A Guest Post by Susan Ranford
Every single entrepreneur wants to own a million dollar business, and live that luxury lifestyle. It’s built in our DNA. Of course, the only way to get there is to take your startup, and pour a concoction of hustle mixed with crazy marketing to scale it up into a giant enterprise, right?
I mean, the main reason why you are here is to get a handy tip or two to help you get from Point A (startup) to point B (a kickass enterprise rolling in the dough.)
But is growth really everything there is to running a successful business?
Nope! In fact, one of the main reasons why 50-percent of all businesses fail within the first five years is rushing the process without laying down the proper foundations.
Growing to quickly will leave you overworked, and under-equipped to handle the bucket load of scaling challenges you are bound to face.
The good news is through this article, we outline five of the most important things that you absolutely need to think about before taking anything to the next level.
Consider – How Are You Handling Your Current Client Load
Ever heard of the saying, “Biting off more than you can chew?”
All entrepreneurs share that universal desire to be successful. The burning fire to hustle way more hours than your typical desk jocky. But, the last thing you want to do is overwhelm yourself; as this will just set you back.
I know – so lame, right?
But if you are turning your attention more to growth, and scaling up the business – the first step is looking at your current workload. Do you find yourself hustling alongside your team from 9 – 2 AM?
Does it seem like you are barely keeping your head above water? If so, you really don’t want to bog down your head with additional clients and priorities. All it’s going to do is force you to work longer hours, make bigger mistakes, and feel more disgruntled at the end of the day.
If you find yourself in this position, the good news is that it is easy to overcome. It just takes time, and patience.
You need to take a step back and evaluate your current workflow process. While doing this, ask questions like:
- Is everyone on the team being utilized to their full skill-set?
- Is there room for improvement in the workflow. Where are the biggest delays coming from?
- What physical resources would be ideal to help you cope with your current workload?
- Can you automate any processes to help your team turn to more important tasks?
The Rich Get Richer For A Reason
Ignoring a few rare exceptions such as Grant Cardone, and Gary Vaynerchuk. Most of the time, money makes money. A prime example is Donald Trump’s “small” loan from his father, which led to him building his multi-billion dollar real-estate empire.
The sad truth is expansion is going to cost money…
The question is can the business afford it?
As much as I would love to help you estimate the exact amount you need to be making each month to cover expansion costs. It’s so diverse between different businesses/industries that it’s something you will need to evaluate yourself.
For example, if you are looking at opening your “first” new location, does your business have enough revenue to handle the overhead between mortgage rates, equipment investments, and of course, most importantly – the team responsible for ensuring the success of the location?
If you run an online business, the good news is expansion is actually far easier for you. As there is less physical overhead costs. However, you still need to have a sizeable amount of cash injected into digital marketing, such as Facebook ads or influencer promotions to help build brand awareness for your business.
Failure to prepare both yourself, and your business financially can lead you to being less profitable as time goes by. Even worse, this is another major reason why small businesses tend to fail more often than not.
Does Your Business Have The Infrastructure It Will Need For Expansion?
Have you ever ran into a grocery store, grabbed the nearest shopping basket believing that you were only going to grab one or two items, and then ended up buying almost a full-trolley worth of groceries?
It’s a weird comparison – but that’s exactly how growth will be on your infrastructure if you do not prepare for it in advance.
A prime example for a web-based business. Your marketing strategy is successful (congratulations!). You landed the extra 10,000 site visitors monthly that you expected.
But then disaster strikes. You forgot to upgrade your DNS package to ensure your website could handle the traffic. It got overloaded, and next thing you know the entire thing crashes.
Not only does this drop your revenue like crazy. But it also causes consumers to be more wary when dealing with your brand.
What about protecting your customer information? Remember, the quicker your business grows – the more likely you are going to face physical threats. Yep, you guessed it. I am talking about those nasty cybercriminals lurking behind the world wide web veil.
These guys cause almost 60% of all small businesses to go out of business 6-months after they get what they want. Which means you will need to invest in data protection and management services. As well as recovery devices to help you safeguard your company critical information.
Also published on Medium.