For many small business owners, there’s a strong fixation on growth, but with constant growth comes a big problem: It takes a lot of resources to sustain it. It also adds more work and complexity to your business. This is why it's critical for business owners to not only focus on growth, but also on scaling their business.
Scalability is all about having the capacity and capability to support the exponential growth of a business. So, if you’re planning on scaling, here are some things to consider before you do.
When to Scale
As you plan to scale up your business, the first thing to know is whether it is the right time for you to do so. Closely evaluate your business to see where it stands today.
There is no simple answer to the question of when you should start working on scaling your business. However, answering certain self-assessing questions will help you decide if it is the right time to scale or not. Have you been surpassing previous goals or have a healthy customer traction? Does your company have a strong cash flow and repeatable sales? Saying yes to these questions is a sign that your company should consider scaling. Overall, your plan for your company’s growth should be driven by a real need for scale due to demand, and should be customized to your goals, as pointed out by Business Insider.
Scaling is achieved by increasing revenue without incurring significant costs – but getting to that point doesn’t come for free. It takes money to make money, and as such, securing funding is a prerequisite for most small businesses to scale. So, how will you find the money to invest for your business’ growth?
One way is through business loans. And as a small business owner, there are several types of business loans you can apply for. To easily secure a business loan, be sure to show lenders your strategic roadmap and how your business will be able to grow to scale, with measurable goals tied to profit and revenue along the way. However, as mentioned in ‘Everything You Need to Know About Small Business Loan Fees’, there are different fees that can inflate the cost of your loan. So, it’s good for you to not only focus on which loan gives the best rate, but also on the fees that come along with them. Thinking of getting a loan now? Check your eligibility, and apply now with us at Working Capital to find the right lender for you.
As a small business owner, you’ve likely structured your business as a sole proprietorship or partnership, and while these have their own benefits, you might have to reconsider your legal structure when growing your business.
Other structures are limited liability company (LLC), corporation, and cooperative. An LLC is a structure that combines the characteristics of a corporation with those of a partnership or sole proprietorship. ZenBusiness details the main difference between an LLC and a sole proprietorship, which has to do with the separation between personal and business assets. As you scale up, forming an LLC might be a good choice since it enables small business owners to gain the limited liability protection similar to that offered by corporations, but without the cost and complexity that corporations bring. But if you’re looking to get the strongest protection as an owner, you might want to structure your business as a corporation. A corporation gives the highest protection to business owners, but the cost to form it is higher than other structures. Also, unlike sole proprietors, partnerships, and LLCs, corporations pay income tax on their profits.
A strong and healthy company culture does not only entice the best candidates and help retain top talent, but it also improves the level of productivity and performance in the whole organization. But as you scale and get more people to join your team, Forbes shares that it can be challenging to maintain a healthy company culture.
As the business owner, you need to take measures to ensure that company culture grows alongside your company. There are many ways to bring the focus back to company culture, and make sure that your team is happy and driven to come to work everyday. One way is to ensure that everyone’s opinion is heard and considered. You may do this by holding company-wide meetings where every member of the organization can have a voice.