Leadership & Productivity
The highs and lows of scaling a business
7 min read
21 December 2018
Starting a new business is a scary prospect for anyone embarking on the journey. Entrepreneurs soon begin to settle into their new role as founder. But at what point is it time to scale up?
Starting a new business is a scary prospect for anyone embarking on the journey. However, entrepreneurs soon begin to settle into their new role as founder, and the initial challenges start to smooth. The big question then is, at what point is it time to scale up?
A number of challenges can come with scaling up a business, often differentiating between the processes that are capable of scaling with it, from those that aren’t. As such, success doesn’t always come easily. During my own experience of growing a company, I have overcome and enjoyed some of the highs and lows that come with it.
I’ve also learnt some tips and tricks along the way that I think are invaluable for any new business owner.
Be bold and take action, don’t just ‘think’
When scaling your business, it’s important to surround yourself with the right people and connections so that you are ready to take the leap.
But as important as it is to listen to others’ advice, it’s even more important to do what you believe is right, because regardless of what others tell you to do, there is always another way.
Everyone has their own process for doing something, but not all of them can be right. In fact, none of them are probably ‘right’ if they attain the same end result – but some can certainly be more efficient. If you believe a process can be streamlined, or even that a greater result can be achieved, then figure out how.
Naturally, it can be hard to change the status quo, but being brave and willing to take risks is what will make you stand out from the crowd.
Don’t be afraid to change course
Everything around us is constantly changing, from market conditions and consumer demand to quick-paced developments in technology. With so much shift in working conditions, no business will ever stay the same, even as it grows.
Sometimes a small tweak to the business trajectory will be enough to keep up, but at other times, a bigger adjustment will be necessary.
Whatever the scenario, with the right skills and staff, you shouldn’t be afraid to change tack; it simply comes part and parcel of owning a business and working in any new field.
Whatever field someone decides to pursue, new or old, everyone has the potential to achieve their best possible potential – but only if working toward the right goals.
Granted, setting attainable goals can be rewarding when achieved, but it’s the ambitious goals we set ourselves and work towards that will drive us forward to reach our true potential.
Although not always attainable, we will move much further toward achieving our highest possible goals when we are reaching for them, than if we were are only striving for sub-par goals.
Make time for your personal brand
Customers, partners, potential employees. They are all human, and humans always want and need a bit of H2H (human to human) communication. As such, it’s of the utmost importance that individuals and companies that associate with your company are able to see a face behind the brand so that they can form a real connection with it.
Your personal brand is a way of reinforcing your views and what you stand for, and ultimately what your company stands for. Make sure that others hear it, whether that’s through speaking to a wider group at a conference event or starting small and taking it one person or business at a time.
As said by Stacey Cohen, CEO of Co-Communication: “Personal brands aren’t reserved for CEOs. A company’s rank and file employees should capitalise, too.”
As such, it’s even more important that you hire staff with values that you believe in, who can amplify their own personal brand and form a connection with customers on the front line.
Focus on the right priorities
The minor details of the business are important when one thing fails, a domino effect will follow. But a founder, CEO, manager, hires their staff to focus on these day-to-day details of the business runnings.
You need to focus your time on the bigger business objectives and those actions that are going to move your business forward, not let it stagnate.
Ensure you have a trusted sales team by your side
It’s all well and good ensuring that your business is running well internally, but it means nothing without a robust sales force that will ultimately act as the backbone of the company. Ensuring this team is in place will allow the business to attract a faster growth of new clients, win larger brand names and see existing clients grow their usage of your business.
Ultimately, there is no one key to scaling your business, especially in today’s consistently changing economic climate – it will always be a challenge. But learning to take risks and set ambitious objectives will do very well in setting you on the right path to making a success of it.
Neil Hammerton is CEO and co-founder of Natterbox.