The first question you need to ask yourself before scaling your business is, “Why do you want to scale?” The worksheet is designed to foster answers to the scaling question. Read through the document and answer the questions truthfully.
Do you want to make more money?
Remember, bigger is not always better. You may want to make more profit but scaling your business may not be in your best interest. There are many small businesses make increase net revenue without scaling.
So you want to scale your business
If your goal is to have a lifestyle, travel and operate a seasonal business, then don’t scale your business. Micro food owners who think they’re ready to grow their business must consider what the end game will be. Think seriously about whether you want to scale when you want to start scaling your business and how big do you want to grow.
You may have a tribe who revels in the deliciousness of your product, but do you have the team to scale your business?
Moving to the next level involves more time, effort, money and a solid plan for increasing production and distribution. While this sounds good it will involve a massive amount of work, effort, and commitment.
It’s not secret if you are struggling, so is your competition. If you want to grow, your competition is not far ahead or behind you. It will be difficult, but the difficulty will not be forever. You scale your business one day at a time. Everybody in your business must be onboard, willing to work and commit to the expansion.
Your margins must be there in order to scale.
You will need to increase your employees, equipment, etc. Scale because you want capital to reach and serve more people or invest in better technology is good. Scaling for the sake of scaling is not worth it. If you have one product and you are selling it for $40 online. Your cost is $5, you are making $35 profit per unit. The most you will ever make is $25 and remember, if customers only buy the product once, they may not need it again. It would be different if you have multiple products. So, you’re constantly marketing to get different customers.
When scaling most entrepreneurs are looking for the least amount of money to spend and they should be looking at how they can outspend my competitors. This is how you scale fast. If you do this, you must have the people, resources and money needed to handle increased sales.
Growing your business may be more challenging than it sounds.
5 Step to Scaling Your Business
Step #1: Think Big; Be Realistic
There is no doubt you will need to take bold steps if you want to scale your business, but you must also surround yourself with the right team. Surround yourself with people who are experts in those areas where you are weak. Think big if you are sure you want to grow big.
Step #2: Build an Amazing Public Profile
The reality is we no longer live in a B2B or B2C world. It’s people-to-people (P2P). You are the leader of your tribe, your company, and other people want to know you. Avoid following the “who owns this business” theme. Post basic information on yourself as the founder and leader of the business. If you do not have an “About” page, shame on you. If you do not have a “Contact” page, shame on your again. Don’t hide behind the website, come out into the light.
Step #3: Work on Your Business, Not in It
Most entrepreneurs are focused on the wrong things. Yes, you must do the work, but you also need to focus on the details. The reality if you can’t do it all. And why should you?
This is where the “To Do” list comes in hand and being realistic in creating them is essential. Get clear on what core activities you need to do. Be laser-focused on accomplishing your responsibilities. Delegate and remember the only time you are pulled away from your task is if the house is on fire. This may sound a bit dramatic, but the business is your baby and if you don’t tend to it, the baby will suffer and cease to exist.
Step #4: Establish Key Relationships and Networks
Scaling your business is not possible without building and fostering critical relationships.”
Put another way? It’s who you know. Period.
Did you say you don’t know anyone? Wait, did you say you don’t like to bother people? Are you living in a vacuum? The fastest way to destroy your company and destroy any possibility of growth is to sit in silence.
Get on the phone, send an email, schedule an appointment with members of your support team. You may have started your business as a solopreneur, but you will not grow your business as one. Surround yourself with OQP (Only Quality People).
Step #5: Evaluate Financing Options for Expansion
How do you go from $10 thousand to $50 thousand? You’re going to need some capital and it’s probably not coming from your rich Grandmother. The assumption big business is self-funded is just that, an assumption, a myth.
Whether you want to expand your employee base, buy a storefront or rent a commercial kitchen one of the key elements in taking your small food business to the next level is knowing the kind of capital you need to support that growth.
So, what do you do? Look at all the options. Examine each one and decide which meets the needs of your business.
- Small business loans
Bring in a business partner or two
- Consider family/friend investment
- Angel investors
- Credit cards
- Borrow against your home
- Bank Loan
Do yourself a favor and use these pearls of wisdom to move your business into actions. It all starts when you begin with the end in mind.
Why do you want to scale your business? Bret Morey of Elijah’s Xtreme® Gourmet Sauces can give us some insight on what it takes to grow slow and easy.