As a small business owner, it’s only to be expected that you want to take things to the next level. However, before you begin to grow it’s important to make sure that your business is scalable.
Scalability is your ability to grow your business without overwhelming your current structures or running out of resources. Therefore, you need to anticipate how your needs will change as your business expands. It’s important to predict which systems are going to break as your revenue increases and prepare for the new challenges you will face.
We’ve put together a list of five tips to help you ensure that your small business is scalable in order to prepare you for growth.
1) Keep It Simple
The key to scaling your business effectively is to keep things as simple as possible. It’s important to make sure that your processes are straightforward and your policies are easy to understand. This will allow you to scale as smoothly and efficiently as possible, without compromising your services.
2) Put Your Customers First
It’s no secret that repeat business is very profitable. Not only is it significantly cheaper to retain an existing customer than to acquire a new one, research by BIA/Kelsey found that existing customers tend to spend 67% more. Therefore, you should be careful not to antagonise your existing customers as you scale up because it pays to keep them happy. Take time to anticipate their needs, maintain strong lines of communication and make them feel valued.
3) Take Care of Your Staff
High staff morale is a key ingredient for business success, so you should ensure that your employees are satisfied and motivated, especially when approaching a scale-up phase. According to Forbes, the median cost of employee turnover is 21% of their annual salary, so staff retention is important, especially when you are anticipating a period of growth.
4) Run the Business You Want
When preparing to scale your small business, you need to focus on running the business you want, rather than the one you currently have. You need to prepare for the changes that will happen if your sales volume doubles, or your customer base increases threefold.
Which systems will you need to put in place? How many new staff will you need to hire? Will you need to expand your office space? It’s important to anticipate these needs ahead of time and adequately prepare so that your path to growth is as smooth and steady as possible.
The hiring process is famously time-consuming and expensive, but as your business grows you will need external help. Consider outsourcing tasks in order to free up your time to focus on marketing and strategy. As a business owner, your time is not best spent on admin or accounting, and you’re far better off outsourcing these tasks.
Make sure that your employees’ time is being put to good use, too. For example, if you have an in-house copywriter to create your blog and social media content, is their time really best spent scheduling the posts they create, or could you hire a virtual assistant to take care of this task at a lower price?
Before you dive head-first into a period of growth, it’s important to make sure that your business is scalable. By putting the above tips into practice, you can protect your small business from many of the common issues that companies face as they scale up. This allows you to continue operating at a high standard and plot a steady path to success.