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Growing a business means taking risks, making hard decisions and recognising (and maximising!) moneymaking opportunities along the way.
To succeed, many entrepreneurs feel like they have to do as much as possible in the shortest amount of time to drive results, and often, they fail to recognise problems when they see them. When this happens, they end up making avoidable mistakes that could affect various areas of the business.
The fact is, scaling a business is different from growing a business. To scale a business, you must develop a more nuanced approach to handling the increasing workload, sales, and client demands while avoiding mistakes that can lead to fatal issues. In this guide, we're outlining mistakes that are keeping your business from growing:
Seeing something you worked so hard on expanding so quickly can be exciting. But some business owners, in their excitement, forget the cost that comes with a growing business. When a business grows, so do the expenses.
Using a new management software program, hiring staff members, getting automation tools, and expenses for recurring office orders, insurance, returns & refunds, equipment, marketing, etc., will likely increase as your business grows. When calculating the costs of rising expenses, always add 20% to the projected total costs, just in case.
Don't be so busy on scaling that you're not keeping tabs on your competitors. Your top competitors may be promoting to the same audience as yours, but this does not mean you shouldn't check what they're doing right. Their strategies may do your business good.
Find out when your top competitors decided to expand their online business, what markets they were likely promoting their businesses to, and how their growth affected your business. Observing your competitors will give you valuable insight into developing a sustainable growth strategy.
As a solopreneur, it's only natural to want to control every aspect of the business. But this only works if the business is small enough to be managed by one person. As the business grows, so do the number of tasks and projects that require your immediate attention, which can pile up quickly.
When your business starts getting more customers, it's time to delegate tasks to some people. It may be hard to let go of some control and trust other people to do things for you, but you can only become effective in your job as a leader and founder if you are not feeling stressed out, distracted, and overwhelmed. So go ahead and hire the right people for the job. Give them the support and instructions they need to do the job and let them do the heavy lifting for you.
If you're still in the early months of your business and you're still figuring out your niche, ideal client, or what channels or strategies to use to promote your business, it's not a good time to scale. If your business is so new that people are still not hearing about your business, it's too early to think about expansion.
But don't wait until you are overwhelmed by customer demands before scaling. Being underresourced might lead to missed opportunities to dominate the market. If you're getting more orders or feeling overwhelmed, it's time to expand your business. It pays to track sales and overall growth to determine when's the right time to scale the business.
Once your business gets big enough, consider hiring staff members to delegate specific tasks. But while hiring is an essential part of scaling, it's one of the hardest parts of growing a business. Finding the right people for the right roles at the right time is challenging! That's why vetting every potential applicant is important to find the best fit.
Start by learning what specific results you're looking for and outlining the skills and experiences needed to achieve these results. Test their skills, take your time picking a potential candidate, and embrace diversity. Apart from having the necessary skillset and experiences, hire people who fit your culture.
As your business grows, you must update your core processes for a smooth-sailing day-to-day operation. Some free technologies that worked for you then might no longer work as great now. That's why you must update your core processes, including the technologies you use, such as automations, data tracking, analytics, content creation, social media marketing, etc., to provide the best user experience.
That's not to say you should spend a small fortune on apps, but upgrading vital apps you use will help once your business accepts more clients.
For example, instead of a free link shortener like tinyURL, you might upgrade to PrettyLinks, which lets you create branded links and track the performance of every branded link you create. Instead of sending marketing messages manually, you might upgrade to Flodesk, which is a handy automation tool for creating stylish emails and newsletters.
When scaling a business, it's vital to achieve rock-solid performance and plan purposefully. Scaling is a gradual process. It's not something you can implement without a plan. Learn from any setback and be patient. Check your market fit, see if your business is ready to take the next big step, and then develop a detailed growth strategy.
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