Once your business begins to thrive, it’s not uncommon to set your sights beyond the horizon and start thinking about growth. A common stumbling block for small businesses is they only think about going from “small” to “large” and while that is a quick and easy upgrade at the fast food restaurant, going from small to large is not a common move in the business world. In order to become a big business, you have to be a medium-sized business first.
Ready to go from small to medium? Here are a few important tips to consider:
Build your talent: Chances are if you are small business with five to 10 employees, some of those employees are family members or friends who are helping you grow your business. Once you reach the point where you need to hire talent, it’s important to understand how to attract the right people, what to pay them, and how to retain them. This is also a good time to develop a human resources position to handle benefits and personnel. Also make sure you have a company handbook and written policies established if you haven’t already.
Re-write your business plan: The plan you wrote to establish your business might not necessarily work for this next phase. You’ll need to revisit growth plans, marketing budgets, payroll, and possibly even work with new investors or apply for another business loan. Make sure that your business plan is scaled to fit not only your desired end result, but each step in between.
Get a mentor: Too many times people look for a mentor when they’re already in a rut and need advice. Find a mentor before you start growing your business so they can guide you along the way, give advice on possible pitfalls, and be a source of support when you need it. If you’re not sure where to find a mentor, the Columbus Chamber can always connect you with a member who will meet your needs. Making the transition from a small-sized business to a medium-sized business will take time and have its share of learning curves. Don’t hesitate to lean on your mentor or other resources as your business evolves into this new level.
There are several other variables to consider as your business grows that depend on the type of business you run. However, as long as you have a solid business plan, a talented staff, and a reliable mentor, you’re off to a great start to achieving your next level of growth.