No one wants to be a start-up forever and there will come a time when you decide you’re ready to graduate from the little league. However, doing this successfully can be as tricky as starting out in the first place. After all, you don’t want to throw away what you’ve already achieved by growing too big, too fast.
Look at your team
By now you should know your team like the back of your hand. So be realistic about how each member works best and what skills don’t come so naturally.
Whereas in the beginning it is likely that everyone would muck in with a little of everything, as your company grows rolls are likely to become more defined. Make sure at the beginning that people are placed in positions that complement their strengths in order to get the best from them in the long run.
Don’t get side-tracked
Once you’ve decided it’s time to grow, it can be all too easy to get caught up in the process of doing this and to lose sight of your key business objectives. To make sure that this doesn’t happen and you stay on track, set achievable goals and regularly review progress.
Make these targets demanding but achievable – you want to get the most out of your team but remember to be realistic. Set yourself up to win.
Being picky pays
When you’re starting out and building your reputation it can be hard to say no to work and easy to cut deals in return for a great recommendation or portfolio piece. After all, word of mouth is a powerful tool and getting your name out there with smaller clients could help to entice further and larger wins in the future. However, in the long run this is not a viable plan and there will come a time when you need to start evaluating the worth of your clients.
Once you are up and running successfully, take a look at the type of work you do. Evaluate what you do best, what you enjoy doing and what gives you the best return, then focus on these core areas of strength.
Can you franchise?
This is obviously dependent on your trade, but if you find that your brand has gathered a loyal fan base yet growth is too difficult to manage alone, this could be a viable option. Selling packaged parts of your brand and expertise to inspired individuals wanting to start their own business gives the advantages of growth without the hassle of staff management.
However, if you decide to go down this route, do make sure that you seek legal advice first in order to avoid simply encouraging competition.
Has your company recently undergone serious growth to come out of the start-up phase? Or maybe this is something you’re considering for the future? We’d love to hear your thoughts and concerns about how you achieved this or what scares you the most about making this jump.