Creating a small business is not easy-going.
Congratulations to anyone that has fulfilled their dream of becoming their own boss and running their own business. It’s something that everyone should attempt at least once in their life, whether you fail or not, it’s a brilliant experience that puts other small business owners in perspective.
Hard-working, motivated individuals that deserve a whole bunch of credit. Once it’s created it’s always tricky, depending on the business, to expand and upscale due to the fact many don’t want their company to change.
The only way to be successful is to adapt and overcome any obstacle that comes your way, so let’s take a look at some things you can do to upscale your small business.
Starting with the basics, happy staff. When you start your company you might be in a situation where it is just you but there will come a day that you will have to expand your team of one. If you’re running a business that involves anything front of house then your staff are your paycheck, without them, you either wouldn’t have any customers, or they certainly wouldn’t be returning. The most basic way of ensuring your employees are giving you 100% effort is by making sure they are well treated and happy.
Paying well is the first step, but also having a benefits system in place that your employees will love may leave them wanting to work harder for your business. This is the key to success and the start of being able to expand your company. Happy, motivated, and hardworking staff are the backbone of a company and will assist you in upscaling your business to the next level.
Plan your expansion first, without care and attention in the planning stage you have every chance of having to shut it down completely. Taking risks without assessment is not only silly but will put you under immense stress and leave everyone involved in the company unsure over your leadership. Plan out your budget and upscaling plans, be as detailed as you can, and have a mitigation plan. Success will come from being prepared and equipped with the ability to overcome any problems that may arise.
Unfortunately, like everything in life we have to think about money. Money makes the world go round. If you have the money to expand from within the business then you really are doing well, but there’s always an opportunity to outsource funds and expand with investors’ money.
If this is the case then have your business plan ready and expect to have a million questions thrown your way about financial return and what their investment is going to be used for. Don’t panic at this stage, it’s completely normal for people to know what their money is going to do, so stay calm and answer everything truthfully and with confidence.
I’ve seen many businesses go under because the owner hasn’t been capable of delegating tasks within the company. I understand that your business is your baby and you want the best for it at all times, but sometimes that means letting go of certain areas and allowing others to get on with it. The reality of it is you might have skills within an area of your business which is why you set it up in the first place, but the running and surrounds might have been a learned experience. It’s worked for now but at some point, you’re going to have to let go in order to expand.
One of the greatest advantages small businesses have against their bigger competitors is a chance to forge personal relationships with their target audience. The easiest way to do that is to start with marketing on social media and then to expand your marketing activities to other platforms.
Here’re a few quick tips:
- Get your content marketing strategy in order (and adapt it to the current climate, but avoid using too much of all the buzzwords (pandemic, coronavirus, COVID-19, etc. in your content and messaging).
- Step up your use of videos. Lean into a video for your daily communication with the audience, use corporate videos to explain your company’s product or service, and of course use creative videos for your ad campaigns. When planning your video, always make sure it has a good story in it that will resonate with your audience.
- Follow the data and follow the sales. Revise and optimize your messaging and choice of marketing channels from time to time. World changes, and so should your marketing strategy.
You can’t do everything, much the same as being able to delegate, having the ability to outsource is invaluable and should be celebrated amongst small businesses. There are so many things that you might end up having to do within a business that outsourcing is sometimes the only way to ensure it’s done properly, this way you can maintain it as well with any contract put in place.
Payroll, accounts, IT support, these are all things that are needed and can go catastrophically wrong if done incorrectly so it’s probably worth outsourcing and finding a professional company to help. Don’t worry though, there are literally thousands that will help you, the best thing is to find someone local that will help.
Setting up your own business is daunting, but expanding it once you’ve made it successful is even scarier. What if things go wrong? What if the beauty of my business is that it’s small? Well, my answer is you will never know until you try, but if you have your plan in place with a business that’s already successful then I wouldn’t worry too much.