07 Aug When to Scale a Profitable Business?
Every business owner dreams about scaling up a profitable business. Just like a parent who wants to see his child grow up, a business owner also wants to make his company bigger. However, statistics are not in favor of small businesses. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2016, 50 percent of small businesses do not survive the first five years. A similar study made by Forbes magazine states that only two to three small businesses will survive for more than a decade. These are sad figures considering that one-third of the American working population are employed by small businesses.
How do you know if it’s time for you to scale a profitable business?
Here are five indicators:
Turning down business opportunities
Every business owner looks at every opportunity to earn. However, when you have a successful startup, there comes a time when you have to turn down some clients because you already have too much on your plate. When this happens, then it’s definitely a sign that it’s time to scale up.
Surpassing previous goals
When your goals are already met, then it’s about time to level up your goals. Part of that might be to scale up a profitable business.
Strong cash flow
A profitable business is great. But you should not be satisfied with just having a profitable business, you should aspire to have a very successful business with strong cash flow. And when cash flow is strong for quite a period of time, then that is a clear indicator that it’s time to expand the business.
[ READ: How to Deal with Cashflow Shortage ]
There is no sense expanding if the business doesn’t have a solid structure. This includes having a trustworthy set of employees who have the knowledge and the skills to run the business on their own. When you expand, you have to focus on the expansion so that your current employees would have to focus on running the already successful business on their own.
Make sure that you are not risking too much by expanding. Scale up only when you are truly ready. Even if you are experiencing a strong cash flow month after month, you should not expand if you are not ready. This will only create unnecessary risks. Better to be sure-footed when it comes to business.
How to scale your business?
Solidify your basic structure
According to Inc.com, 74% of startups fail because of premature scaling. You have to tick off the above-mentioned indicators in order to be ready to expand. Now the first step to expanding is to make sure that your company’s basic structure is strong enough—financially, labor-wise, in terms of knowledge and skill, and information. There should also be a proper procedure in place as far as doing business is concerned. To solidify your basic structure, you need to have learned your company inside and out. This means that you know your core market and you know your finances.
The internet has become a very important part of any business. A lot of people find it easy to search for everything online and even deal with things online. This is why the search engine optimization (SEO) is very important. This technique allows your business to be at the top of the Google search engines. There are ways to do this so you must learn how or at least employ people who know how. This task can also be outsourced.
Connect with influencers
Most people have social media accounts so it’s important that your business is updated and keeping up with the times. Collaborate with social media influencers so that they can promote your business. Influencers have a large social media following, which is why they are called as such—because they influence a lot of people.
When you do the expansion, do some promotions that would encourage the people to buy your product or enjoy your service. People starve for free things and prizes. So dangle giveaways and prizes as long as the public will patronize your product and service. This will encourage people not only to indulge in your business but also to get to know your company.
Connect with your subscribers through email marketing. Make sure that your emails are less on fluff and more on information. Email marketing is considered an important sales driver for online marketers. This is one way to reach a large number of people.
You don’t need to hire full-time employees in order to market or sell your product or service. You can either outsource this task or hire a small lot on the commission basis. Most businesses cannot afford a large staff. And if you are just starting to expand the business, surely you cannot risk spending a lot of benefits and other employment expenses. But you do need to hire extra marketing people who can promote your business.
This has the same principle as outsourcing. Automate your business procedure in order to save on employee-related expenses such as benefits and supplies. Automation mostly entails one-time expenses while hiring more employees to work for the company means regular expenses month after month. Automation also means that work is done quickly and sometimes, more efficiently.
Hire the right people
So, you outsource marketing and automate business procedure, but it doesn’t mean that you will no longer hire employees. The expansion of the business needs people that you can truly trust and depend on. You also have to excuse yourself from the expansion. Now that you have the original business and the expansion to look after, you have to stay on top of the chart as manager for both branches. This means that you cannot just focus on one, and each branch deserves to be managed fully. So this is why one of your best employees should head the expansion project. Of course, you have to leave an equally competent employee to manage the original business. Now you have to hire the right people to support the new business. A business should only expand when it has the right people on board.