The goal of every startup is to quickly scale their business, so it achieves a higher level of success and is ultimately more robust and stable. However, there are many challenges to getting the right systems in place for growth, and most startups don’t do it well. Not only do many young businesses fail to grow, most won’t be operating in ten years, so where are most startups going wrong?
Investopedia, says 30% of business start-ups fail within their first two years of operation, 50% within the first five years and 66% during the first ten. There are plenty of reasons for these unkind stats, but there are a lot of challenges in preparing a business for more sales and customers. Inability to scale is said to to be the most common rationale for failure.
Most entrepreneurs know if the business is not growing, it’s going backwards. The slippery slope of declining sales forces the hand of the owner to either sell what’s left, close up or take up the challenge of turning the company’s fortunes around with a reliable plan.
In this article, we have highlighted some of the obstacles when scaling your business and what you can do about it.
As your business grows, you need more employees or workers to handle the workload. The challenge is often how to get the right skills so the hiring process is an uphill task. Even with a series of interviews, you may never really find the perfect people to drive your business in the right direction but you can invest in training and education.
The best way to get the best staff is to create an accurate yet comprehensive role that will attract the most suitable candidates for your business.
Often it’s the business that doesn’t know what the role is and therefore it’s challenging to select the right personnel. Also, make sure the interview process is thorough and you’ve included experienced interviewers to get independent and objective feedback. While it may seem like you’re going to a lot of effort once you hire the right personnel, your business is one step further ahead to take on more business. Hiring great staff will require a commitment to nurturing a collaborative and dynamic culture that makes your employees enjoy going to work. Plus your staff will need competitive salaries and their own career plans.
Like right talent, your business needs technology and proper management information systems that can scale as your business grows. Whether your enterprise is a start-up or a small business, it cannot go very far without technology. Get advice from technology experts and create an IT plan while your business is small and young, so you can invest in hardware and software as and when the growth requires it. Technology is an enabler of growth, learn how you can use it to innovate and perhaps become a disrupter in your industry by launching a mobile App.
When a business is starting up, the team is small, and everyone knows exactly what they should do to successfully run it. However, when it hits scale-up, the leaders must learn to give up some control, articulate a vision, ask for expert opinion from time to time, and find a way to still talk to customers. A leader who isn’t patient and who finds it hard to trust their employees finds it hard to go through this transition the right way. Best way? Take time, delegate, and strategize on ways to increase your revenue.
Money is central to the running of any business. Throughout your entrepreneurship journey, you’ll be required to raise capital, pay employees, buy more stock and invest in systems. A business owner should know more than just the basics of financial management.
Can you read a financial statement? You may be surprised how many small business owners don’t bother to understand their financial statements. However, it’s this gap in knowledge that can prevent progress, especially when it comes to funding expansion. They also struggle to manage funds appropriately, so before you pitch for investment, develop reliable processes that focus on good organization. Investors don’t enjoy working with businesses that have financial management issues.
Another major challenge among business owners is a poor understanding of their business as it scales up. Obviously, no one is asking you to grasp every single thing about the operations of your enterprise, but you should be knowledgeable about most of it. You can only do this if you continually develop yourself.
Join online communities, attend workshops/seminars, reach out to mentors for advice, hire business coaches and do a lot of research online particularly on topics that cover how you can increase your business profits. Put simply, do all you can personally, so you know there is no one better to take the business forward.
Response To Competition
You’ve managed to set your company and struggled to run it for two years. Finally, when ready to scale it, competition shows up—bigger and better—down the street. Does this mean you get intimated and quit? Do you shoot the other business owner in the head? Fierce competition can be quite scary, but if you are aiming for the stars, it will come someday.
As you scale your business, keep your focus on your vision. Let your customers and prospects know what sets you apart.
To sustainably scale your business, you need to check each of these six areas.