In business, we all need to set goals. Most of the time, that goal is related to money, such as making a certain amount of profit or reaching a specific sales number within a certain amount of time. For many people, their initial goal is to make their first million—and why not? It’s a big round number, it puts your in the league of being a millionaire, and it gives you an overwhelming sense of satisfaction.
But how do you reach that million? Well, you don’t need to start again, you don’t need to create new ideas, and you don’t need to steal someone else’s products. Instead, what you need to do is scale up your current project.
For the sake of ease, let’s assume you are working as the owner of a small at-home business that you started a month ago. You’ve got no employees, you’ve made a few sales, and for now, you’re breaking even and growing a little. Let’s take that base and teach you how you can turn from a small home business into a millionaire within a few short years or less.
Propose something that everyone is happy with
Your business ultimately needs to satisfy the needs of the consumer. However, something that’s becoming even more important is the ability to not dissatisfy others. For instance, if tobacco companies are often seen as evil because they sell their products despite people knowing the risks they take when they smoke. Despite the industry being worth a lot of money, there will always be people combating against smoking (with good reason, of course) and ultimately, your business will come under fire and people will try to make an example out of you.
To prevent this, you need to create a business and spin the idea so that everyone is happy. For instance, Amazon is hugely successful for a number of reasons, but one of the reasons it continues to be successful is because it’s such a large company that is an integral part of everyone’s life. It creates jobs and helps the industry, it’s a marketplace where anyone and everyone can sell their items which makes suppliers happy, and it gives people an easy one-stop shop to buy all of their products, making the consumer happy.
Your business ultimately needs to follow the same ethos. Be indispensable to people and integrate yourself into their lives. Of course, this isn’t always possible with your idea, but you generally want to keep out of trouble and focus on giving your customers a great experience, that way you’ll get repeat business and everyone’s happy.
Understand how to scale up your operation
Let’s assume you’re currently doing something humble such as etching designs onto plates and metal as gifts. You’re probably doing this with hobbyist tools, hand tools, and you’re doing these on a per-order basis instead of mass producing items. This is absolutely fine and it’s great to start with. However, you’re probably going to need to scale up your operations if you want to go from making a small income to big money.
Focus on learning what tools you need to scale up your operation. Do you need better computer hardware? Are your workshop tools not sufficient for large-scale production? What machines can save you time? In the previous example, we imagined the case of someone that does etchings. You can find a CO2 laser cutter for sale on various different manufacturing websites that can take over the etching job so that you don’t need to use small and inefficient tools. It’s expensive, but that’s the type of investment you need to make if you want to scale up an operation.
The best way to research these tools is to question industry veterans. Find someone to speak with that does the larger-scale version of your job, or discuss the possibilities you have on hobbyist websites. The more time you spend researching, the less time you waste by using outdated or slow tools.
Don’t be afraid to hire
Hiring your first employee takes a lot of money. However, it’s something that is needed if you want to scale up your business. Think of it this way; if you’re happy with the amount of money you’re making as a single person, imagine what you could do with a couple of extra hands that are doing the same job as you. You could double, triple, then quadruple your income because you’re able to take on more orders to meet the demand. In a business scenario, this is essentially scaling up, and you’ll eventually get to a point where you rely on employees for everything and you simply handle the creative task of finding ways to grow your business.
However, at the start, it’s understandable that you don’t have enough money to take on an employee. This is when outsourcing comes in handy. Whether it’s contacting a third-party company to help you with a specific task or hiring a freelancer for one-off jobs, you can get all the help you need on the internet. The web is full of professionals who are more than willing to work with your brand on a contract basis. If you really want to get a great deal, then consider hiring new freelancers that have little to no experience. You pay less for their services because they have no proper credentials, you help them build up their portfolio, and you build a professional relationship that can grow both of your business. With enough work, you could even offer them a job in the future and hire them as a remote employee.
To summarise, scaling up a business is a very easy concept to grasp. You need to scale up the number of people that work at your business (hiring employees), then you need to scale up your tools (upgrading machinery, buying new equipment) and you also need to scale up your idea (attracting a wider audience). These tips don’t apply to every business out there, but it’s a good place to start if you’re looking to make your first million by scaling up your current business.
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