There comes a time in the lifecycle of any business when you will need to scale up.
Judging the opportune moment can be a challenge but, generally speaking, if you’re exceeding profit forecasts each month, receiving more orders than you can reasonably fulfill and your customer list continues to grow, it’s probably time to upscale.
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Hire new employees
This is usually the first step, but it requires a degree of caution. Employees shouldn’t be hired simply for the sake of doing so. Instead, undertake a careful audit of the business and look for areas of strain. You might find that the customer service line is struggling to cope with the volume of calls or that you need more staff to handle deliveries. There might be issues with middle management, or you might need more team leaders. If you’re thinking about expanding, you’re probably well aware of these pressure points already, so hire tactically to ease them. Interview extensively and seek out a small number of highly qualified candidates who understand the vision and goals of the business.
Put more effort into social media
It might not seem like the most pressing concern, but we live in the era of social media. There aren’t many businesses that would argue against the vital importance of a social media presence, and that platform should grow with you. If you’re only active on one network, consider diversifying across multiple platforms. Upload more regularly and, if you haven’t already, start a blog. SEO optimized blogs are an excellent way to draw more traffic (and custom) to your site, generating additional income as you grow. Include social media links on all your business communications and offer value (in the form of informative content and offers) when you post.
Expand your IT network
This will become essential as you hire more employees. At the very least you will need to expand your cloud storage but a faster, more secure network will also be required to accommodate new staff. The bigger the business, the larger the required IT network. You can undertake this expansion yourself or use managed services like those offered by Data Cube Systems. Outsourcing your network to IT professionals is advantageous for a number of reasons, not least because you’ll have more time to concentrate on other areas of the business. Nothing hinders growth more than an old IT network that can’t keep pace.
Don’t neglect existing customers
It’s easy to lose sight of your existing customer base in the rush to expand, but repeat purchases and customer loyalty are two of the most important factors of a successful business. As you grow, put more and more effort into caring for your current customer base and nurturing relationships. This can be as simple as encouraging newsletter signups but you can get more creative. Loyalty schemes work exceptionally well and make customers feel valued. Hyper personalization and custom recommendations help too, and a strong social media presence makes customers feel as though they’re part of the family.