Preparing your small business for the future is often difficult without scalability. A sudden influx of customers might be great for your short-term revenue. But, without scalability, it can damage your service quality and performance in the long run. A scalable strategy means that you can handle an increase in customers, sales or activity without impacting quality. Here are seven, easy ways to scale your online business:
Gain a deeper understanding of your market space
The first step in scaling your online business is to understand your market space. To do that, you’ll need information from a variety of perspectives. Get to know your market by:
- Listening to customer feedback about your products and services.
- Discovering what works for your competitors, and learning from their mistakes.
- Learning new skills with expert resources such as LinkedIn Learning.
Also, be sure to keep up with your industry news, so you can take advantage of new concepts in your market space.
Secure capital to fund your small business
Scalability is hard to achieve without capital and resources. There are 1.14 million Canadian small businesses competing for market share, so standing out is key. Additionally, you’ll want to find the right kind of investor to fund your small business. Taking a loan from a bank like Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) can set your business up for success. Alternatively (or additionally), you could look for an angel investor in the National Angel Capital Organization. Angel investors fund small businesses in the hope of higher returns in the future. If you already have lots of supporters, crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter or Indiegogo are great options. Last but not least, you can always apply for a government grant. In addition to loans, the federal government has many other resources that can support your small business.
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Build a team you trust to make the right decisions
A growing team is great, but effective teamwork is the true key to scalability for your business. Start with a hiring process that ensures your new coworkers understand your business goals, and their role within your team. This can give you the confidence to step away from operations at times and delegate business responsibilities to your team. Furthermore, team members who know your business well will benefit the longevity of your workforce. Employees that work and communicate effectively are 4.5x more likely to keep your team together.
Consider online marketing for your small business
How you market your small business online can affect its scalability. After all, 81% of consumers research online before making a purchasing decision.4 And, online marketing doesn’t even have to be expensive. Your business can potentially get big returns for just a bit of investment. You can build a larger online presence by being active on social media platforms like YouTube, Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. A Google Business account is also worth investing in. With an account, you can connect with your customers on Google Search and Maps, while also getting statistics for clicks, calls, bookings and follows.
Outsource the administrative tasks that take time
Overextending yourself (and your team) with tasks outside your specialty can be detrimental to your online business scalability. It wastes valuable time and energy, when you could be using those resources to do what you do best. So, stay focused on what you’re good at, and consider outsourcing certain operations to free up your time. Accounting, customer support and website building can all be easily outsourced. Once you grow and become more stable, you can then consider hiring specialists to take care of these functions in-house.
Automate your operational processes and marketing tactics
As your small business grows online, it’s important to ensure that you’re devoting your time to what actually requires brainpower. You can automate more repetitive tasks with a bit of investment. Automated emails, marketing and shipment details will save time, energy and labour costs. Ultimately, automation offers customers a consistent experience, and can increase sales productivity by 14.5%.
Scale up your business successfully by using the right delivery partner
Overall, meeting growing consumer demand is what scalability is all about. Choosing the right parcel delivery partner can grow your business and provide the support you need to please your growing customer base. A good delivery partner has an extensive network of shipping and warehousing services. And, make sure they are committed to continuous improvement and innovation, so their services will always be relevant as your online business continues to change and grow.
With the right resources, team and experience, your online business can easily achieve scalability. With scalability you future proof your business, as you’ll be able to adjust to sudden changes in customer demand without sacrificing the quality of your products or services. Scaling up your business will likely be a long process. It will require ongoing tweaks throughout your growth, so it’s important to start with the right mindset. After all, to be big you’ve got to “think big”, so try keeping a positive and ambitious mindset as your business grows. If you take your time with it, and remain honest about your capabilities, you’ll have a scalable business before you know it.
To keep these tips in mind, download our scale up your online business infographic summarizing this article. Share it with your team, so they can support your efforts to scale up your online business.