How to Take Your Business to the Next Level without Completely Imploding
At some point, you are going to notice that your business has leveled out. While that is not necessarily a bad thing, it can be a bit disappointing. Like, “Is this it?”
Some business owners make the mistake of thinking that when they hit that barrier, they simply have to push harder to break through. That is not however, what is actually happening. When sales and costs have leveled out, and any increase in work you do leads to no further gains, it almost always means you have maxed out. In other words, until you scale your resources and capabilities, there’s not much further you can go with your business.
If you are not satisfied with that answer, then it is time to think about how to take your business to the next level and how to do it without completely imploding.
This can be a scary revelation for many business owners – recognizing that significant changes will be required for progress to resume.
That said, is that any different than when you first launched your business? Every company goes through phases that cause them to assess where they are, where they want to go, and what they need to do to get there. If you have been in business for at least a year or two now, then you should not be worried. You simply need to know what the right moves are to get to the next level.
Here are the seven steps you should be ready to take to evolve your company:
1. Test the demand.
Before making any serious moves to scale your business, always ensure there is a demand for your services or products. If you have not done the research to validate this, do it before moving on.
2. Create a strict process for everything.
By now, you know your business inside and out. You also probably know what could be improved upon to save money and increase productivity. So, set out to develop formal processes for all parts of your business—management, sales, customer service, administrative, marketing, billing, fulfillment, etc.—and tighten up those weak spots.
3. Invest in better systems.
New technology will be a real lifesaver during this time period. It is going to free you up from tedious tasks while also bringing consistency and control to your workflow. Software can also help you hold on hiring anyone until you absolutely have to, so it is really an essential scaling-up tool that every business should invest in.
4. Hire slowly.
The best way to handle hiring—because you will eventually need to outsource your tasks to others—is to do it slowly. The best way to approach this is to hire contractors that you can “test” out as potential employees before bringing them on (when you are ready, of course).
Just don’t fight this part. It is easy to think you can handle it all on your own, but you are not going to do your business any favors if you are working 20 hours a day, seven days a week to take care of everything yourself. You need to focus on building your business, overseeing your marketing, and selling.
5. Templatize everything.
Software will help you automate much of what you do. Templates will take that to the next level. Think of things like new client contracts, communications during the onboarding process, checklists for your project workflows, and so on.
6. Keep a close eye on your cash flow.
It is easy to get swept up in all these scaling activities and to lose sight of what’s happening with your business’s cash. Things will move fast during this time, and you will probably incur more expenses, but the payoff is worth it if you can keep any dips into the red under control. This means getting a credit card or a loan to cover yourself for the rainy day.
7. Get a business coach.
Growth and expansion is a critical time in your business, and it is one in which outside input can have an immense value. A business coach can help keep you calm and on track as you go through this process. They can often times also point out things that you may be too close in your business to see that need to be addressed and focused on.
This is an exciting time for your business, but it can be challenging. You are definitely going to spend more money at this stage, but there’s no reason your company has to go bust in the process. Just remember that this is about bringing more control to all the moving pieces within your business to streamline your operations and make a smooth transition to the next level.