Scaling a business can often be seen as a task of making everything bigger, and this can definitely be the focus when you’re starting out. But bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better. The following points are things to bear in mind, whether you have gone past your first successful year, or are starting out and are wondering how to approach your business scaling for the first time.
DON’T Scale Before Perfecting Your Product
It’s the classic walk before you can crawl scenario. Many businesses start to trade before they have a clear vision of who their product is intended for, and iron out any errors present in the product. This can cause problems that may need to be addressed one by one, wasting time and resources down the line.
DO Deliver Your Product Promptly
In other words, make your shipments come in on time. New info from Forbes in an interview with Josh Tetrick, CEO of Hampton Creek, believes that “getting the operations part of the business right has been really important. You can have a very compelling technology platform, with a story and an authenticity to match it, but if you can’t figure out a way to make a boatload of stuff on time and in full and ship it on time, it doesn’t really matter. You can’t have an impact if you can’t make a delivery.”
DON’T Think of just the Short-Term Solutions
It may be tempting to increase your marketing and sales activities right away, but these are only short-term tactics. Focus on creating a strong buyer’s market and increasing demand in the long term is key to keeping a solid business foundation.
DO Prepare to be Wrong
Nobody is right 100% of the time, and the sooner you can accept that, the sooner you can move on. Everyone is capable of making mistakes when starting out. The sooner you learn from those mistakes the sooner you can implement what you have learnt into improving your business worth. Aske Christiansen, founder of ScalingYourBusiness.com said “Planning for failure is the most important thing you can do. You’ll fail a lot, just like everyone else and that’s fine. Things would be boring if no one ever failed.”
DON’T Choose The Wrong People
It can be easy to underestimate the type of person you need, especially when you’re starting out. The help of anyone can be seen as a godsend in those early days, but it’s worth remembering that these are all long-term relationships. So, whether you’re looking for investors, employees or anyone else, think how these people will fit into your long-term plans.
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DO Roll With The Punches
Make sure you adapt and change as your business demands increase, does your small team of 40 now need to increase in size? If a problem comes along, are you just going to ignore it and hope it will all be okay? You are the leader of your business, and so you must be prepared to confront issues head on.
Scaling your business can have its fair share of problems. But if you take time to address some of these issues it can have a wealth of benefits over the years to come.
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