Startups come in all different shapes and sizes, but they all share one common goal - to break out of their current status and become large enough to achieve massive success. Everyone goes into business with growth in mind, but how can you tell when you are ready to, and what are the indicators that your path is clear for expansion? There are some definite signs to look out for, so let’s take a look at what they are, and how you can recognize them.
You have a great team in place
Whenever you expand your business, there’s a good chance you will need significant funding to make it happen. And what’s the first thing that investors will look at after they read your business plan? It’s the strength of your team. Great teams equal fantastic success, and when you look at any of the major battles of industry in the past few decades, it’s always the firm with the best people that wins out.
You have a solid company culture
Teams are part of the equation for success, but you also need to consider developing a strong company culture. There's a good reason why Fortune 500 companies invest so much in everything from team building exercises in the office through to first-class professional training. It's because these are the precise things that can improve your company's culture, lay the foundations for future success, and motivate your staff to achieve. Don't mistake this for startup culture, however, which is entirely different. And bear in mind that growth brings its own challenges that you may need help with going forward.
You have customers begging for your business
Startups spend an inordinate amount of time trying to find customers. But the simple truth is that unless prospective clients are coming to you, it’s likely you aren’t ready to grow. So, forget about seeking out that investment you hope will make all the difference - it won’t, and you won’t get it anyway until you can prove your popularity. Instead, focus your efforts on making as much noise as possible, and serving your current customers as well as you possibly can. Doing so will improve your credentials, attract more customers through word of mouth and social recommendations, and prove you are ready to embrace growth.
You have a sense of realism
There is no denying that growing your startup is an exciting time - in fact, it’s exhilarating. But you cannot afford to get too carried away with your dreams. Keep it real, and you will avoid all kinds of problems. If you move too fast, you will inevitably face infrastructure issues. Hire too many employees without the sales to match production, and you could kill your business stone dead. So, ensure you dampen your enthusiasm just a touch with a healthy dose of realism.
Your personal life is robust
If you thought running a startup was difficult, you are in for a shock when you start expanding your business. You will need a sound backing from your family and friends, who are unlikely to see as much of you as they are used to. And if that is going to cause a problem, you have to think carefully about whether you can fully give yourself up for the success of your company. Good luck!
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