When you start your business, you have plans and a vision of becoming an industry leader. The thought is attractive and comes with a host of opportunities and challenges as well. The start-up grounds are littered with stories of businesses that didn’t make it past their first few years, or those that scaled up too quickly and couldn’t keep the soul of their business intact. To avoid falling into the same trap, you need a plan. You need a business scaling strategy that will allow you to grow comfortably.
1. Take careful, measured steps
Don’t get swayed by what competition is doing or by a new trend that you think might catch on. Do not jump in; instead, take steps after careful considerations.
Progressing slowly will ensure you avoid making huge mistakes. Smaller course correction is much easier than going back to the drawing board just because something didn’t work out after you put your heart, soul and hard-earned money into it, not to mention the small business loans that you might have taken.
2. Would you consider franchising?
It might seem like a more challenging goal, but if you manage to pull it off, franchising is one of the best and fastest ways to grow a business.
A franchise owner is likely to be more committed to the business than a salaried manager because the success of the business is directly linked to the profitability of the franchise.
Once the do’s and don’ts are in place, it is simply a matter of finding an interested party and letting it do the hard work.
3. Hire the right People
Who you recruit in leading roles is central to your business. Smart, hands-on individuals free you from the mundane tasks of running the business and you can focus on growing it.
Take the time and use your resources to find the best fit. Get on board individuals who can successfully implement your strategy and meet not just short-term goals, but focus on future growth plans too.
Having the right top people is also crucial when looking for investment. Small business financing is easier when the leadership team inspires confidence.
4. Try exporting
As challenging as franchising appears, exporting your product or service can leapfrog your business into the big boy playground much faster than trying to grow your market share within your region.
What keeps many SMEs from exploring this option is the fear of the unknown. Understand the market rules and regulations regarding exporting. The opportunity that a new market gets will be phenomenal when compared with limiting yourself within your geographical territory.
5. Collaboration is the Key
Network and build relationships with other businesses. In this day of stiff competition, the right skilled team and the short attention span of customers, networking is a key business survival tool for SMEs.
Networking, sharing skills and expertise with other businesses can actually propel your business forward faster than you would manage to do alone.
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