Taking The Elevator To The Next Level
There is no denying that a starting a business is a challenge. First, you have the initial stages of coming up with an idea, developing the idea, writing a business plan, getting funds and then launching. Then you have to do everything you can to survive the dreaded first year, which means pinching pennies, working long hours, putting all you have back into the business, learning how to market better and how to harness the power of social media; all of which is exhausting and complex.
Unfortunately, though, this only half of the battle – possibly even less than half – and all of the business basics you learned will fall away and land into the category of ‘irrelevant.’ That is because taking your business to the next level, seeing it grow and ensuring it succeeds takes a whole new set of skills, a new level of understanding and an entirely renewed determination.
You may have to make tweaks to your business plan, approach your investors, update your goals, overcome new fears, shoulder new pressures, understand additional operational requirements, take on unforeseen requirements and ensure you do all of these seamlessly.
But don’t panic just yet. Reach for the brown-paper bag and breath. We have compiled a list of ways in which you can successfully stride into the realm of successful businesses, steering your way through the first two years and beyond the five-year mark. So sit back, pull out a pen, get some paper and take as many notes as you can (or just bookmark this page, whatever is easier).
It Is Time To Analyse Your Position
There is no point even considering how to advance without knowing where you have come from and where you currently are. So take the time to assess your business, and as much about your business as you can. Check it against your original business plan and see if you are where you expected. Scrutinize your revenue. Make sure you are saving where you can and investing where you should be. Is the team you started with the right team to help you move forward. Would it be wise to bring on more experienced people to head up operations, sales, marketing, finance etc? Is your IT team up to scratch. Do you have the capacity to ensure your business’s cyber security can cope with increased demands and sensitive data? Does your financial forecast make sense? All of this will help you understand what direction you need to take when it comes to expanding, so the more you scrutinize and the more you look at the details, the easier it will be to align your priorities and make the move.
Build On A Solid Foundation
We need to tell you something right now; the honeymoon period is done and dusted, the excitement has faded and you are now going to have to get really stuck in. You are going to need to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty. The first year of operations you had a lot of adrenaline to carry you through. Not anymore. As such, you are going to need the relationships you established in your first year more than ever. So before you go out and focus all your attention on getting new business, new clients and new customers, focus on keeping your current ones. Know what will keep them coming back. Maybe give loyalty points, or hold events. These people have got you this far, and they are your best chance of getting you to the next stage. Once you have established this foundation of revenue and support, you will be able to successfully build on it.
It’s Time To Adapt
Longevity can only be secured if you are able to adapt to new situations and adapt quickly. It could be that you adapt your service, amend your products, knowing how the environment and landscape may change because it will. Economies are turbulent and politics is unpredictable, and that means being able to address the changes, and having the relationships in place that will allow you to adapt too. It means having the ability to upscale and downsize quickly, which means being able to outsource and having relationships with different staffing agencies. It means building an empathetic bond with suppliers so that they won’t cut you when orders dry up and will be able to focus on your when the orders fly in. Businesses go through troughs and peaks, and being able to survive the former and enjoy the latter is imperative to your success.