The big idea for the vast majority of startups is to grow into a viable, reputable company. But scaling up is not an easy task, and there are so many variables that can affect your chances of success. And let’s not beat around the bush, here - it could even result at the end of your business if you get it wrong. With this in mind, here are some of the biggest challenges you will face with growing a business from a startup into an enterprise - it’s vital that you understand what you are up against.
Are you even ready?
First of all, there is a lot of risks involved in scaling up a business, and it can be incredibly hard to predict whether you are even ready for it. It’s going to cost you money, of course, but you have to ask whether that kind of investment will be worth it in the end. On the one hand, you need to up your orders from your suppliers, but will you have the demand to make it worthwhile?
Clearly, when you grow a business, you need more people - it’s that simple. But you must be able to justify hiring those people, or you could be left on some dangerous ground. What happens if you hire a whole bunch of full-time employees, but demand for your products doesn’t rise? You will be left with a lot of staff on your hands who are, basically, doing nothing, but still need to be paid. You can get around this a little by outsourcing to freelancers or using staffing agencies, but you still need to be very careful about how you play things.
The right areas of your business
Another tricky issue is working out which areas of your business you need to focus on. For example, you might think that hiring an entire marketing team will instantly give you fantastic results. But what happens if your system can’t take the extra load from all the new prospects? Perhaps you would have been wiser getting in touch with an IT staffing company and find a suitable tech team to provide the system stability you need instead. Similarly, investing in a sales team is all well and good, but what happens if you haven’t invested in your manufacturing or production processes? You won’t be able to supply that demand, and your company’s reputation will take a battering it will be hard to recover from.
Timing is everything
Part of the problem with scaling a business is that timing is critical. Grow too fast too soon, and you could find that you are working at a volume that is too much for you to handle. On the other hand, if you delay things for too long, you might lose your big moment, and a rival could step into the gap - which could be entirely disastrous.
Finally, as I mentioned earlier, when you plan to grow your business, it can be an incredibly expensive process. You will need funding, of course, and that could expose your company to a lot more risk than you are used to. You have to control the costs of scaling in every area possible to ensure that you have the financial protection in place.
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