Starting your own business can feel like climbing a mountain – a founder never finishes learning, instead spending each day figuring out how to establish procedures and protocol needed to ensure a long-lasting venture. Once your business is off the ground, the next challenge is scaling your business– helping take it to the next level with strategic growth.
There are a number of common errors and mistakes that your business can learn from.
The concept of scaling your business should be an exciting one, as you begin taking steps towards becoming self-sustaining and profitable.
Hub Australia is home to over 3000 members of all stages – from freelancers and startups to large established international businesses. Hub has compiled some top tips to avoid the roadblocks that may stop businesses from scaling.
1. Hiring the right people (and keeping them!)
When you’re scaling your business quickly, hiring is one of the biggest challenges.
You need someone to assist with your growing workload, but how do you make sure they’re the right person for your business?
Creating a comprehensive and accurate position description will help potential applicants know if they’re suitable for the role, and an in-depth interview process with key stakeholders will get buy-in and opinions from those important to the role.
In terms of retention, the shifting culture of workplaces and values sought by job seekers has shifted the power balance towards acquiring and retaining great talent.
In order to attract great people into your team, and retain the ones you already have, you need to offer more than a competitive salary – culture is everything.
You need to nurture a dynamic and collaborative company culture, making your employees enjoy coming to work, and fostering great relationships.
It may seem like an amount of initial effort, but a positive internal culture is priceless – and reflects well on your external business too.
Get to know your individual team members, provide them opportunities to grow personally and professionally, and show your appreciation for their contributions.
2. Learning to delegate
Most entrepreneurs build and manage their business alone.
They start as a one-person team, in control of everything from decision making to planning to execution. As a result, they find it hard to let go and make the switch to delegating tasks to others.
It can sometimes take a while for business owners to recognise they aren’t necessarily better off doing everything on their own – in fact, it can be detrimental to the business, as well as to health and stress levels.
A big part of scaling your business is accepting that you don’t need to handle everything alone anymore – instead, it’s time to focus on hiring and training others to run day-to-day operations.
You’ll likely need to bring someone in to manage finance and other crucial decision-making processes later on.
As you grow, legal compliance and accountancy become even more difficult and essential, and bringing in experts is key.
3. Raising funds and managing money
In news to nobody, growing a business means finding capital, potentially finding investors, and managing your money in the most productive way possible.
Too often, businesses struggle to get the right funding to jumpstart their growth, or struggle with how to manage the funds they do have.
Although there are many ways to get capital, there are also many other businesses vying for the same funds.
Having a strong business case and processes when you begin pitching is essential – make sure you have everything organised and have anticipated all questions and pain points before you go in to pitch.
Your number one goal is to prove your business is viable and moving in the right direction.
Prospective investors will be ruthless in looking for weaknesses – you will only impress them by being completely prepared and polished.
Hub Australia partners with experts in startup finances to provide small businesses with the support they need in this area, including through our Hub Talks series.
4. Keep upskilling yourself
Although you don’t need to operate every facet of a fast-growing business yourself, knowing plenty about all the different areas of a business will never be a negative.
A common major roadblock for owners scaling their business is that they don’t feel equipped to deal with all the moving parts.
To overcome this, it’s important to continuously learn, whether it’s attending seminars and workshops, joining online communities, or reaching out to mentors and experts who can offer sound advice.