Scaling up a business is not the easiest thing in the world to do. There are so many risks and so much uncertainty involved that it can be difficult for a business owner to know if they’re doing things properly or not.
The six scaling mistakes listed below are the most common ones that businesses make when trying to scale up their business, giving you an idea of what not to do as your company grows.
#1 – Waiting to Choose the Right Legal Structure
You need to choose the right legal structure for your business when you’re just starting out. If you wait too long, then it could be difficult or even impossible to change your company’s legal status if needed in the future. It may also lead to a lot of unnecessary complications and expenses since changing a company’s structure involves tax filings that can be very costly.
#2 – Having Too Many Products or Services to Manage
When you first launch your company, it’s best to keep things as simple and straightforward as possible. Adding a lot of products and services at once can create unnecessary complications for your business, especially if you’re not able to handle them all well enough. Having more work than you can handle also makes it difficult for you to provide top-notch customer service.
#3 – Not Implementing the Right Systems and Structures
You need to build the business you want before you actually have it, and this means putting the right systems in place so that things won’t break down once you begin to expand. You need to determine what kinds of skills and resources you’ll need as your company grows, such as personnel with the right skill sets or a bigger budget for marketing. It’s also important to look at scalable software solutions so that you can scale up seamlessly, without errors and delays.
#4- Relying on Informal Agreements
When you’re starting out, it can be tempting to rely on informal agreements that are based only on trust. Your credibility will suffer greatly if things don’t work out as expected because of misunderstandings or unrealistic expectations about what these kinds of agreements entail. It’s best to build a more formal structure for the business so that everything stays organized and clearly defined, and so that there will be no problems with payments or contracts in the future.
#5 – Conservative Spending Estimates
When you’re growing a business, it’s easy to be too conservative in your spending estimates. However, there will always be costs you’ve forgotten to factor in and unforeseen expenses along the way. It’s best to overestimate your spending needs to make sure that you’ll have enough money at the end of each month. Otherwise, your cash flow will suffer and this can greatly impact your ability to scale up in the future.
It’s great to be ambitious, but it’s also important to realise your limits. If you try to do everything on your own when the business expands, then this will create a lot of stress and pressure for yourself that could affect performance in other areas. Learning how to delegate work frees up time for you to focus on growth and the activities that really move the needle in your business.
Many business owners are reluctant to hire a consultant/advisor because they see it as an additional cost that isn’t strictly necessary. However, hiring a consultant is actually one of the smartest things you could do for your business since they will help you to identify problems before they become out of control. Then, they will find solutions that are tailored specifically to your needs.
A great consultant/advisor will also set an example for you and hold you accountable, which will give you more confidence in your own ability to lead the business and inspire you to be the best entrepreneur you can be.
These six scaling mistakes can be detrimental for growing businesses. It’s important to note that all six scaling mistakes are directly related to an unwillingness to invest time and money into your business. If you want to scale up, you need to shift your mindset and get ready to go all-in rather than being half-hearted about business growth. It may sound a little harsh, but this is what will make all the difference to your life and take you where you really want to be.