One question we always get asked as business experts is “How do I grow my company?” It’s a huge, broad question with many answers. However, distil it to the core and the answer is simple: scale up. There is no simple answer because every single business is different. Scaling up in one sector will require a different approach to those in another. Having said that, there are a few consistent truths in every industry. We’ve made a handy list for you.
Thanks to Chris Potter for the image
Dream big – First of all, set the destination on the map. You can’t go somewhere without direction. You need a goal. If you want to make it big, you’ve got to dream big. Where do you want the company to be in ten years? Set that target now and start stretching for it. You can’t scale up without a clear direction. It could be a number ($50 million turnover) or it could be a market position (compete with Coca Cola). This applies to any business. Imagine you have a freelance cleaning business. You can expand your one person team into a two person team. Pick up some extra equipment from www.pattersons.co.uk and then add a third person. Now you’ve got a small company. Then set your sights on something bigger. Once you have that big destination in mind, set yearly, monthly, weekly and daily objectives for getting there.
Expand your network and relationships. – If you want to scale up, you need to surround yourself with the big players. The first step to growing big, is appearing big. Visit large networking events and work your way into the elite circles. Unfortunately, in business, it really does come down to who you know. Find the bigger clients and acquaint yourself with rich investors. Surround yourself with people who will help move your business forward.
Seek investment – Another old saying rings true when scaling up. “You have to spend money to make money”. The best way to grow is to keep investing money into the business. Of course, it’s not always possible to funnel the profits back into the company. To take your company from $10 million to $100 million, you’ll need a cash injection. Target the right investors and work on your pitch.
Look at the bigger picture. – One thing we find ourselves telling entrepreneurs over and over again is look at the bigger picture. Many business leaders are too involved in the inner workings of their company. An entrepreneur’s job is to steer the ship. You should be looking to the future, finding new ground and new ideas. You should be speaking to the right people and making sure you’re on course. Get out from the ship galley and get behind the steering wheel.
What’s your story? – The biggest companies strike a chord with their audience and customers. They make an emotional connection based on a story or their brand. To truly grow, your customers need to connect with you. It could be brand perception or a story, but you need that ‘thing’ that sets you apart.
Scaling up your business is all about altering the way you think. Your main task is no longer to keep the company afloat, it’s about powering forward. That means stop looking inwards at the company and start looking outwards. What’s next?