So your revenues have shot up, demand is steady or on the rise, and your clients love your products – business is good! At this point, it’s easy to pop the question of expanding. But should you?
Scaling up could be as tricky as getting your business started, but a tier more complicated. If done properly, it will result to more business and more profit, but when done at a bad timing, or at a miscalculation, it could also mean grave loss and even total failure for the business you’ve put so much effort in to establish.
This is a universal dilemma that so many small business entrepreneurs have come through – and you can too. If you are contemplating on scaling up, consider these things first before taking that most crucial step.
Do you project your product or services to be appealing to your client base for the longer term? Do you think you can cater to more audience than you are already receiving now? Can your current returns cover the cost of expansion and sustain the change? Is this what you wanted for your business in the first place? Will expansion not kill the very purpose you wanted for it from the beginning?
Asking the ifs and what-ifs, probing the abstract and scaling the calculables can help you properly gauge your business’s capacity for expansion.
How will your team handle the change? Are they prepared for any modifications in responsibilities? If you’re so set with expansion but haven’t briefed your staff and personnel on what’s about to take place, then you might have technical issues. Much more, you might even need to expand your workforce and add more staff.
It’s important that you are properly familiarized with what your team can do and if they possess the capacity for adapting to a modified setup. Communicate to your team your planned objectives and gather some ideas on how you can all go about it together. This gives them a sense of accountability and helps them work out on their own capacities individually in order to contribute to the expected adjustment.
The funding factor
Of course, where will you get the money to put all your ideas to good application? Properly evaluating your current turn-ins, do you think your funds will suffice, or do you need supplementary financing from somewhere else?
There are various financing sources that you can tap into – P2P lenders, banks, small business lenders, even alternative funding sources such as grants and crowdsourcing. The important thing is if you know how to funnel this fund properly to produce the change you have in your vision. Which leads us to..
It takes more than just money to operate a workable business. It takes good people, and smart, efficient ideas. What processes work for you now? Do you think these processes will still work when you scale up? What tactics and techniques do you think you should integrate into your dynamics to be able to achieve the higher purpose for the next level of your business? Examine systems, determine organization, plan the workflow, and test for adequacy.
These are just some very basic considerations but they rest at the core of what you are planning to achieve. Know what you are up against, get good people, plan well and have a more confident answer to the question: are you ready?