Scaling is very rewarding, but the process itself is stressful. These seven steps will help businesses scale with less stress and better results.
Did you know that Quibi launched in April 2020 and imploded six months later? It shut down in October 2020, despite receiving funding of $1.75 billion. This article should motivate others to start scaling, so why did I start so dismally?
Entrepreneurs want to scale, but not all businesses are ready for scaling. Some startups never make it big, so first, analyze if your business is prepared to scale up.
3 telltale signs you are ready to scale
1. You meet and exceed business targets: As a new business, your sales forecasts and action plans cannot predict how your business fares. Use exact time frames, expenses and average revenue for accurate sales predictions and increased profitability. Document met (and exceeded) targets to assess your statistical data. Next, set attainable, higher goals; if you still beat those, it may be time to scale.
2. Your long-term business goals are challenging: If you are meeting revenue targets, why would the long-term goal of increasing profits be an issue? Your monthly returns may be great because you are fulfilling existing demand. Your long-term success may seem challenging because you currently lack people or resources. Refusing sales orders as your demand increases makes extended goals look challenging. This lack indicates that your business is growing quicker than you expected.
3. Your supply is insufficient for your demand: Rising demand for your products or services is precisely what you aimed for, right? You will lose customers if you lack inventory, employees, or time to keep up with surging demand. The hype and brand image you build will also dissipate. Your revenue and expansion depend on your customer base. Improving customer handling ensures that they remain satisfied with your brand. If your startup is ready to grow, reinforce your infrastructure first.
Successfully scaling a startup
Entrepreneurs and business owners who scale up earn higher revenue at lower investments. Effective scaling improves your profit margin and increases revenue while reducing costs. Once you have determined that you are ready, the next question is how to scale your business. Below are seven ways you can successfully scale your startup.
Data helps predict the resources required to scale. While scaling, it is crucial to maintain productivity and efficiency. A successful business handles spikes in workflows without losses like employee turnover. The following strategies make scaling up less stressful and improve efficiency and productivity.
1. Create a business plan
Create a durable strategy and include a monthly sales projection and milestone deadlines. List your target audience, ways to approach them and marketing strategies for conversions. These guidelines will help you track your progress.
Do not forget to log known and expected expenses. Your current expenditure will be the baseline to measure how much it will cost to scale up. Make sure you document all the relevant details, or you may run into cash flow problems.
2. Build a team
Hire employees or contractors, or embrace a franchise model as your operation scales. Work towards developing a cohesive team of people with diverse skill sets and talent.
Inform your team members about all expected goals and objectives. Look after your team, and encourage regular meetings to understand their pain points. Brief them on key performance indicators to improve their performance. Do not foster employee burnout by expecting employees to take on added roles as you grow.
3. Reduce costs of products or services
Reduce material costs and buy used equipment. Hire inexpensive labor and reduce wastage. Compare vendor services and choose the most cost-effective ones. Use effective online marketing strategies that are often free.
Negotiate for lowered rent or equipment expenses with vendors. Ask shippers for special rates to reduce shipping charges. Find ways to lower energy consumption and switch to green energy, which will cost less in the long run.
4. Optimize your product (or service) for buyers
Identify your target market and learn how to reach and sell to them before you scale. Keep building your brand image on established online platforms. Create value additives, such as blogs, DIY articles, press releases and industry publications. Ask customers for reviews to build credibility.
Track sources you get the most traction from to identify and fix issues in your lead funnel. Use the money saved by reducing costs to augment your product or service. Invest in customer service and functionality improvements, add new features and train your employees.
5. Streamline processes
Processes and procedures should be in place before companies scale up. Break tasks down and assign priorities. Automate because it saves you time and money and boosts employee productivity.
Automated billing invoices your customers or adds any applicable surcharges. Automated customer support boosts your customer experience.
6. Assess finances and funding
Scaling costs money. It uses lesser investment but yields better returns. Scaling by using only reinvested profits may be difficult. You may choose to bootstrap to be self-sufficient, but that is not always possible.
Apply for a business loan or line of credit from banks or lenders, or approach investors to fund your growth. The money you borrow will cost less than equity if you manage repayments well. Carefully choose repayment schedules, interest rates or investor control options.
7. Improve your marketing
Small businesses often rely on referrals or free online social media campaigns. You may need to supplement your marketing efforts as you scale.
Focus on organic marketing channels such as search engine optimization and content marketing. Optimize your campaigns to control budget spending if you run paid campaigns on any platform, and set realistic goals to track campaign performance.
Any business growth requires elaborate planning for short-term and long-term business goals. These goals will guide you on the need for investors, recruitment and automation and their relevant solutions. Scaling is attractive because of its returns, but you will face challenges.
Stay efficient and avoid errors by keeping data and processes streamlined. Increased customer retention helps; use your customers' feedback and suggestions for improvement. You can do this.
Aspiring entrepreneurs may need help to develop great business ideas, especially when it seems everyone has already taken all the good ones. Still, it’s possible to succeed by making old ideas or products better or giving them a new twist.
Taking the chance to open a business can be both exciting and hard to understand. About 90% of new businesses fail, and many reasons exist. It might seem like a scary number, but if your business followed a set of rules for growth, it could avoid being one of these companies.
The benefits of working for yourself can do the work of starting a business worth it. In addition to the freedom of being your boss, earning money and starting a business can make you happier at work and give you a better chance in life.
What Do You Need To Setup a Business?
Choosing a name for the business and making a logo are obvious steps, but what about the other measures that don’t get as much attention but are just as important? Whether you’re figuring out how to set up your business or making a detailed marketing plan, the work can quickly pile up. Follow this 10-step list instead of spinning your wheels and guessing where to start. It will help you turn your business idea from a light bulb above your head into a real thing.
Tips On How To Grow Your Startup
Think about doing the following to improve your business idea and set yourself up for success:
1- Do market research
An essential part of making a business plan is thorough market research on your field and the types of people who might be interested in it. It means doing surveys, focus groups, SEO research, and public data research.
Market research helps you learn about your ideal customer’s wants, needs, and habits and about your industry and competitors. Many people who work with small businesses suggest getting demographic data and doing a competitive analysis to learn more about the opportunities and limits in your market.
The best small businesses have products or services that differ from their competitors. It changes your competitive landscape in a big way and lets you show potential customers what makes you different.
2- Create a Powerful Team
With a strong workforce, a company could hope to attain sustained success. That’s why it’s essential to surround yourself with capable people who can help drive your company forward.
Managing your team isn’t just about making lists of things to do and dividing time. It depends on the size of your team and the type of work you do. You can combine different softwares like workforce software Monday, Scoro, Slack, etc., to improve teamwork and store important information about your projects, customers, tasks, and other tasks and resources.
Team members with the right mix of experience, dedication, and initiative are invaluable. Keep everyone on the same page so the plan can be implemented successfully.
3- Examine your financial institution
Every business has costs, so you need to figure out how to pay for them. Do you have the money to start your own business, or will you have to borrow it? If you want to leave your job to focus on your business, do you have enough money saved to live on until you start making money? Please find out how much it will cost to start your business.
Many new businesses fail because they need more money before making money. It’s always a good idea to overestimate how much money you need to start a business since it can take a while to start making enough money to keep going.
Carrying out a break-even study might help you estimate how much capital you’ll need. When a firm, product, or service starts making money is one of the most important financial planning questions owners may ask.
4- Consider financing
There are many ways to get the money you need to start your business. The best way to earn money for your business depends on things like how good your credit is, how much you need, and what other options you have.
5- Follow all applicable laws
Pick a legal structure and register your business. There are other steps you must take to ensure your company operates legally. For example, you may need to get licenses and permits for your business. Different industries have different licensing requirements. For example, if you want to start a construction company, you’ll need the proper construction permits.
6- Settle on a supplier
It can be challenging to run a company, and you and your team won’t be able to do everything independently. Third-party vendors help with this. From human resources to business phone systems, some companies want to work with you and help you run your business better.
When looking for B2B partners, you’ll need to be careful about who you choose. These companies will have access to essential and possibly sensitive business information, so finding someone you can trust is vital. In our guide to choosing business partners, our expert sources said to ask potential vendors about their experience in your industry, their track record with current clients, and what kind of growth they’ve helped other clients achieve.
7- Strong Brand Marketing
Before you start selling your product or service, you need to build up your brand and get a group of people ready to jump when you open your real or figurative doors for business.
8- Offer good customer service
Building a good name for your new business will help you stay in business longer. One of the best ways to do this is to show your customers the utmost respect and go out of your way to help them.
Customer service of high quality could make the difference between a customer never buying from your company again and a customer who buys from you again and again. Please take note of companies that have done well because they consistently show their customers how much they appreciate them.
As an entrepreneur, your launch and first sales are just the beginning of your work. To make money and stay in business, you must constantly work to grow your business. It will take time and work, but you’ll get back what you put into your business.
There is no perfect plan, but these tips will help you start your business and get it ready to grow. When you start a business, you’ll want to make sure you’ve thought of everything, but things will almost certainly go wrong. If you want to be a successful business, you have to be able to adjust to new situations.
Image Credit: Envato Elements
If you're a new entrepreneur, an important task is ensuring that your business is compliant with all local, state and federal regulations.
Some legal matters require immediate consideration, and you will want to address those issues as soon as possible. To help, Young Entrepreneur Council members share 10 essential tasks to handle right away when starting a business.
When first starting your business, it's important to get all the legal matters in order as soon as possible. In your experience, what's one legal consideration new entrepreneurs should be sure to handle right away and why?
1. Set up a company mailing address
It's important to set up a company mailing address, especially if you are a remote business and don't have a physical location. This address will be used in all of your email correspondence, legal documents, and more. You can set this up through a registered agent or through a company that handles mailboxes for businesses. Be aware you can't use a P.O. Box to receive certain government forms and you may need a physical mailing address. —Nathalie Lussier, AccessAlly
2. Check for preexisting trademarks
One legal matter that needs to be addressed when starting a business is trademark issues. When creating your brand or developing a product, always check to see if someone has trademarked the name. If they have, you'll need to go back to the drawing board. The last thing you want to do is infringe on a registered trademark and end up in legal trouble before you get your business off the ground. —John Brackett, Smash Balloon LLC
3. Find a good, experienced lawyer
Get a good lawyer who understands corporate law, finance, and mergers and acquisitions. It's impossible to know what future legal matters you will face at incorporation, but good lawyers will know what's ahead, even if you don't. A good law firm can modify existing documents and help with negotiations. Having a good lawyer who understands how to structure legal matters is important. —Sean Adler, GZI
4. Establish the business as an LLC or corporation
When first starting out, one of the most important legal considerations to handle is establishing the business as a limited liability company (LLC) or corporation. That’s because every other step of the business-opening process will demand the legal name of the business. It’s what makes it possible to get a federal tax ID, which is also required for key financial elements like bank accounts and insurance policies. — Richard Fong, Trustable Tech
5. Put financial agreements in writing
Always put financial agreements in writing. Money can easily break friendships and kinships, and you don’t want any misunderstandings to arise in the future. The agreement should include the nature of the return on investment. This is a serious expression of your commitment to the business and your intent to make money from it. —Bryce Welker, Crush The GRE Test
6. Publicize your company legally if necessary
One of the first things you should do before starting your business is determine if you need to publicize your company legally. Some cities and states require business owners to publicly announce that they created a company before they're recognized. Failure to follow this step could result in hefty fines, confusion, and legal issues. —John Turner, SeedProd LLC
7. Understand your estimated tax payments
Talk to a CPA about your estimated tax payments, especially if you offer professional services. It would be unfortunate if you lost your license because of the back taxes you owe. In the first few years of business, you don't want to underestimate your dues to the IRS or find yourself in a financial bind. Estimated tax payments per quarter are ideal. —Givelle Lamano, Lamano Law Office
8. Ensure you’re following the right payment rules
Make sure that you're compliant with payment issues. There are many regulations that govern how you can accept payments from your clients. This is especially important if you work with clients who live in other countries, as you'll need to consider currency exchange rates and taxes. By working with a legal professional, you can ensure that your business is following all the right rules. —Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner
Image Credit: GETTY
Do you need a college degree to become successful in business?
1. College isn't necessary, but it can teach useful skills
"College isn't necessary for a successful future in terms of credentials and training. However, the real benefit comes from making industry connections and having a prestigious institution on your resume. College won't necessarily make you a more competent professional—that's almost entirely up to you.
2. The internet has brought education to the masse
"I'm a college dropout and have become successful in programming. With the rise of the internet, college is no longer the only place to learn valuable life skills. You can follow courses from prestigious universities in places like Coursera. Not only are these courses free, but they're probably better than what you'd be getting at your local college.
3. A successful future requires education, not college
"As an educator and community builder, I teach at several universities, where I add my experience and stories to the curriculum, hoping to encourage, inspire, and motivate my students. I've noticed that as students reach higher, discover related disciplines, and learn, they define and achieve short and long-term dreams of success. These successes build on one another, creating fulfilling futures.
4. College may not be necessary if you have high potential
"While many folks will agree you should go to college for a better future, college is not necessary to succeed. We have many successful folks in our society who have dropped out or did not bother attending college. An example is Paul Allen, a college dropout who later became a billion-dollar NFL owner. Bill Gates and Steve Jobs also dropped out of college and ended up becoming successful business and media moguls.
5. Securing a trade is a fine choice
"I work with teams and leaders, so I often hear from employees that a high school counselor steered them away from seeking a career in the trades. They were people smart and got good grades, so counselors assumed they were college material. And now they want to earn licenses in the trades with union protections and perhaps lead their own construction, plumbing, electric car, and wind generator repair companies as general contractors. Desk jobs ultimately bored them and were not life-affirming. These trades come with licenses and certifications that often serve people better than a four-year college generalist degree—and at perhaps a tenth of the cost or more."
6. College improves your earning potential and networking
"I firmly believe that college is essential for a prosperous future. According to the APLU (Association of Public & Land Grant Universities), a college education improves a person's job prospects and earning potential. Bachelor's degree holders are half as likely as to be unemployed as high school diploma holders, and they earn $1.2 million more over their lifetime.
7. Employers view college as a wise investment
"The chance to impact your community and boost professional stability and satisfaction are just two of the many benefits of attending college. It's also normal to find 'bachelor's degree required' or mentioned as a recommended qualification on job descriptions. According to the Association of American Colleges, employers value a college degree; 87% of employers polled said college was "definitely" or "probably" worth the investment of time and money.
8. Only certain career paths require a degree today
"It's no secret there has been a significant shift in how higher education is viewed. When evaluating the ROI for college, prospective students must believe they will end up with a bigger salary or increased professional opportunities if they commit to attending and earning a degree.
9. College makes you competitive
"Yes, college is important in a very competitive job market. A college degree significantly improves a candidate's chances of getting a job. Having a degree can mean the difference between a good paying and a bad paying job. And many employers now require a master’s degree for associate degree-level jobs. Having a college degree will give you an advantage in the job market over a candidate who does not have a degree."
Membership is open to businesses and organizations interested in increasing visibility and brand awareness in Westchester County and surrounding areas.