Fears of scaling a business
Many business owners stay small because they either do not know how to scale or are afraid to scale. Through all the businesses Bailey Dean has worked with we regularly hear the same issues being raised as to why business owners do not scale their businesses, they are -
Continuing to work in the day-to-day operations
Many business owners remain working in the day-to-day of the business rather than spending time working on the business. There are also many examples of business owners who have grown their businesses then chosen to go and work back on the ‘shop floor’ because this is why they started the business. However, it is important to make an understanding before choosing to scale of why you want to scale, it is a very personal decision and not one that others should influence you on.
Once the business reaches around 8–12 employee levels you need to be able to remove yourself as the business developing leaders ‘behind’ you. This means finding ways to delegate even the things you think only you can do in the business – or that no one else could do better.
Generating leads of sufficient quality
Generating leads is cited as one of the key challenges in scaling up. Having and executing a repeatable and reliable way of generating leads is a key requirement of a sustainable business. Before you start to scale your business you want to be in a position of buying customers, that is having the knowledge that for every X you spend you gain 1 customer. Once you are at this stage it becomes a task of refining to reduce X down to the smallest number possible.
A recent study by Marketo showed that companies with solid lead-generation systems achieved at least 133% more revenue than enterprises that didn’t have good techniques in place.
Having the right staff in place to support growth
Unless you have the right staff in place it is incredibly hard to grow or scale. The staff has always been a challenge for small and medium-sized businesses competing for talent with bigger names quite often a small business does not think that they can compete with a company paying a much higher salary so will leave the recruitment until they need someone urgently, it is always better to recruit someone late rather than wrong, however, if you do not recruit early enough you may not have that option.
Getting staff to think, act and take responsibility
Small business owners often believe that they should be seen to be doing everything from the front however what you should be doing is giving control to your team so that they can become your next leaders however you cannot just pass on a job and then walk away you need to be in a position where the future leaders are trained and supported within the organisation before given the responsibility to lead the business and teams.
Keeping on track with the plan
We have all too often walked into a meeting with a new business and asked them the opening question of where they want to be in three years. We have heard all answers, I want to be turning over £100,000 to I want to sell my business for £10,000,000. Both are extremely achievable however what they both need is a detailed plan of action that has actionable steps to outline the investment and growth needed.
While there are many spreadsheet millionaires, this is the easy part, the hard part comes when you try to implement the plan to action which is why it needs to be reviewed and adjusted regularly as inevitably life gets in the way, sales do not stick, there is an economic downturn or any other unexpected situations.
Reviews give you the chance to get yourself back on track and ensure you and your business stay accountable, no plan should be set in stone though they should only ever be used as a guide, if you have a better-than-expected year they should be able to flex up as well as down.
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