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Therefore, you have decided to develop your own business-congratulations! Now prepare for the next challenge: how to expand the business to achieve growth. Even if you manage to sell like crazy, you will soon encounter another problem: you must be able to serve all these new customers.
Scalability is related to capacity and capacity. Does your business have the capacity to grow? Are your business systems, infrastructure and team able to adapt to growth?
If growth causes your company to go bankrupt due to chaos, broken orders, insufficient staff, poor communication, insufficient manufacturing or delivery capabilities, etc., then you will have dissatisfied customers. Although manual operation is small, it still does not allow you to move fast enough. You either put out the fire or desperately tried to keep your head above the water. All of these are stressful.
Expanding business means laying the foundation for supporting and supporting the company’s development. This means having the ability to grow unhindered. It requires planning, some funding, and the right systems, people, processes, technology, and partners.
Here are the five key steps, you need to follow, to scale your business:
Take a closer look at your business and see if you are ready to grow. Unless you figure out the current state of the business, you will not know what to do.
Develop strategies to increase sales. Then suppose your order doubled or tripled overnight. Does your organization have the people and systems to process these new orders without fail or disappointment? This is an essential place for a good plan.
I think the best plan starts with detailed sales growth forecasts, broken down by the number of new customers, orders, and revenue you want to generate. Include a spreadsheet that can break down the numbers by month. The more specific you are, the more realistic your sales and purchase plan will be. Then, based on the addition of technology, personnel, infrastructure and systems to process all these new sales orders, similar cost forecasts are made. Look at each item in the current income statement to understand how it might be affected. The cost will increase-you have to foresee where and how. Third, it includes an expense spreadsheet, which can subdivide the expenses required to meet the sales forecast.
Try to think about everything. You need to do serious thinking and research to arrive at an appropriate cost estimate, but doing so will make your plan better.
Find the Money
Expansion of the business is not free. Your growth plan may require hiring employees, deploying new technologies, adding equipment and facilities, and creating a reporting system to measure and manage results. How will you find the funds needed to invest in growth? I am a loyal supporter of bootstrap, but usually it takes years to grow up just by bootstrap. In addition, there are some small business competitions with cash prizes, such as the FedEx Small Business Grants Competition, which will start participating on February 21, 2017. If you have a good story to tell your business, you can use the $25,000 grant and $7,500 grant printing and business services in FedEx Office® to promote your business development, this is an amazing opportunity . It is also helpful to start with how much money is needed to determine potential bank funds to accelerate growth, such as loans or credit lines. And start applying.
Expansion of the business obviously assumes that you will sell more products. Do you have a proper sales structure to generate more sales? Look at sales from start to finish. do you have:
- Is there enough lead flow to produce the required amount of lead?
- A marketing system for tracking and managing sales leads?
- Are there enough sales representatives to follow up and close potential customers?
- A powerful system to manage sales orders?
- Tracking the billing system and accounts receivable function to ensure timely payment?
Invest in Technology
Technology makes it easier and cheaper to expand your business. If you invest wisely in technology, you can obtain huge economies of scale and higher throughput with less labor.
- Automation can minimize manual work, thereby helping you to operate your business with lower costs and higher efficiency.
- System integration is the main area that needs improvement in most companies. Nowadays, the company will not only rely on one system, but may have a dozen or more systems. If these systems cannot work together, silos will occur. As the company grows, silos will in turn exacerbate communication and management problems.
Now is a good time to evaluate new products on the market that can save time and money, while at the same time providing greater quantities in all aspects of your business. Take a look at CRM, marketing automation, sales management, inventory, manufacturing, accounting, human resources, transportation and other technical systems.
It evaluates not only software, but also network and hardware, such as servers, computers, printers, and telephone equipment.
Looking for employees or strategic outsourcing
Last but not least is the hands required to carry out the work. Technology provides a huge impact, but in the end you still need people.
- Do you have enough customer service staff? Check industry benchmarks to determine a rule of thumb for how many customers a service representative can handle.
- What about the people responsible for your manufacturing, inventory, and product or service delivery? What is the typical number of each customer in your industry, and how much will you need?
- How do you quickly find qualified help? Recruitment and employment systems, benefits and salary systems are all important.
- Don’t forget to manage. As your business grows, the importance of the management workbench increases. You will not be able to supervise everything.
Sometimes the answer is to outsource or seek a partner, not to hire internally.
Expansion requires you to make difficult choices. What functions can and should you perform (or not perform) internally?
Third parties may have human and material resources on the system, making them more efficient than your company in processing functions. Attempting to replicate this feature internally may take too much time or money. Instead, look for a reliable partner for outsourcing, so that your business can be positioned at a better, faster and cheaper scale.
These are the five factors to consider when expanding your business. Have you encountered any problems when expanding your business?