Scaling a small business can be intimidating. In the goal to obtain more profit gains than losses, you may have to take risks with new tools and strategies. But with the right roadmap, you can make reasonable investments that pave the way for sustainable growth.
Your plan should prioritize your customers. As Software for Hardware has scaled successfully over the past five years, culminating in our acquisition by Univerus, we have seen the importance of always keeping your customers in mind.
It helps to put yourself in the mind of your customer. Know what they appreciate about your services and don’t make changes that alienate them. As you reach out to new audiences, remember not to leave your first audience in the dust.
For example, while partnering with Univerus will allow Software for Hardware’s project management software to gain more features in the future, it will not remove any current features that our customers have come to rely on.
“[Create] valuable content [for] both new and existing customers … [that] makes their own personal and professional lives easier,” echoes Michelle Aragon, vice president of brand marketing and strategy at Spectrum Reach, in an article from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Be communicative, notifying current clients of upcoming changes while assuring them that what they love about your product will not change. They have given you their loyalty, and a strong scaling plan will honor that.
The same goes for staff. As you move forward, make sure your team is ready to move with you. Again, communication is key – keep them informed of changes in processes and work with them to implement those changes as non-disruptively as possible.
When it comes to finances, organization is essential. Know where and when you invest your money to ensure you stay within a reasonable budget. Consider reaching out for external help from a specialized company or individual if you lack confidence in this area.
SCORE, a nonprofit organization that mentors small business owners, says that “third parties may have the staff and investment in systems that enable them to be much more efficient in handling a function than your company.” Researching what your company lacks and finding a partner to fill that role can optimize your profits.
Technology can also help immensely. Tools like project management software can simplify complicated processes and free up time for you and your staff to handle other tasks.
Software for Hardware’s estimating and drawing tools do this for door distributors, removing manual processes and cutting days of work into hours. And with more time comes more profit.
Know that if you scale successfully, you will likely have to hire more staff. As you grow, you will need more people to handle more tasks and more customers. You and a small team cannot handle everything on your own.
Creating a plan of best practices around hiring can make that scaling process smoother. For some staffing tools and strategies in today’s world, door distributors can read our 5 Keys to Hiring Success whitepaper.
Growth can get easily overwhelming. Remember to take your scaling slowly, one step at a time. You will not grow tenfold overnight, and trying to do so is not sustainable. With careful planning and reasonable investments, you can prime your business for greater profit and success.
Anna Litofsky, Marketing Coordinator, Software For Hardware, Atlanta, GA.