You’ve pursued your dream and started your own business. You worked hard and tirelessly, giving up weekends and evenings that could have been spent with family and friends. All your work has paid off and your business is booming. But how do you know when it’s time to take the next step and scale your business?
Are you working more than 16 hours a day to meet the needs of your current clients? Are you missing out on opportunities to find new clients? Yes answers to both of these probably means you have too much business for brilliant you. Be reflective of your practices and get excited. It’s time to start considering scaling your business.
1. Hire a trusted, recommended office manager with accounting skills.
I was told when I first started from one of my mentors to hire people in areas that are not my strong point. One of my first hires was a freelancer CPA who managed my taxes, PnL, rates, audit per client and expenses. Best hire. I could do the basics, but he took it to an entirely new level and was one of the first people that told me I needed to scale my business immediately to be more profitable and had the data to prove it. Releasing all clerical work, expenses, invoicing, and contracts, freed up an enormous amount of time. Trust me. It was scary, but worth it.
2. Don’t be afraid to hire people who work internationally or remotely.
I have a fantastic team member who is temporarily living in Bangkok, who I trust with every one of my clients and we have never met in person. We had Skype calls as interviews and tested out the waters to see if it would work. One year later, she is growing my business on social media, has worked with all of my clients projects, and has opened my eyes to new opportunities to present to my clients.
3. Don’t back down on your rates.
You know your worth. You know your value. Be confident. Business is business. There are times for negotiating in other aspects of business, but I have learned that if you devalue your worth up front, you will never gain it back with your clients. There is always another client out there who will not squabble or nickel and dime you. It is ok to turn down business because with the time you would have spent on that client who doesn’t value your work, you can find another client who does.
4. Move out of your home office.
While many entrepreneurs don’t have a storefront when they start their business, there are alternatives. A popular trend now is working in co-working spaces that offers office and meeting space. You can save money on rent while still having a pleasant work and meeting space for clients. The money saved can give you more flexibility with new hires. You will be working alongside other businesses and can collaborate on partnership ideas or promotions. Business is still hinges on who you know, so use your office space as an opportunity to create strong, lasting connections.
5. Allocate a portion of your earnings to education and seminars.
This can seem tough when it feels like every dollar counts right now, but you need to invest in yourself. Travel to a conference or two to keep updated on the latest industry trends as well as connect with possible clients. Invest in yourself now to grow your confidence, especially when it comes to closing that deal!
When scaling your business envision what you want your business to look like in 2 years. Be realistic about goals, while still finding creative solutions for growth. Be mindful of your initial hires and try to build a team that shares your vision. The hard part? Let them do their jobs.
Trust your hires. You made the choices and forged the path that brought your business to this exciting next phase of its journey. With confidence in yourself and your idea, a strong team, and creative outlook, scaling your business is possible. Be patient, take calculated risks, and invest in yourself. Keep doing all the good, smart things that brought you to this question and the rest will fall into place.