Scaling Your SMB - For the Future
How do you ensure that your small business grows into something even bigger? That’s the question every entrepreneur must ask themselves at some point, and it’s no easy task. There are plenty of things you can do to set yourself up for future success, though. As an example, you might want to consider using some of these five essential strategies for scaling your SMB in the future.
Understand Why You Want to Scale
If you want to grow and scale your small business, it’s vital that you first identify why. If scaling is about more money or fame, then you need to ask yourself if that's worth destroying your work-life balance and sanity. Sure, there are big opportunities out there for those who build a successful business, but if you aren't ready to sacrifice your personal life and well-being to get there, then maybe entrepreneurship isn't for you. As we've stressed countless times on our website: You can do anything – but not everything. Decide what matters most and keep focused on those goals. How Do You Want to Scale: Once you know why you want to scale (or at least have a general idea), it's time to figure out how.
After you’ve decided to grow your company, it’s important to set goals that will help you grow sustainably. When setting goals, it's easy to fall into a trap of creating unrealistic expectations for your future company. It can be helpful to define what success looks like in a less tangible way by focusing on a goal-setting strategy rather than a tangible number. Using a process or framework may help you clarify what you want and how you'll achieve it. Here are some goal-setting frameworks
Streamline you Payroll
If you’re doing payroll yourself, investing in payroll software to help you do it can be an important step towards scaling your business. This will not only let you keep your employees’ taxes down but also lessen paperwork and mistakes that can come with manual record-keeping. Another solution would be to outsource to payroll firms that specialize in handling paychecks for small businesses. These companies will charge you by how many employees you have, but they'll take care of all administrative work for your business so you don't have to worry about it. This is especially helpful if your company is growing very quickly or has lots of seasonal workers.
Switch to automated systems
As your business grows, you will reach a point where having information spread out among people and systems becomes inefficient and prone to mistakes. To ensure that you’re getting all relevant information at your fingertips, it’s imperative that you move to an automated system. If you haven’t already done so, consider building an automated system or switching to one that is automated before reaching your scaling phase—you don’t want to have to go back in order to save time! Some systems can even sync with Outlook if employees use personal email addresses for work purposes. The more streamlined your operations are, the better chance of success they will have in scaling up successfully.
Focus on efficiency and accuracy
Being efficient and accurate is fundamental for successful growth. It means being willing to delegate responsibilities so you can focus on higher-level tasks, which are critical to success. If you’re not good at delegating or trusting others, you may need to develop those skills before trying to scale your business. And, if you can’t trust your employees, it might be time to hire new people who share your passion and have a similar work ethic. Employees who feel trusted will go above and beyond in their efforts because they care about their performance—and that translates into better efficiency and accuracy.
You’ve reached a tipping point where it’s time to move from a sole proprietorship to a company. But how do you make that move? How will you do it? What are your options? To grow, you may need professional guidance from lawyers, accountants, and specialists in financing or marketing. Discuss your plans with them about when and how to handle certain situations. Also, think about whether any of your employees would be good candidates for business owners if they wanted to take on their own clients in areas where you don’t have much experience or interest. If so, consider helping them develop a business plan so they can take their portion of your company public once there is enough interest from private investors for an IPO.