The past two years have been the mother of all learning curves for many business owners, whether they pivoted to new markets or were a part of the boom in ecommerce.
Despite the challenging environment, many of our clients watched their businesses grow and we were on hand to support them as they took their companies to the next level.
If you’re facing the early days of 2022 and wondering if the time has come to scale your business, take a few minutes to read our 10 tips to successful growth.
How do you scale a business in 2022?
First things first, take a good hard look at where your business is now, including the market you’re operating in, your customer base, staff and turnover.
Now, focus on where you want to take all of that. What’s your end goal? To expand your product lines and customer base? Increase your team and boost revenues?
In order to achieve those goals, you’ll need to plan, plan and plan a bit more – then get stuck in and start marketing and operating your business the way you want it to be seen.
Look to your competitors
Chances are you’re not the only operator in your field, nor the only business to have scaled up, so why not use that information to your advantage?
Check out your nearest or biggest competitors and find out as much as you can about their growth strategies: what was behind them, what mistakes did they make and how are they faring now?
You don’t have to follow exactly in their footsteps, but they could provide a solid blueprint for your business.
Are there any barriers to growth?
It’s vital that once your business starts to scale up, that growth continues at a steady and sustainable pace but keeping your eye on that could mean you miss potential headwinds.
An honest assessment of potential obstacles to growth should form part of your planning process, whether its cash flow issues, weaknesses in your team or even being in the wrong location.
Factor all these in right from the start and you’ll be better able to deal with them as they arise.
Brace yourself for expansion
Putting your growth goals down on paper is one thing, but actually putting them into action can throw up a whole host of issues and you need to be ready for anything.
Scaling up your business could expose weaknesses in your IT system, supply chain or internal processes. It may also reveal skills gaps among your workforce, which is when our plug-and-play abilities are vital, or demonstrate the need for bigger premises.
Robust and well-thought out planning should ensure most problems can be fixed, but it’s always worth expecting the unexpected.
Will growth affect my business values?
Parents sometimes warn their children not to ‘get too big for their boots’ and while little ones might not completely understand what it means, business owners looking to scale up certainly do.
Having worked hard to build your brand reputation and forge strong relationships with customers and suppliers, wouldn’t it be a waste if that was swept aside as your business expanded?
Scaling up doesn’t mean letting go of the core principles that founded your business in the first place, and remaining true to your ethos as you grow will help you deal with all the new things and people suddenly vying for your time and attention.
Don’t wait to call on experts
As we mentioned earlier, scaling up your business could reveal skills gaps among your team, but it can also open up other opportunities to call on third-party specialists – just like us.
Expansion often means taking on more projects and even the most dedicated and resourceful team will need a helping hand from time to time. Don’t shy away from calling on professionals with skills outside your usual scope to help.
Apart from bringing in fresh capabilities, it could open up your business to previously unexplored avenues and potential revenue streams – as well as adding all-important contacts to your network.
Make sure everyone’s on the same page
Many entrepreneurs have a particular goal in mind when launching their business, but as the company grows, those aims could change and it’s important everyone on the team knows why, and what the new ambitions are.
Your recruitment strategy is every bit as important for successful growth as your marketing plan. It’s not just about getting the best skills in place, you must also ensure everyone has the right mindset for what you’re trying to accomplish.
Remember it’s a two-way street too, the ideas don’t all have to come from the top. If everyone feels valued and invested in your project, the sky’s the limit for innovation.
Quality or quantity – which comes first?
It might be tempting to unleash your inner boy racer and push your team to the limit to meet a deadline or hit a production target – but think about the long-term impact.
If you’ve built a business that prides itself on the quality of its product or service, scaling up shouldn’t mean suddenly having to cut corners. Do that, and you run the risk of damaging your hard-wn reputation with customers.
You may make mis-steps when scaling but instead of charging past them, use them as opportunities to learn as you grow.
Keep your eye on the ball
Nobody can predict the future – who would have thought a couple of years ago we’d all be where we are today, having survived (and thrived in) the toughest of business markets?
That said, entrepreneurs scaling their businesses should always keep one eye on its daily performance as well as looking out for potential future trends.
That means having a skilled set of hands like ours in your back pocket, should the need arise, or making sure there’s a pool of cash squirrelled away in case of financial bumps in the road. After that, all you can do is hang on and enjoy the ride!
If you’re looking to grow your business in 2022, drop us a line and let’s help you get the new year off to a flying start.
Right by your side, virtually.
Stay fresh, stay hungry, stay cool