When we start a business, we certainly don’t want income to be stagnant. We hope to work hard, increase sales, and make more money over time. But with more sales and more revenue comes more work. There is only so much work that one person can complete on his or her own. One of the toughest concepts for business owners and entrepreneurs is to figure out a way to keep up with a thriving business. This ability to adopt and adapt over time to these many changes is often referred to as “scalability.”
Your ability to scale your business the right way can influence everything from you reputation and quality, to your competitiveness and efficiency. You must consider whether or not you can scale things such as your business systems and infrastructure. Since sales are not static, instead increasing and decreasing over time, in order to be successful a business must be able to figure out a plan for handling increased – as well as decreased
– sales without negatively impacting your company and its valued employees overall. Scaling a business not only requires proper funding, processes, employees, and technology, but it also requires strategic planning. Here are five important components to consider when scaling your business.
1. The Business Plan
You can’t know what you need until you know what you have. The first step to successfully scaling your business is to establish a strategic business plan. Start by determining what is necessary in order to increase sales. Then ask yourself if you would be able to handle the amount of business if it doubled overnight. What if it tripled?
Create a detailed forecast of your sales growth, breaking things down by your number of new customers, orders, and revenue that you hope to generate. Remember it is very important to be realistic with these figures. Then look at things such as your technology, infrastructure and systems, and people who would be necessary in order to meet those increased sales. Essentially, you must take your time in determining everything that you will need in order to meet your sales forecast, accounting for a fluctuation in expenses. The more accurate the cost estimates, the better your plan will be.
2. The Funds
Unfortunately, scaling your business isn’t free. Whether you require additional staff, new technology, reporting systems, equipment or anything else, you will have to pony up. Although bootstrapping is one way to grow the business, it can take years to work. To find the additional finances needed to grow the business you may want to look into loans or lines of credit upon which you can draw. There are also small business contests that you can apply to in order to win cash prizes.
3. The Sales
When businesses plan for scaling, sometimes they forget one of the most important aspects: actually committing the time to selling. In order to continue to scale, you must continue to generate more and more sales. To figure out if you need a better structure for selling, consider the following:
Sufficient lead flow generation
Marketing systems to manage leads
Sales reps to follow-up and close leads
System to manage sales orders
Billing system with receivables function to ensure timely invoices
4. The Technology
Technology can help to scale your business in many ways. It is often less expensive to scale a business using technology. Investing wisely in technology can help you to accomplish more work using less labor. While systems integration is key for ensuring that all of your systems work in unison, automation is extremely important as it minimizes manual labor and can help to lower costs. Types of technology to consider include:
5. The Staff
Employees are often one of the biggest casualties of poor scaling. Businesses tend to hire when they grow, only to later lay off employees when their revenue declines and they fail to properly plan ahead. Some functions should be performed internally, while others need not be. Sometimes outsourcing work enables your business to position itself better, while scaling quicker and cheaper. Since these individuals are not employees, but rather contracted workers, you are better able to hire them when necessary and do without them when you lack the expenses. As for internal hires, it is important to set realistic expectations, cut expenses where needed, and plan ahead for those difficult times where sales decrease. It is important to keep in mind that when an employee is terminated, there is additional cost with hiring and training someone new when sales once again increase. This should be avoided whenever possible.
Calculating Destiny, LLC Can Help
At Calculating Destiny, LLC, we are a team of knowledgeable and experienced professionals that is dedicated to helping improve your business process – no matter what you are selling.
We work both on location and remotely, integrating into your existing team. Our ability to accurately and compliantly run your business allows you and your team to have a clear understanding of the challenges that may present themselves, how to overcome them, and how to set and achieve tangible goals. Through internal audits, process manuals, operations, and training & education, our number one goal is to help your company grow – even if that means outgrowing our services.
To learn more about how we can help to put your business back on track for financial success, schedule a free consultation by visiting us online or calling us at 215-674-3430 today!