Scaling a business is certainly an exciting prospect, but it can also be a daunting process if you, your team and your business operations are not prepared for accelerated growth. Here we have asked a range of experts for their essential considerations for scaling a business to support you on your growth journey.
Get your finances in order
Ultimately, scaling your business requires consistent cash flow. Co-author of “Dare to Scale” Evan Le Clus recommends: “To start with, make sure you know exactly how much cash is in your bank account every single day. Whether you personally log into your banking portal, your accountant updates your cloud software and you see it on your phone or you have someone accountable to get you that number every day, diligently know your bank balance every day.”
He adds: “you need to be keenly aware of how cash flows through your business and how to get it unstuck. There are several tips to follow like: Optimise your selling prices and know your product profitability; Study your profit and loss account each month (better yet examine a 6-month side-by-side report to spot trends) to identify cash leaks; Keep a very sharp eye on your receivables and have clear accountability set within your teams for cash collection. When it is time to grow you will know what can be reinvested into your business and keep the scaling up machine running at optimal levels.”
Consider your changing insurance requirements
As your business grows, so do the potential risks to your people, clients and physical property. “It is essential you adapt your insurance policies to account for your changing business requirements. For example, as soon as you employ a single person you are then legally required to hold at least £5 million worth of Employers’ Liability insurance.” says Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO of business insurance provider Tapoly.
“Similarly, scaling your business and hiring new employees might mean you are now handling more customer and employee data, or perhaps you are now more reliant on technology if you are accessing talent from across the country or embedding hybrid working. Here you should consider Cyber Insurance to protect your business from accidental data breaches, passing on viruses to customers or the hacking of customer data.”
“If you scale and decide to open to new premises for the first time, you should consider Public Liability insurance if you are hoping to welcome clients and customers onsite. Whatever your changing circumstance, consult your broker or insurance provider to see how these changes might impact your policy. Not doing so could render it invalid should the worst occur.” she adds.
Embrace technology, but have a strategy
Technology is certainly your friend when it comes to growing a business. It can automate processes, help you keep in touch with remote colleagues and store data and make it accessible across different devices and locations. However, to really be able to make the most of technology, it needs to be underpinned by a solid strategy, recommends Aidan Dunphy, Principal Consultant at Samepage.
“Building up a strong digital core is very important, but this should be alongside effectively managing change for people at all levels, actioning any operational changes and testing early and frequently. The focus should be on long-term outcomes and supporting the digital transformation initiatives rather than just adding in new kinds of technology because it is what you see other scaling businesses do. What you need to build in is unique to your business and industry.” adds Aidan.
Build a support network
As Warsha Joshi, co-author of “Dare to Scale” points out, most entrepreneurs are familiar with the feeling of being lonely at the top and a sense of all eyes on you with people expecting you to have all the answers.
Entrepreneurs need a support system, argues Warsha. “This provides a safe place where they can brainstorm, energise, inspire and be inspired. A support ecosystem to gain fresh and different views on challenges faced and how they are resolved. A resource of like-minded business people who ‘walk the talk’ and help each other innovate, be a friend to the business, hold you accountable and help you with the bigger picture.”
“There are three broad support systems to consider. Engage an experienced business coach, work with a business mentor who has truly ‘been there and done that’ or join a premium business mastermind to leverage the collective experience. Each has its place but do consider at least one of them if not all. After all, business is a team sport.” she adds.
Don’t forgo your values
Growing and scaling a business should never be at the expense of your values, points out Neil Gaught, organizational development consultant and co-founder of Single Organizing Idea.
“We have seen countless examples of businesses growing rapidly, only to lose their fundamental values in favour of financial gain. The very values they purport to stand for in their marketing broadcasts to the world are sadly lacking when it comes to how they treat their people, their suppliers, their communities and the environment. As you expand, the values you embody in rhetoric and actions should continue to reflect how you do business day-to-day. Never lose sight of your core, your Single Organizing Idea, from which everything else should flow,” he adds.
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