Starting up a business is a really exciting thing to do but making the next step and moving on can be really daunting. What is working for you and your small team won’t necessarily scale up so you need to think wisely about how you are going to increase your returns and move your business on.
Taking advice from a business hub is a good idea at this stage as you will benefit from the wisdom others have to offer. Seeing how other businesses made the leap from startup to established small business is a good way to figure out the methods that could be great for you and what you should avoid doing at all costs!
But if you are looking for some immediate advice, then there are three things you might like to think about now.
Streamlining Your Systems
At the moment, your system might be fairly basic as you aren’t doing a massive amount of business in the day. However, this will likely need to change if you want to scale up and get more deals through the day. This is where streamlining your systems will really make an impact.
Using software to automate some of your business processes is the best way to make the most of your time. You should be spending as much of your day working out creative and innovative ways to build and improve your business. You simply can’t do this if you are chasing accounting errors (because you didn’t have time to do something properly) or working out how best to implement HR now there are a few more people in the office!
Finding new options for accounts payable should be a simple case of searching online but you could also commission your own software if you have a particularly unique set of circumstances to deal with. The more processes you have that fall outside your central business premise, the more services you should be streamlining and outsourcing.
One of the key areas you should look at within your own businesses processes is sales. The conversion funnel should be as streamlined as possible to maximise the number of people visiting your site online and then buying your products or services. This ties in with your SEO as well as the way that you structure your website so it is worth getting advice from a marketing company to do this area real justice.
Finding an Office
Once you have a more efficient way of working, you should find scaling up your business quite easy. Boosting your marketing, bringing on more staff and simply keeping up with your targets will be your next goal and to do that, you will probably need an office – or at least a premises that aren’t in your shed!
As you build your business, you will find that you quickly outgrow spaces. This can make office hunting quite a frustrating process because you need to figure out what you can afford now and balance that with how much room you will want in the future. Don’t be surprised if you need to change offices every 6 months to a year while your business is in its infancy!
So what should you be looking for?
Well for starters, you should look for a space that fits the culture you want to foster. In other words, look for a space where you can work well and be creative on your terms. You should also consider where your office is based. If you are planning to upgrade again in 6 months time, getting a prime spot probably won’t be your priority for this office but do think about how your staff and clients will be able to find you.
Bringing on New Staff
One of the greatest challenges in business is working out who will bring added value to your business and who is just going to coast until something else comes along. There are plenty of people who will work brilliantly for a few months before going off to find the next adventure but there are also people who will do the minimum and never vacate their position for new talent!
Getting the right staff is all about how you present a job and how you interview. You need to know what the person you want to hire will be looking for in a new role and write the job description to appeal to them. Don’t be too surprised if you end up scraping the barrel because your ad just said ‘sales advisor, salary negotiable’ – put some effort in!
Looking for the right character traits is just as important as finding someone with the right skill set. Someone who is motivated and capable of learning can figure out your sales system, but someone who isn’t really interested in learning won’t do the job justice. Figure out which traits are most important for you and then tailor your interview questions to bring out the best in all the candidates.
As your team expands, you should also be looking for a diverse mix of people. This doesn’t just mean race and gender; true diversity incorporates people with all kinds of experiences, from all kinds of backgrounds and with lots of different characteristics. Have a look around your office now – if you can see a lot of similar people then you need to shake things up as soon as possible!
Growing a business takes time and effort and it won’t happen overnight. But while you are getting to grips with new demands, these 3 actions will help to tide you over at least. Bringing new people on will provide you with a new perspective and inject new ideas into the future of the business, getting into your first, second and even third office spaces will create a measure for just how far you have come and streamlining your processes will get the job done faster and smarter.
The future of your business is right in front of you, all you need to do is say ‘go!’