The UK is a hotbed for new start-ups with over 5.7 million private sector businesses as of the start of 2017 with an estimated 1,100 new business being formed every single day. For all of those new and exciting start-up businesses, most will have lofty ambitions, with dreams of further growth and expansion on the horizon.
One thing that we all know is that building a business is hard work. As young entrepreneurs, we all know the journey ahead of us will be long with highs and lows along the way. Luckily though, many have walked before us with a vast amount of knowledge and experience to draw upon.
So, how can you put the foundations in place to start scaling your business? Let’s take a look at our top tips (and some immediately actionable first steps) to start making your growth dreams a reality…
1. Look to the Bigger Picture
It’s easy to get absorbed in the day to day grind of running your start-up, with a myriad of curveballs coming in from your customers, suppliers and staff throughout the day (and night!). It’s essential to zoom out and view your business, the marketplace and your wider environment in a larger context to identify any further opportunities you could mine, or any threats that may be lurking around the corner.
As well as the bigger picture in your present, it is essential to look into the future and focus on where you want to be. Whilst it can’t be put down to one reason alone, many business owners fail to set their sights on their future goals, instead focusing on who and where they are now. If you want to turnover £100,000 next year – focus on that, work towards it and start seeing yourself as the business and individual you want to be!
Action Point #1 – It’s time to see the bigger picture! Take the time to undertake a PESTLE analysis of your business landscape to identify where opportunities or threats may live and create your business plan to set your sights firmly against your growth strategies.
2. Don’t Go It Alone; Find a Mentor
Entrepreneurship can be a lonely business; long hours, heavy decisions and bank balance woes can lead you to feeling isolated and often questioning why you took the jump in the first place. As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, many have trodden this road before; they’ve sat where you’re sat and worried your worries.
Try and seek out those around you who have hit the targets you have set for yourself i.e they’ve scaled their own business. Take the time to listen to their experiences and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Often as long as there is no competitive conflict, entrepreneurs are happy to share and give back on the mistakes they have had to endure to reach their successes.
Action Point #2 – Seek out someone who you can bounce your ideas off! Attend a YENA Meetup Event or head over to the Member Hub to connect with likeminded individuals. Looking for a mentor outside of YENA? Why not take a look at UK Gov’s Great Business Support Centre.
3. Know your Business to Grow your Business
A business cannot be scaled without a solid foundation to grow from. Don’t keep your plans, ideals and objectives in your head only – document and share them within your business to boost the energy among your team and your customers.
Compose a vision and mission statement, detailing what makes you different in the market, what service you want to offer your customers and how you do it. Remember that as part of scaling your business, financials aren’t everything. Your reputation, identify and brand will help set you apart, all of which are driven from your organisational vision.
“A leader has the vision and conviction that a dream can be achieved. He inspires the power and energy to get it done.” – Ralph Lauren
Action Point #3 – Document and Share! Compose your Vision and Values statements, getting the ideas out of your head and onto paper (or online document!) Once created, share them with your team so you can move forward together as a team!
4. Deliver Excellence: Quality > Quantity
When scaling a business, you may be inclined to think it’s all about the big numbers; how many clients do I need? How many sales do I need to make? Whilst volume is key to your growth strategy, it isn’t the first puzzle to crack with your business offering.
Ensure that you can offer your niche better than those around you. First you must become the best to become the biggest. Focus on your internal procedures and identify how they can offer the most value. Maybe you can streamline your website to boost conversion, use software such as a CRM to better streamline your customer interactions, or transfer to a new office space to be closer to your customer base.
Once you can deliver a consistently high quality service, you can look to expand; multiplying this model against your intended volume targets. Remember: First become the best, then become the biggest!
Action Point #4 – Take a reflective look at your business and think – “what can we do better?” Take a look at some Process Improvement methods or adopt a new technology to speed up how you currently work.
5. Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
A corny saying to start off our last business scaling tip, but it’s true! Having laid out your business goals, shared your vision and whipped your processes into shape, the last piece of the puzzle is getting the right people to drive your growth mission forward.
Often recruiting the right people can be hard, with the recruitment industry itself a fickle foe to contend with. Stick with it, ensuring that you don’t settle for people who don’t share your commitment, passion and ideas for how you should bring value to your market. Ensure the people around you buy into your business culture to ensure they are properly engaged and motivated and reward them accordingly for all their hard work.
Action Point #5 – Create a team that you want to work with, who shares your vision and are a joy to be around! Take a look at your hiring process and identify how you can best attract and keep the members of your dream team!
This is a guest post by Yena member, James Elliott.
James is a BDM and content writer at OpenCRM, a fully featured cloud CRM provider which helps businesses of all sizes reach their growth ambitions.
James loves talking all things tech and business improvement, so why not reach out on Linkedin?