What challenges should you consider before scaling your business?
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Deciding whether your business is ready to scale-up can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. For many companies, growth can often differentiate processes that are working well from ones that aren’t.
It’s crucial to anticipate problems that could occur during a growth period and plan for them in advance.
Consider the following challenges when scaling your business:
1. Scaling too soon
The world of enterprise can be quite fast-paced as everyone is striving to push their business forward, however, “patience is a virtue” for entrepreneurs keen on scaling their businesses.
Before you scale, it’s important to consider whether your product or service is ready to handle it. Scaling before you’re ready can lead to a variety of drawbacks for you, your customers and your employees.
Service difficulties won’t resolve themselves, so it’s a good idea to anticipate such issues beforehand and have a plan to solve them – even if this is just short term. As long as you have planned thoroughly, it’s okay even if you don’t have all the answers.
2. Scaling processes to meet growth
Another challenge of scaling is finding and creating the right processes that meet your growth. Processes that cater for a 100 employees won’t necessarily be able to stretch to 300 employees. Operations must be reviewed and you may decide to simplify some processes and build others.
Just because you’re growing your business externally doesn’t mean that you need to add more resources in-house. Outsourcing can be an effective way to bridge the gaps in areas of your business that you’re not able to fill.
Employing a service provider has increased in popularity and there are now a variety of services available to support your organisation as it grows and changes. For example, SmartPA can provide your business with professional secretarial and administrative services, while Mear Technology can manage your IT.
By employing extra services and support, you can reduce the workload for your employees, and allow them to focus their time accordingly. This can ease overall stress and ensure the growth stage runs as smoothly as possible.
3. Leadership Management
Often, management and structure is overlooked during the scaling process, particularly if you’re an early stage business going through rapid growth periods.
Expanding can bring unexpected challenges and, might these arise, you need to be able to trust that your management team can adapt and shift accordingly. Ensure that your management team is kept informed with potential issues and feels supported during the scaling period.
When scaling up, it’s crucial to look at your leadership arrangement objectively. A flat management structure that might have worked while your business was in its early stages may not be able to cater your company once it has grown. In this case, consider implementing more defined leadership roles.
4. Managing your time
There’s no denying that time management can be difficult, and during periods of organisational change it can feel impossible. With multiple priorities to manage such as clients, finances, marketing and your management team, other important areas of your business can start to slip.
In periods of growth, forward planning is key to successful time management. As a business owner, you may want to stay in control and to do everything yourself, however, this is not sustainable for too long. It’s important to delegate to the team around you and hire extra hands if you need it. By planning your time and ensuring your team is supported, you can scale up your business smoothly and effectively.
Planning is one of the key elements in growing a business successfully. Although business growth can bring about challenges and uncertainties, having a plan in place can help you anticipate these issues and resolve them quickly. By creating enough support in the different areas of your business and keeping your employees informed, you can ensure a smooth scale up.