When an entrepreneur initially starts, they go through trial and error. To grow and expand their business, companies frequently test out various ideas to determine what works and what doesn’t. However, expanding a business isn’t easy, and without previous experience, mistakes may be made.
While not every business will succeed, there are techniques to effectively grow your business while limiting risk. To that end, a panel of Young Entrepreneur Council members revealed the rules they wish they’d known when they first started on how to expand a business safely and efficiently.
Younger members of the Entrepreneur Council discuss what they wish they had known about growing a business.
1. Rent Prime-Down and Prime-Up at the Same Time
With our first firm, we were laser-focused on building a team of “doers” from the ground up and attempting to wear all of the management hats ourselves as founders. With our second and third businesses, we’ve focused on hiring top-down and bottom-up simultaneously, which means we hire executives and leaders sooner to manage the “doers” in their teams. This recruiting method allows us to expand much more quickly and makes our team stronger and more well-rounded from the start. We can present ourselves to prospects and customers as a company that punches above its weight, instilling trust in our company, product, and pitch. It also provides more opportunities for your team members to understand how they might advance within the organization, which aids in knowledge retention. – Zeni Inc.’s Swapnil Shinde
2. Don’t Strive for Excessive Aiming
Hindsight is a wonderful thing, and there’s a lot I’d do differently if I had another option. Scaling your business is a risky effort, and many of us (brave as we are) make the mistake of aiming just a little too high from the outset. Growing your business effectively is only possible if you have the resources to back it up. I wish I had realized how much preparation is required to achieve successful growth. Taking a long, hard look at what you’re selling and being realistic about where you’re at about where you want to go is crucial. Be realistic and make do with what you have. Working with numbers is one of the most effective ways to accomplish so. How is your sales estimate coming along? Is it possible to enhance it? Begin with a little project and work your way up. StitchGolf’s Nick Venditti
3. Use Metrics to Manage People
I quickly grew my company and made strategic hiring. I failed to establish key efficiency indicators (KPIs) for each position, resulting in a decrease in execution. Because I didn’t have clear measurements, I didn’t make data-driven decisions when my employees were delighted. Now, I hire mostly based on specific criteria, and we’ve established a recruiting process. My COO meets the need for skill, and I meet traditional requirements. Then, during the onboarding process, key indications show me whether or not a new hire needs further assistance, is on track, or needs to be replaced. If I could go back in time before we grew the company, I would place a greater focus on administration and efficiency measures. Dietitian Boss Libby Rothschild
4. Determine Work Capacity
Estimate how much more work your employees will have to perform with more customers and how much you can afford to add to your monthly burden. When your company grows, and you work in a service industry, you must continue to provide the same high quality to a larger customer base. A large number of buyers might dilute high quality. When gifted individuals are given more work than they can handle, they might burn out, significantly reducing their productivity. Reduced productivity translates to worse labor quality and disgruntled customers who will seek business elsewhere. It’s a simple error to make, but if you have a team that feels comfortable offering this advice, you’ll be able to grow appropriately. Before taking on additional clients, determine your job capacity. — Optimum7’s Duran Inci.
5. Experiment Before You Commit
Before you commit to anything, dabble with it. Whether you’re trying out a new kind of rental or a new advertising channel, start small, see what works, and then grow. One such example is deciding where to spend your advertising dollars. A slew of platforms and salesmen will try to convince you to spend a lot of money. Don’t do it. Enroll in anything little to see whether it’ll be suitable for you, and then proceed from there based on the results. Are you looking to hire a new designer? Start with one of the designs. If you like them, you may hire them to do further work for you. You must be careful not to overextend yourself, especially when recruiting. You are responsible for the people you bring on, so be sure you can manage them. — Base64.ai’s Andy Karuza
6. Figure out when the best time of year is to scale.
The first step in securely scaling what you’re selling is to figure out when the ideal time of year to do it is. This is not something many businesses consider, yet it might have a significant impact. For example, when product sales are high during the holiday season, it’s advisable to avoid bringing in more people or expanding your product range. You won’t have the time or free fingers needed to onboard new employees, and you’ll be diverting your attention away from ensuring that offers are sent out on time and that your buyer assistance is available. Scaling up during a slower season is wiser and safer since you’ll have more time to help new people get on board and fix challenges that come with new product releases. — WPBeginner, Syed Balkhi
7. Make Contact With Mentors
Don’t be hesitant to reach out to mentors and other entrepreneurs for advice on properly expanding your business. It might be challenging to expand your business for the first time and figure out what actions to take to ensure that it develops effectively in all areas. Knowledgeable advice may point you on the correct path, making it easier to feel confident about your decisions and techniques. Formidable Forms, Stephanie Wells
8. Speak with a financial expert
Scaling up may seem to be a risky undertaking, but it’s important to remember that your pricing will rise as your business grows. Don’t just expect that your scaling strategies will generate more revenue right away. You’ll want to be ready to pay your payments if you don’t see the money flow that you’re expecting. Consult a financial advisor before you contemplate taking on debt. They may aid you in figuring out how to fund your business’s growth strategies in a long-term manner. You might also expand your business gradually rather than all at once. Bring in a few new people at a time. Improve your lead technology by a smidgeon. Before committing to your efforts, look at how they’re doing. — MemberPress’ Blair Williams