Scaling Your Business Part 1: Where to Start
Growing a business requires careful management of its size. If you’ve decided to grow your business, you need to learn ways to create sustainable growth that you can scale to your business’s size.
Scalable growth begins with crafting a thorough plan that can help you navigate the challenges of growing a business. While it may seem daunting, getting up and running may be simpler than you think.
Make a Plan
You need a plan that details the strategies you will use before you can effectively grow your business. If you expect your sales to increase rapidly as you expand, for example, you need to make sure you have enough resources available to accommodate the new sales. If you suddenly have customers all around the world, you will need the staff, money, and flexibility to fulfill your sales as efficiently as possible.
Making a plan ahead of time to secure financing and qualified staff will help you manage rapid growth without sacrificing the quality of your business. You also need to be realistic about your expectations for growth and avoid spending thousands of dollars preparing for growth that you may not achieve as quickly as you think.
Know Your Current Business Numbers
The first step in making a detailed business growth plan is to develop a deep understanding of your current financials. You should have an in-depth knowledge of your profits, expenses, and the average cost per acquisition of new customers to predict how much money you will need to continue with sustainable growth.
Once you have an idea of how much money you’ll need to grow, you can begin looking for sources of cash, like investors or business loans, that can help you get over the initial hurdle of beginning to grow your business.
Know Your Market
Now that you have a good idea of your financial situation, you need to do extensive market research to learn about the space you are growing into. Your market research should begin with a competitive analysis to clearly see your competition’s strengths and weaknesses. Effective competitive analysis will help you identify the best ways to market your goods or services and the demographics your competitors appeal to.
After you complete a competitive analysis — or hire someone to do it for you — you should also complete a SWOT analysis of your own business. A SWOT analysis will help you identify your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that could hinder your growth. Update your SWOT analysis as you grow to uncover more strengths and opportunities and ways to eliminate threats and weaknesses.
Armed with a complete overview of your business, you are ready for the next step which is to structure a marketing strategy to expand into your market, increase your profits, and find even more opportunities to grow. With this deeper level of understanding and comprehension, you’re effectively building a foundation to build your business upon.
As a business owner, your work never stops — you always need to be able to respond to new opportunities or threats to your business so that you can continue to grow in the future.