The process of taking a startup to the next level is enthralling and nerve-wracking in equal measure. As you set about scaling your startup, you’re going to be in for a myriad of challenges and opportunities. From picking the right people to targeting new markets, it’s clear that the way involves planning in fine detail and foresight. In this article, we intend to look into the most important focuses for scaling. Additionally, how to traverse the challenges with full confidence.
Go forward with the confidence of protection
There is no point in seeking in scaling your startup without having in place the most important foundation: protection. Take any analogy you want: a military battle, a sporting contest, a long journey. In each of these, you don’t set off in search of your goal without having the groundwork laid that ensures you can safely pursue that end target. So it is for scaling a business. You want to make sure that when you reach for the stars, you have your feet planted firmly on the ground, so to speak.
There are various ways to ensure you are protected – strong IT standards that will protect you against cybercrime, and a solid bankroll are two examples – but perhaps the most important protection you can offer yourself is small business insurance. Ensuring that you have the most comprehensive and reliable insurance before you set off to chase your dreams may not be the most exciting step you take, but it’s likely to be the most rewarding one. Once you have the confidence of knowing you are protected against unforeseen events, you can feel a lot more confident about putting your plans into action.
Building your team
As with the other admittedly cliched analogies for scaling your startup, aiming for any goal is generally dependent on having the right people behind and around you. When you hire someone, it shouldn’t just be about filling a role. It should be about picking a square peg for a square hole. In fact, it should probably be more about picking an octagonal peg for an octagonal hole. Getting the right person should mean finding someone who not only has the qualifications and experience. They also should have the right mentality and intangibles for the role. That can take longer, but it pays off in not having to mold them to the role over time.
Recruiting isn’t just about finding people who will fit in with you, though. It’s also about making the roles attractive. There should always be push and pull factors in any hire, and prioritizing developments that will enable you to properly “sell” your business to the right candidates is also extremely important when it comes to building a team for business growth. Putting in place an attractive rewards scheme, positive staff care, and offering enticing factors like flexible working and advancement opportunities are a few examples.
Tapping new markets
Expansion can be vertical or lateral. In the first case, it’s about increasing your share of the market you are currently in. Additionally, it’s about reaching more customers and building an infrastructure domestically. The latter means branching out and entering new markets. If you currently have the best service of its kind in your city, you might seek to expand to neighboring cities; if you’re currently offering services nationwide, then you could be looking to offer them internationally. It’s a logical next step, but it does need to be taken cautiously.
It’s not even the case that your services won’t translate geographically. They might be very welcome in another city or country. But publicizing them may be another matter. The sales pitch that makes you popular with people in one market may not map quite as well onto a different one. It’s far from impossible to make things work. But, it will take market research and potentially some outreach to new hires there to make the lateral expansion successful. It’s always a good idea to talk this over with trusted existing employees. Those who may have a better knowledge of the target market than you do.
Understanding and leveraging technology
Modern business is highly dependent on, and a beneficiary of, technology. There is no doubt that the impact of tech in business is game-changing. Just imagine how the pandemic era would have looked if it had not been possible for people to work from home and keep their productivity up even as they sheltered in place. It’s now possible for a sole trader in Alaska to do international business as it is for a conglomerate based in New York. That’s because email, Zoom, and a wealth of other programs exist to meet, sell, send, and all the other elements of international business.
It is important to fully embrace and truly understand the tech at your disposal. Knowing how to use it properly could save your business a lot of money and allow it to make a lot more. Ensure your team is trained up too. Plus, stay abreast of trends in the industry. This way, you can always leverage the available tech solutions to make your business more dynamic. Scalability has become more and more of a possibility for even the unlikeliest of businesses. This is thanks to the way technology has shrunk the world over recent years.
Scaling your startup can be an exciting time, and it can also be daunting in equal measure. While the challenges can sometimes feel overwhelming, proper preparation does allow you to surmount most of them without any undue stress. Making sure that you are protected before you set off, focusing on building your team in the right way, and being insightful and proactive in targeting new markets and embracing technology will help immeasurably. And it’s worth it. Because the opportunities that scaling will present you are going to be some of the most exciting and rewarding that you could ever encounter as a business owner. There’s never been a better time to start.
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