, include benefits in addition to the salary you pay them.
Talking of rewards, it’s better to give rewards consistently instead of limiting it to a single event yearly or quarterly. You could do it daily, every three days, or weekly.
After your customers, your workers are vital to the success of your business. You shouldn’t act like a bully to your employees. Bear in mind that at the end of any high school movie, the bully always suffers.
Growing your business can be achieved if you implement these tips to the latter. Some might seem inconsequential. But, trust me, they really matter.
Remember: the little itty bitty details tend to matter even more than those we presume to be more important.
if you need articles like this, you should send me DM or Send me a mail at Oapwrites@yahoo.com.