Thinking About Scaling Your Small Business? Access The Steps To Scale Successfully HereSep 12, 2022
Many small business owners think of their business like their very own baby that they nurture and care for to help grow.
And, honestly, I get it!
You went from having an idea to putting it in action and actually opening your business. Looking back at the progress you’ve made should make you incredibly proud!
However, many times, business owners get caught up in the momentum and think the next move is to scale their small business. You’ve basically raised your business like a child, so why wouldn’t you want to see it continue to grow?
Unfortunately, this is where I see far too many business owners make business-killing mistakes. Because the steps to open your business and build its foundation are not the same required steps to scale your small business successfully.
If you’re thinking about scaling your small business, make sure you have everything you need in place first. It'll make things a lot easier along the way!
What Does Your Small Business Need To Have In Place To Scale?
So, what does your small business need to scale successfully? I’m glad you asked! As a financial coach and outsourced CFO for women-owned businesses, my role revolves around helping small businesses succeed.
If the idea of scaling your small business has been on your mind, then it’s definitely something to explore. But that doesn’t mean you should wake up one morning and just go for it. As much as I admire that kind of fire, the fact is you’d be setting yourself up for failure.
Small businesses that successfully scale their growth do so with a steadfast 2-year plan to follow. You’ve put way too much time, energy, and care into your business to just wing its next chapter.
I can hear the “buts” already.
And a common hesitation, “A lot can happen in two years…I don’t want to be held to an outdated plan…”
Here’s the deal, creating your 2-year plan doesn’t mean it’s set in stone. It’s meant to guide and prepare you for the challenges ahead.
Cash Flow Management
Money comes in, money goes out, and the world keeps turning. But did you know that truly managing your cash flow is much more than taking and making payments?
It’s true! In fact, there are proven strategies to improve your cash flow that can even help the money in the bank work for you. Sounds cool, right?
Some aspects of successful cash flow management include:
- Strategizing your payroll
- Leasing equipment instead of buying
- Implementing a collections process
Want more insight into cash flow tips and tricks? Check out my previous blog, Our Favorite Small Business Cash Flow Management Tips.
Do you check the weather forecast before booking flights or making plans to spend time outdoors? It’s smart to do so since bad weather is known to dampen plans.
Did you know that having a sales forecast can help you make better decisions for your business? You may be floating on the high of having the most profitable month ever. But assuming you will maintain high sales can very easily backfire, leaving you without the funds necessary to continue operations.
To properly manage your cash flow so that you can scale your business, you need at least a 13-week sales forecast. Moreover, putting together your sales forecast is not the time to be overly optimistic. Instead, you need to look at the facts and figures. If you operate your business as if more money is coming in than is actually true, you could run your business into the ground.
Did you know that scaling too quickly is one of the most common mistakes business owners make? Download my guide, 6 Mistakes Every Business Owner Needs To Avoid, to learn more about what not to do so your business can succeed!
Yes, you need systems. If you don’t have them in place, then it’s time to take a step back and work on the foundation of your business.
Furthermore, if you’re looking to scale, you need systems that will scale alongside you. Otherwise, you will likely run into numerous issues that will be as annoying as they are costly.
There are several options for cloud-based software that can support your business. Identifying what works for you now and can continue to work for you as your business grows is crucial. Plus, scalable systems allow you to only pay for what you need as you need it.
Take some time to evaluate your operations to see where you can make improvements and do your research to find the right software for you. Remember to keep things simple. It's tempting to go with a software that has all the bells and whistles, but if you're not going to use them, you don't gain anything from it.
As you're working through this, don't forget about training and support for your employees. Implementing new software and systems is stressful for everyone. Planning ahead and communicating openly about what is coming can greatly reduce that stress and improve adoption rates.
Has your business seen continued success through your clients’ raving reviews? While that is awesome for your business and says a lot about you, you shouldn’t rely on word of mouth if you want your business to scale successfully.
In fact, you need a complete marketing plan to take your business to the next level. Why? Because if you want your business to grow, you will need to reach a larger target audience.
However, you can utilize your current customers’ reviews in your marketing. There are several strategies that a marketing expert can help you execute.
The Right Support & Talent
If you’re thinking about scaling, you will need the right support and talent in your corner. The DIY approach may have worked when you first got your business off the ground, but do you remember those long days, restless nights, and just running yourself ragged?
Here’s the thing, you’re an expert in your field. And now that you’re a business owner, your small business requires a lot of your time and energy. If you were to try to become a legal and financial expert, how would you maintain your already full schedule?
As a business owner, it’s important to focus on what you do best and outsource what’s out of your wheelhouse to the respective experts. Some of the experts you’ll likely need on your team may include:
- Business attorney
- Outsourced CFO/Financial Strategist (Hi! That’s me!)
- Marketing specialist
- Business coach
- Business banker
More than just saving time, having the right support can also save you money.
For example, do you know how to get all the tax deductions available to your business? If not, you’re putting a dent into your much needed cash flow to operate your business successfully.
Scale Your Business & Enjoy Success With Harrington Strategic Partners By Your Side
My career has been spent working with different companies in different financial and operations roles. I’ve seen mistakes made and made some myself. But the 20+ years of experience learning on the job and from my own and others’ mistakes has given me an enormous amount of knowledge that I’m now able to pass on to you.
Plus, I’ve seen how the business world treats women and that it can be a humbling place. That’s why I’ve dedicated Harrington Strategic Partners to supporting women-owned businesses. My various roles, achievements, and even my previous errors allow me to help my fellow women start, grow, and scale their businesses to build the lives they’ve dreamed of and deserve.
To help your business thrive how you’ve always dreamed of, get a head start on the competition and download my guide, 6 Mistakes Every Business Owner Needs To Avoid, today!