Transitioning from a startup to a successful business is an incredibly difficult yet exciting phase within your company. As much as we can attest to the fear and hesitation of launching a business, the uncertainties and reservations you may have for a rapidly growing company is probably more hectic and stressful than you could have ever imagined. With a sudden outburst of customers and employees depending on your every word, you may be faced with a very real, yet honest question: Can you keep up with the madness?
When scaling your business, it is absolutely important that you understand the amount time, money, and sacrifice that will be asked from you each and everyday. Unlike the initial startup phrase where your objectives were to create and promote your products for a heavily dense market, your sites and goals should now be on the growth and development of your company. Think about this outside of the product. While you of course want to improve upon your products and services, you need to take into consideration how you can change the various day-to-day logistics that can meet both the demands of your customers as well as your employees. Understanding those types of hurdles, while chaotic, can help you establish a strong and viable plan for the future.
To start, it is always good to get a holistic view of your business plan, especially if you are looking to expand outside the scopes of a startup. While it may seem like you are taking a few steps back, you have to remind yourself that those two steps backwards will only lead to those ten steps forward. To help you with this, start by revisiting and revising your business plan. Now I know what many of you are thinking, why should we look at something we already know. Well, in order to progress, you have to make sure that you are constantly challenging yourself. What your goals were two-months-in are completely different from what your goals are three-years into your business. Reflecting and internalizing on your business plan is something that can keep up the momentum and drive of your company. To do this successfully, start by reevaluating your new overarching goals. These goals will allow you to put various objectives in perspective so that you can move forward with your company. In addition, this reflective process will also allow you to weed out any elements that have been less dynamic and replace with new and exciting projects.
Outside of your business plan, you also want to make sure you are evaluating your finances. Having a deeper understanding of your company’s revenue, expenses, and overall net profile can dictate when your business can blossom. For many startups, their burn rate of expenses can ultimately lead to a stagnation process, regardless of how well the company is doing. To prevent that and move forward, evaluate and internalize those figures. In addition, ask yourself how much you need in order to expand on a specific product or a specific location. Having these concrete numbers will give you a tangible idea of whether or not your business is ready to grow.
Once you have the figures down, try and come up with a strong strategy plan for future goals and projects. While this may sound similar to your revised business plan, you want to make sure that your team and your departments are well aware of these new changes. Take for example Apple Inc. Just because they were able to create the iPod did not mean they have accomplished their goals. Instead plans for the iPhone, iPad, and Mac books continue to change year after year to this day. Just like Apple Inc., you want to make sure that your plans and funding for the future are already set in place.
Last but not least, you want to of course do research on the market. Any business leader can attest that the way they were able to build their business was not just having a good product, but also having multiple services that can hit the wants and needs of the general public. With your business, you want to make sure you are finding various ways in which you can expand beyond your market. Having these options can not only deliver your company with strong sales, but also provide your business with the means to go beyond the startup life.