Choosing to implement your business idea often requires courage. You would be going out on a limb to invest your time and money while banking significantly on hope. The hope that people buy into your concept and that the solution you are offering is successful.
However, as you watch your startup morph into a bigger juggernaut, you may find yourself under increasing pressure. More will be demanded of you and your business. Growth is a welcome change but it is not without its challenges.
So, what adjustments do you need to make so as to better navigate the growth of your business?
Here are a few tips to get you over that hump:
Maintaining Your Standards
Transitions can very easily interfere with the integrity of your product. As your business grows and you are focused on producing more to meet demand, quality may be compromised. Oftentimes, this problem stems from task delegation and a failure to properly adjust production processes.
Whereas you may have fully been involved in every task in the startup stage, delegation may have now become necessary. The one-man-show operation system can no longer hold.
While hiring competent staff is important, your supervision is even more crucial. Insist on high standards and lead from the front so as to set the pace for your staff.
Producing for a larger and possibly more varied demographic comes with its challenges.
First, you may need to automate to be able to increase your level of production. If you are in the cosmetic business, for instance, you may not be able to keep hand-whipping body-butters. It may be time to find out the solutions that brands like Ginhong industrial mixers manufacturers can offer you.
On the other hand, even as you explore new ideas in growth, strive to maintain what initially attracted your clients. There is a very thin line between improving your product and losing your customers. You will need to find a balance between staying true to your roots and product development.
Packaging and Branding
In the initial stages of operation, you were driven by trying to get a leg in the market. When you achieve that and scale-up, it is important to firmly establish your brand identity. One of the primary ways to go about that is by using the right packaging. Ideal product packaging should:
- Attract the consumer’s eye
- Maintain the quality of the product
- Be representative of the brand
- Provide a pleasant user experience
- Be able to endure transport and distribution
Granted, you may be committed to your package design and are unwilling to shake things up. After all, it is what your customer base is familiar with so you would be right to be concerned about that. However, you do not always have to make a radical change. You can maintain the original design and simply use better quality material.
The main goal is to ensure that you are presenting your business in the best light. What was acceptable for a start-up may not work for you as a more established entity. A higher standard will be expected and you will be up against stiffer competition.
A Distribution System
An increase in the size of your business will put the days of personal deliveries behind you. In as much as you may appreciate direct contact with your clients, it may not be feasible to maintain. That will be your cue to establish a distribution system. The goal is to widen your supply chain to match the broadened scale of your venture.
Business to Business
Getting your product into retail stores is a major step ahead. It gives your brand visibility and can expand your consumer base. In essence, when you are able to get into the retail chain, it serves as your distributor to the market.
That said, it may not come easy; retailers need to trust your brand to want to associate with it. Be persistent and present your well-packaged product to multiple retailers. Take criticism when it is offered and make adjustments where possible.
Business to Customer
When the world came to a grudging halt due to COVID-19, delivery systems became the lifeline for businesses. The situation has highlighted that retail distribution is not enough, the business-to-customer network is just as essential.
You have the option of partnering with delivery services and online platforms, such as Uber Eats among others. Alternatively, you could slowly begin to develop your own in-house delivery service. In the latter, you have more control and can adjust the system whenever necessary.
You might assume that after you get on the growth path, there is really no need to keep beating your drum. On the contrary, maintaining and growing your market share, even more, will require you to stay ahead of the competition. The growth phase is not the time to get complacent.
In this era of social media, an online presence is highly recommendable. When a customer hears of your product they will likely look it up online first before they get to buying it. Interactive social media pages linked to your detailed website can be excellent marketing tools. Consider hiring a professional digital brand manager if it is not your area of expertise.
Pulse-checks and Planning
Keeping up with the tides and turns of day to day running can be overwhelming. Even with employees to handle different aspects of it, the buck stops with you. A regular pulse-check where you assess progress and pitfalls may be a good way to gain perspective. It would also give you a chance to know where to make changes.
It may be a cliche statement but it rings true in this case, without a plan you will stray and wander. Using the insight you gain from pulse-checks, set goals, and timelines for the company. Working towards them will keep you focused amidst all the changes and transitions.
A lot is said about drafting proposals and getting funding for business ideas but very little is said on growth. There seems to be a quiet assumption that when you begin to turn that corner you will certainly know how to handle it. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Sometimes the pressures of staying successful are just as significant as those of avoiding failure.
The list of challenges you are likely to face is as long as the day. However, on the upside, now you have an idea of what to brace for and how to handle it. Keep chasing new heights in your business adventure.