Small businesses can be a challenge; they are stressful, tons of hard work and risky. A lot of small businesses fail within the first few years, and most of them stay small forever.
So, how do you make a small business blossom into a huge booming corporation? If you combine all your hard work with these tips you’ll be on your way.
Timing: It’s Kind of Everything
Hard work is key, in fact, building a business without hard work is entirely impossible, so good timing is a great thing to have. When you start growing your business you need to make sure that your product is in the right market at the right time. If it’s not, you’re going to have to wait (which can be costly, and come on, everyone hates waiting), or readjust your product to fit the market’s needs.
Systems: They Are Boring, but They Work
Remember that economics teacher from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off? He’s a fan of systems. It’s kind of dull nitty gritty stuff, but we swear, it’ll pay off. Starting a business requires careful planning and a great deal of trial and error in the early stages. But working toward a system that is consistently implemented through every process is vital to healthy growth. As you grow you’ll be glad you have a system in place.
A solid system includes a procedure for everything, from bringing in a new employee to managing your task schedules. It’s important for you and your investors to have a routine and method that you stick to from beginning to end.
Scalability: Not What Spiderman Does to Skyscrapers
Some small businesses are scalable and some aren’t. Businesses that have high labor costs and low support needs are less scalable than a start up that only has a one time development cost before it can provide again and again.
That being said, the world needs small businesses that provide services and talent, even if they aren’t the jewel of an investor’s eye. Echo-Factory, your favorite bakery and your hair salon wouldn’t exist if only scalable companies were around. However, scalability is among the most attractive qualities to have as a small business looking to grow. To get there, you should be as close to full automated as possible.
Think robots, the non-evil kind.
Technology: I Hear the Internet Is on Computers these Days.
Take advantage of technology. In a time where everyone is wireless and online presence can be as expensive or inexpensive as you want it doesn’t make sense not to utilize it.
Plus, managing your business systems, goals, employees and tasks is easily achievable with any range of apps or programs. Find what works for you, and then connect your business model and the application of accessible technologies. If all else fails you can always keep track of your employees with a feather quill and roll of parchment.
A Board: Not Your Friends from College, Not Yes Men, The Smartest People You Know
Having the right combination of people to make up your board can be the difference between rapid growth and a decent into failure. When you create a board of advisors look for people who understand your goals, what areas you need advice and how your growth can be optimal in terms of additions to the company. In other words, don’t get a board to try out office chairs.
A good rule of thumb for picking your board: Make sure you’re the dumbest one in the room.
Intellectual Property: Proof You Took Smart Pills
Your ideas and creativity can be worth more than you think. In fact, a lot of investors value IP more than efficiency or price. It makes perfect sense that investors want to be part of a product that encourages people to say, “I’m so dumb, why didn’t I think of that?”
Be sure to manage your ideas and creativity properly so that other companies don’t blatantly swoop on you, and keep in mind that without unique IP the only thing you’ve got is your product, and other people can probably offer a variation of that too.
Brand: That Thing We’re Always Talking About
A recognizable brand is one thing that every Fortune 500 company has, but believe us, no brand just forms out of thin air. It takes a lot of strategy, design, creativity and hard work. It also means that you have to be able to be what your brand says it is.
Advertising will get your brand out there, but keep in mind, that’s not what a brand is. It’s everything you are plus everything your product is. If your company can’t be transparent for customers and investors you should probably rethink what you’re about.
But Overall, Don’t Give Up
We don’t want to sound like a heartwarming Disney movie or anything, but you can’t take any of these steps if you don’t believe in your business’ potential first.