The process of scaling a business often holds a lot of room for error, but if this is your company’s first growth spurt, you can’t really afford to make mistakes. While it may be extremely difficult to do things right the first time, there are a lot of strategies you can employ that can help make the journey as free from growing pains as possible.
One of the best of said strategies is to do utmost preparation before even beginning to scale. To make things easier, here’s a list of things you need to do first before initiating your first level of growth:
1. Develop the best hiring strategy
Every business has a unique hiring strategy, and yours will depend on what kind of people you need to hire and when you need them to get on board.
As the first step of scaling your business, hiring the right people is critical for your company both in the short and long term. In the next few months, they will play a huge role in the growth of your business, hence, you need to hire people that fit most — if not all — of the criteria that you set.
That said, start developing your hiring strategy way ahead of time. If you have an HR employee, work with them to figure out how you can find the best candidates and determine if they are the right fit for your company. Although it may be impossible to have the “perfect” hiring strategy in place, developing one that best fits your needs makes all the difference.
2. Invest in communication tools
With a bigger team, communication is bound to become more challenging. For this reason, it is highly recommended that you invest in more effective tools that can allow for a more seamless flow of communication within your teams. For example, if you rely solely on chat communication, consider investing in a VoIP solution for small businesses.
3. Document your processes
One of the most common challenges of scaling is training new people to do their jobs, especially if multiple people are hired at once. If you hire the right people, however, you won’t have to spoon-feed everything that they need to know before they can start working independently.
Teaching new hires the basics is mandatory, but they can learn the other nitty-gritty details of the job on their own. This is the reason why documenting business processes is so important. Your team needs to have a source of information on how systems work and how processes are accomplished so that they are able to become self-sufficient. If they have to ask a senior employee every time they are unsure of something, it can easily serve as a killer for productivity.
Moreover, business processes are ever-changing, which is why any changes must be documented as well. In this way, everyone is on the same page and rooms for error are minimized — if not eliminated.
4. Prepare space and equipment
Once you start hiring new people for your first growth spurt, you’d want people to be able to work as soon as possible. To do this, prepare the workspaces and equipment for future employees ahead of time rather than on the last minute. Aside from ensuring that people are ready to go upon onboarding, you will be better able to optimize the utilization of the available space you have.
If your business has employees working remotely, you would also need to plan the logistics for the equipment they need. More than that, you have to determine how big of a budget you are going to allocate for this particular expense.
5. Automate processes
Automation can make your business more efficient, productive, and less prone to error. That said, automate any business process that you are still doing manually, be it data entry, invoice processing, or data analytics. As long as a particular automation tool or system will be cost-effective for your business, it is generally an excellent move for business growth.
If you are unsure of what processes to automate, ask your employees what tasks they spend the most time on and determine if there is any way to automate it. For example, if your marketing staff spends a good chunk of their workday sending campaign emails, acquire an email marketing service that can send mass messages automatically and on schedule.
Much like any other aspect of business, preparation is key when it comes to your first growth spurt. Although these are just some of the things that you need to accomplish before starting to scale, they are some of the most crucial ones to your survival during rapid growth.