Launching your own business is an exciting time, but it also requires some advance planning. It’s important to build a business that’s scaleable — growing alongside your business needs so that you continue to offer a high-quality service to your clients and customers. Here are some valuable tips on how to effectively build a scalable business.
1. Establish your HR guidelines and policies
When your business is small and only consists of a few employees, establishing and implementing HR guidelines might seem like an expensive addition to your business budget.
As your business grows, however, it’s important for everyone to know what to expect when it comes to HR requirements within the workplace. One of the ways to improve HR at your business is by choosing an online HR company that can provide on-going support and any relevant documents (e.g. staff handbooks, contracts). This will save you valuable time and effort when it comes to establishing the correct HR policies for your business needs.
It’s all too easy for your business idea to be restricted by inflexible HR guidelines and policies. Make sure you get HR services that grow with your business so you don’t have to worry about the lack of scalability.
2. Keep long-term employees in mind for future leaders
Starting out, you may only have a handful of employees. As your business grows, so does your roster of staff. Keep an eye on your long-term employees. Odds are that some of these members of staff will become fantastic leaders within your business. Look out for the staff members who think proactively and suggest new and innovative ideas for your firm. When the time comes, reward them with a leadership based promotion so that their long service is utilised properly.
If they’ve been with you since the start, they’ll know how you think and how you want the business to grow so you won’t have to worry about too much additional training, plus they’ll be eager to progress within the business. It’s a win-win situation for you all.
3. Business process standardisation
As early as possible, it’s important to establish the best practices of your business and to stick to them. That means knowing exactly how each part of your business is meant to unfold, whether that means liaising with clients extensively first before working on their project or knowing to buy products before they’re requested. Each business has its own unique order of events that when working smoothly, ensures things run effectively for both you and your clients.
Think of it as like a guide to your business with the end result being a happy client or customer. By knowing exactly what path your business follows, and which steps to take, it’s also easy to adapt later on and tweak in order to accommodate a larger, growing business. Overall, it means higher productivity levels, and a smoother process for new employees to jump on board, but it also helps growth substantially. Planning is key.
4. Use instant messaging instead of email
Emails might be easy to send off to clients, but you’re never guaranteed a fast response. All too often, you can be left waiting hours or even days for a reply from an important client. Emails can be lost in an overflowing inbox. A phone call can be ignored. Even when dealing with your own employees, it’s easy for emails to be misplaced or delayed.
Instead, use instant messaging to communicate with your employees and clients. Services like Slack, Skype, or even WhatsApp are perfect for quick contact. By using them, you have a history of what you’ve talked about which can be passed onto other employees, and you get a speedy response. It’s easy to use such services wherever you are too, either via your PC or smartphone.
5. Outsource to freelancers
It’s tempting to try to do everything within your business by yourself. It’s not a good idea though. You’ll burn out, become exhausted, and your business will suffer. Additionally, everyone approaches challenges differently. The more sets of eyes within your business, the more you can see things from different perspectives. Never be afraid to outsource.
By outsourcing certain services to freelancers, you can benefit from a wide range of talent. Each freelancer or contractor that you hire has their own valuable skill-set that you can use to grow your business. It also gives you the opportunity to expand your business practices. If there’s a certain facet of business that your firm doesn’t provide, you can hire a freelancer to provide such services, thereby expanding your business and making it more attractive to your clients.
6. Good cash flow
It’s vital to know where the money is coming from when establishing your business. That continues to be the case when considering expansion plans for your firm. Ensure that banks are keen to lend to you by providing extensive business plans that demonstrate how well your idea will grow. Also, consider appealing to investors. Ensure that your product or services look exciting to investors as well as your customers.
Don’t be afraid to ‘sell’ your idea to them, so that they know why it’s worth investing. Be patient but assertive. Keep an eye on your finances so that money isn’t an issue when growing your business. The cash flow needs to scale alongside your ambitions.
Emma del Torto, managing director of PitstopHR, specialises in cost-effective online HR services.
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