The path to success demands more than just a vision; it requires a strategic foundation that's as rock-solid as your determination. Whether you're a seasoned entrepreneur or nurturing the seeds of a budding startup, understanding the pivotal elements that will fuel your journey is paramount. From mastering the intricacies of financing to curating the perfect environment and assembling an unwavering support system, the initial steps on the road to sustainable growth require thoughtful consideration. Here's five mostly obvious, but maybe surprising, elements that set the stage for a thriving and prosperous business venture.
The Right Financing
Expansions cost money, and while the ultimate aim is to make more profits, you need some financial cushion to make growth possible. You need to be OK with investing money and not seeing a return immediately. So you can't just pull that money out of the business if it's already allocated for something else!
If you haven't been saving up for growth, you'll have to source financing for your expansion externally: from a bank or private investor(s). One of the major downsides of doing this is that the process of getting an investment can be lengthy and complicated. You have to convince an outside body of the validity and profitability of your business, and possibly share the profits, too.
If growth is on your mind, you'll need to think about where the money for expansion is coming from!
The Right Plan
Expansion without a plan can be chaotic and often fails. That is why it's crucially important that you have a clear plan for your business expansion. This document should include your goals, financial projections, values, and an assessment of the risks involved.
It's also a smart idea to create a timeline for when you expect each stage of your expansion to occur. That will help you and your team split all the tasks you will need to do down into sections, as well as keep you on task through the expansion process.
The Right Environment
You know what they say: location, location, location!
If you're a solopreneur, this may be a home office, but even still, you need enough room to get work done. I've known micro business owners who had to expand into their garage or basement to have enough room for the work they were doing - and the supplies they needed to do that work.
Larger organizations may need room for more employees, larger operations, or even additional stock or manufacturing capability. Moving your business from one location to another, especially if it's a cross-country move, can be a real challenge.
The good news is that working with companies like Allied - that specialize in cross-country moves - can make all the difference. Don't trust a move to local yokels. Been there. Done that. When we moved from Mississippi back to Nashville, we ended up with more broken lamps and furniture than I could count. When we moved from Nashville up to Indiana, we hired pros to do the loading and unloading. Don't leave your livelihood to chance!
The Right Team Support
In addition to new premises, you’re also going to need to employ more people as you expand your business. It's important to strike a balance here between filling the vacancies that you have and not rushing the recruiting process. Slow to hire and quick to fire is the mantra of the work world. Whether you're working with occasional contractors or building our your full-time team, choose folks who are not only well qualified for their roles, but who are a good match for their teams and the overall values of your business. Hire for culture improvement, not just culture fit.
Last of all, when growing your business you are going to need patience - and lots of it. Yes, even though it can be tempting to seize every opportunity that comes your way, expanding too fast can ultimately destabilize your company, and lead to failure later down the line. With that in mind, it's best to expand at a sustainable rate and ensure that you can properly support any growth at every stage. That's why a plan is important. It helps you see the milestones and keep you on track.
But a lot can go off the rails between milestones. Projects can run overtime, or over budget. In the military, they say, "no plan survives first contact with the enemy" - things happen. You can't plan for every eventuality, but you can have patience and SPACE in your plan to accommodate the things that could go off the rails.
If you're ready to build a growth plan that works for how you're wired to work, book a Star Power Intensive and let's strategize what sustainable growth looks like for you!