There is little doubt that we're currently experiencing a boom time for British entrepreneurs. Self-employment and SME launches are at an all-time high, with more than 600,000 businesses starting up in 2015 alone. While that figure is undoubtedly impressive, what's less inspiring is that during the course of the same year, the number of start-ups going out of business increased by just over nine percent. So what can you do to make sure that your vibrant little enterprise becomes one of the successes - not just surviving, but scaling up in the coming years?
In my experience, with PeoplePerHour, scaling a business isn't easy. Even with an amazing concept that thrives in the short-term, finding ways to grow can be difficult; you don't just need to find a new angle and a new audience; you need to find the right people to deliver your new goals; the right product or service to keep new customers coming and existing customers coming back for more; then you need the infrastructure and the funds to implement all of this. So, how do you do it?
These are our top tips for successful scaling.
- Make-Do and Improvise. When growing a business, just like starting a business, it's tempting to go all-in: you have your idea and you're going to throw everything you can at it to make it work. This is completely logical and understandable; however, there is a significant difference between planning and providing sensible implementation techniques, and throwing away good money. When you're trying to scale up, you do need to have a strong infrastructure in place, but rather than investing heavily in new tech, new software, new equipment, or new people, do what you can with what you've got, then make the investment once you've had some indication that your new venture could be successful. While you undoubtedly will need new resources if the project takes off, until that point finding the things that you think you'll need in the long-term can be time-hungry and expensive.
Scaling - the annual growth of plus twenty percent - might be a dream for many small businesses, but it is an achievable one. The key is to work sensibly, practically, and methodically, without letting extraneous variables take control.