When Is It Time To Scale Up Your Startup?
As any business owner can tell you, few things involved in running a company will be fully predictable or predetermined. Gauging when it’s time to go bigger, or maybe trim down, can almost be a sixth sense. Just like knowing when to start a business, timing is never perfect but if the right factors align, and the risks are not too heavy, we jump.
The most apparent tell-tale sign it’s time to scale up is if you find yourself unable to fulfill orders because you are too busy, understaffed, or lack inventory, and not because of debt. If you have more business than you can handle, it’s definitely time to run the numbers and consider expanding.
How strong is your returning customer base, is it consistent enough to project a portion of future revenue? What is your rate and consistency of customer acquisition? Is the rate of growing demand surpassing operating costs? How large is the margin between your best and worst days? If you decide to explore financing options, can you show potential investors a stable and profitable performance record?
Have you hit prime goals and positioned your team to set the bar higher? How high were your initial targets and are your next aims realistically within reach, without being too simplistic? Is your staff excited for the next level? When a business is apt for launching to new heights, the energy is reflected by the employees who are flourishing in an environment of creativity and new possibilities. They can see they’re work is paying off and leading somewhere valuable.
With half of all small businesses unable to survive into their fifth year, adapting your capacity in a timely and flowing manner is critical. If too much doubt lingers, with too much uncertainty of income versus overhead, then patience might be your ally until you have the justified confidence for bold moves. But if the iron is hot and the wheels are in spin, then sitting on your momentum could trip your progress and halt success. If you know you’re ready to take on more, and have the need to evaluate growth options, take time for an objective assessment of your overall progress. When the fire is there, and enough factors come together to outweigh the risks, leap forward fueled to reach unknown realms of opportunity and wealth.