4 Expert Tips For Quickly Scaling A Business That’s Gaining Momentum
Achieving the first important growth milestone with your company is an amazing experience, but it also has the potential to make you feel a little anxious at times. When growth is initially modest but then suddenly explodes into a large number of new clients, many first-time business owners find themselves in a position in which they are unsure of what steps to do next.
There are a lot of companies that don’t make the most of the momentum they’ve built up (or have been given).
Successful scaling is an art, and if you’ve never done it before, there will be many things for you to pick up along the road that you can use to future scaling efforts.
It’s possible that you’re attempting to do everything on your own, which is leading to you working too many hours and becoming exhausted.
It’s possible that you recruited too many or too few people to work for you.
It’s possible that the tools and procedures you developed to deal with a more manageable size of business are beginning to fail under the pressure of serving a larger number of customers.
In any event, as your company grows, you will almost definitely find that certain aspects of the way you conduct business will require modification.
Even with outstanding fundamentals, just 28 percent of the high-growth companies that were examined by McKinsey were finally able to exceed $100 million in yearly revenue. It is difficult to expand a large organisation, as McKinsey notes, as it is difficult to build a large corporation.
I reached out to a few seasoned business owners who have grown their own companies to get their perspective on the situation in the hopes that it might provide some further light on how to traverse the hard growth pains that are now being experienced. This is what they had to say about it:
1. Be Yourself
Although the manner in which you do business could shift slightly, the values on which you based the establishment of your firm ought not to. If you lose your authenticity, you will lose your core customers because they want you, not some idealised vision of what you and your company look like to them. If you lose your authenticity, you will lose your core customers. Do not get into the trap of believing that you have to behave in a corporate manner simply because your operation is more substantial.
“Stop trying to be the version of you that you think your clients want you to be,” says Stacy Havener, founder and CEO of Havener Capital Partners LLC. “Stop saying what you think people want to hear—say what’s in your heart instead.
You’re going to be blown away by the community you found and overcome by the love that they have for you.
In return, you will be of incalculable assistance to them, and you will continue to be of assistance to them on an ongoing basis.
Your clients will most likely become aware, at some point in the future, that your actions do not correspond with the principles that guide you as a company if you do not demonstrate authenticity in your efforts to represent who you are as a business. Throughout the process of your company’s growth, you should make it a priority to maintain your identity and to continue to advocate for policies and procedures that further the company’s overall objective.
2. Invest Heavily Into Your People
People are the most important factor in the success of any firm. When you’re working to scale your business quickly, it will help you get a long way if you have a solid team and put a lot of emphasis on your customers. If your team is strong and cares about the company’s ideals as well as each other, it will be reflected in the care that each member of the team displays towards the firm.
“From mentoring employees to choosing the right customers, people are the most important part of your business,” states Andy Klump, CEO of Clean Energy Associates (CEA).
“It is an absolute necessity to devote a large amount of effort to the recruitment of A-players at an early stage.”
Having a crystal clear purpose, goal, and set of values, as well as consistently reinforcing those with the team, has been extremely beneficial to CEA as we have grown.
Studies have revealed that many employees now switch employment every three to five years, which can be a relatively disruptive new reality for businesses if they lose a key player in an essential function at their organisation. If you offer appealing incentives to your staff to remain with the company, your consumers will typically remain loyal for a longer period of time.
Whether you like it or not, you need to take into consideration more than only the members of your staff as well as your clients.
Getting oneself involved with the correct kind of mentorship is also important. “In the instance of CEA,” adds Klump, “I raised my staff from ten to fifty team members in three years because I was assisting one of my core customers in China in resolving a difficult business problem.” “He served as a mentor to me and assisted CEA in growing in many different ways, which was beneficial to both of our businesses.”
Take care to deliberate over the people whose opinions, both within and outside of the room, have the potential to shape the future of your company. This is of much more significance when you work to expand your business.
3. Utilise Technology Wisely
Do you make use of technology to reduce the amount of labour you have to do? If this is not the case, you will have a very difficult time scaling at all.
According to Jess Larsen, chairman and managing director of Greystoke Investments, he had the opportunity to ask John Pestana, cofounder of Omniture, about scale on their podcast, Innovation & Leadership, and that Pestana’s response was straightforward. Jess Larsen says that Pestana’s advice was straightforward. “I had the opportunity to ask John Pestana about scale on our podcast, Innovation & Leadership.” “He noted that while they were successful, they were putting in an enormous amount of labour. They had been constructing websites.”
One day, a good friend paid a visit to the workplace, and while he was there, he boasted to everyone that his business was successful even when he wasn’t there to oversee it. John made the choice that this was what he wanted, and the rest of the team used that decision as their compass point as they built Omniture.
Technology is a growth driver for companies both big and small. As small businesses scale, they’ve seen significant returns from social media platforms like Facebook. Larger businesses can use customer relationship management tools, product information feeds and supply chain management software to streamline their processes.
Larsen admires the way in which Omniture was able to scale their business by utilising technology. “They developed the company so that it not only had something better to offer, but something that was truly unique to offer as well—and it would allow individuals to join up online even when his crew was not directly present.”
Additionally, the system would be able to provide the service to an increasing number of individuals without the need to recruit additional personnel at a linear rate.
Omniture was able to grow its revenue so much faster than its expenses that they eventually sold the company to Adobe for $1.8 billion in 2009. This was made possible, in part, because the company embraced technology to scale their business without putting senior management in a position where they would have to overwork themselves.
4. Put Experience First
“No matter what, focus on the experience. Remember that what you offer to the world is an experience. It’s the one thing that can’t be commoditised, whether your company makes a great product or you are serving people,” says Ben Laws, co-founder and CEO of Evexia Wealth, investment management and wealth coaching company.
People do not purchase Tom’s shoes, shop at Walmart, or eat at Chick-fil-A just because these are the things that are closest to them or most convenient for them. They typically do it because of the experience, which presents one of the greatest obstacles when developing a business: how to keep employees with the necessary level of experience as the company expands.
Laws continues by saying that “experience is what makes people come back for more.” If you let the proper people and processes at your firm provide a consistent experience for your customers, you will already be scaling.
Consider the factors that set your company unique from others. Your clients should have a clear idea of what sets you apart and what makes you special; this shouldn’t alter as you scale.
Growing a firm to a larger scale presents its own set of unique challenges, but obtaining sound guidance can make the process simpler. Make sure that you are putting these pointers into action in order to capitalise on your current momentum and steer your firm towards a prosperous future.
5 Top Advice for Growing Your Online Business Abroad
When it comes to expanding their business internationally, e-commerce enterprises of any size confront the same challenges. In spite of the obstacles, expanding internationally is the most effective strategy for establishing your e-commerce brand as well as increasing your market share and earnings over the long term. A couple of the advantages are as follows:
- Reduces risk – your business will be more resistant to economic slumps and swings if you operate your company in a number of different marketplaces at the same time
- Increases talent pool – adding employees that are familiar with global markets will make it easier to scale locally and will give your workforce a greater variety of perspectives, ideas, and characteristics.
- Extends inventory – you can save money on inventory, production, and product development by bringing your “sunset” products to new markets. This will allow you to sell more of those products over a longer period of time.
- Levels sales cycles – different countries have different purchasing and holiday seasons. An international calendar evens out your sales cycles for more consistent cash flow.
- Provides resources – if you want to successfully scale your business to a global level, entering new markets may need you to adopt new financial strategies, talent acquisition practises, and technological solutions.
- Increases credibility – Your company’s credibility will increase in both the domestic and the international markets as a result of your expansion into abroad markets.
However, expanding internationally is not a simple task. You need to make sure that your company and your staff are well prepared; fortunately, Seller’s Choice has identified five of the most helpful ideas to assist you in doing just that.
1. Comprehensive market research
Although the Australian market is very large, it is not the only market in the globe. In spite of its size, it has the potential to be the most volatile and inconsistent market, which can cause your products and brands to fall behind the competition. When trying to reach a new audience and reduce the risks connected with operating in the Australian market, expanding worldwide is frequently the most effective strategy.
Canada, Mexico, Europe, and Japan are the markets that make the most sense to penetrate first. They have the lowest possible rates of importing and exporting, as well as taxes and customs. They also have audiences that are most comparable to those in the United States, which means that your market research wouldn’t need to be as in-depth.
You might also give some thought to expanding into a number of other less competitive markets that are experiencing rapid expansion.
But how can you tell if this particular market is a good fit for your company? How do you determine which nation is best for you?
You need to conduct intensive and all-encompassing market research. The following are some approaches that can be taken to carry out research on a global scale:
- Make sure there is a market for what you’re offering in the country you’re thinking about. Is there a target demographic for it? How many people are in the audience currently? You can learn this by conducting physical surveys in the country, conducting web campaigns and capturing forms online, and conducting a modest test campaign in that area.
- Consider the infrastructure. You want to ensure that the country has accommodations that you’re used to, like roads, running water, and real estate. Even though you’re an online business, this infrastructure can be necessary for product delivery and target marketing.
- Conduct research on the companies that compete with you in that market. Who exactly makes up the majority of their intended customer base? What adjustments do they make to their products so that they can compete in that market? What can you take out from their victories as well as their defeats? Participating in international eCommerce conferences is a fantastic way to acquire additional knowledge regarding the competitive landscape.
- Evaluate awareness level. How much time and resources would you need to invest in order to educate this market about your product? When launching a brand-new product onto the market, you will almost certainly find that increasing customer awareness requires a significant amount of your time. However, this also means that you will be the first person to enter that market, which can establish you as the industry leader and make you the go-to resource. Think about how much time and money you will have to spend on your education and how much you will be able to devote to it.
The potential for expansion in relation to resources, talent, and need should be taken into consideration while selecting the new country or market.
You shouldn’t just “wing it” when you go into the situation. One of the most significant errors that businesses may make is expanding their operations too rapidly or too far. Even if every country in the globe could make use of your product, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to move up more than a dozen positions all at once. Even the most well-known corporations are unable to grow their operations to more than one or two nations simultaneously.
Prepare your plan of action while maintaining a calm and collected mindset.
In addition to this, you need to strategize depending on culture. Do not make the assumption that just because a strategy is successful in the United States that it will also be successful in other nations. It is important not to disregard the cultural distinctions that shape each market.
These cultural differences will have an effect on a variety of business decisions, including price, advertising, shipping, payment, production, and packaging. You will need to devise a plan and get yourself ready for these nuances.
If you are well-prepared, you will be able to face challenges head-on and emerge on the other side with grace and a profit. If you prepare an official plan outline in advance, it may turn out to be a rich vein of opportunity for you.
You require a technique that can answer the following questions effectively:
- How will our goods be governed and taxed in this nation? How will we adequately manage legality?
- How much money do we require?
- How will we raise money?
- How will we need to modify our advertising and products to fit this culture?
- How are we going to discover business partners and talent?
You will have to cultivate a pool of talented individuals in the target market that you are expanding into. They can teach your company about the culture and assist it adjust to it while also giving you with a marketing strategy that is tailored to the local level.
The establishment of a local staff assists in the building of bridges and the overcoming of cultural barriers, which enables your brand to more closely relate to its new market.
You will want to engage a variety of skilled individuals from that nation or market, including the following:
- Product developer/consultant
You could also think about teaming up with a distributor in a different country. Distributors will buy your products at a wholesale price and then sell them in their own retail shops if you agree to sell them to them. You provide them the reins and give them permission to handle reselling and making profits in that country on their own.
Because you will lose some control, it is imperative that you locate the ideal distributor to carry out the delivery of your brand’s products. Trade clubs and foreign chambers of commerce are two of the best places to look for overseas business partners and distributors. Before entering into a partnership, it is essential to investigate the potential partner thoroughly and check their references.
4. Production and marketing systems
You want to make sure that every step of the process is as streamlined and automated as it can be before the growth.
With production, you want to ensure packaging and labelling are by the regulations of your new market. With shipping, you need to determine how you’ll get goods overseas and how you’ll keep track of packages. With marketing, you want to create a solid online and content plan to gain impressions in your new market.
In the end, the number of operational systems that you have established in the United States will determine how simple it will be for you to implement those same systems in other countries.
It is considerably simpler to train people to use systems in other countries than it is to construct those systems.
Figuring out how to advertise to a new audience in a different country is one of the most difficult aspects of expanding a business on a worldwide scale.
Seller’s Choice can help. We take your e-commerce store from a business to a brand. We’ll use market research to determine the types of content and advertisements your international markets want to see.
Financing is required prior to any foreign expansion. When you expand internationally, you give yourself the opportunity to explore new funding opportunities, which in turn can assist your company as a whole flourish.
It can be frightening to move money internationally, especially if you’re a small company. You need to feel you can trust your partners, your funders, and your transfer software.
You want to be sure that you are taking care of your profits, regardless of the size of your eCommerce firm. You need to devise a plan for your finances that will make cash accessible for usage, as well as guarantee the safety and security of the movement of those funds both domestically and internationally.
That’s where our partner OFX can assist with safe buying, selling, and trading globally. Learn more about how they work with small to medium-sized online businesses here.
Have you considered expanding your business into other countries? Utilizing in-depth market research, an official strategy, a collection of local talent, systematised processes, and a robust funding strategy are all necessary components to achieve expansion on an international scale.
Your next ample chance lies in the expansion of your operations internationally. Is your online store ready to expand into international markets?