Starting a business requires a significant amount of research, time and care, but even if you do it perfectly it can all fall down if you don’t ensure you are equally well-versed in the day-to-day and long-term running of your business. Running a business can be incredibly freeing, in that it makes you self-determined and independent - but the tradeoff is increased responsibility and risk.
Growing and scaling your business
Once you have started your business, you will need to create a plan for growing and scaling. There are two sides to this - on the one hand, you need to increase your customer acquisition and retention to build a customer base, and on the other hand you will have to build your business infrastructure to handle the increased activity. This may include hiring new staff, bringing in new business partners, establishing new practices or even franchising your business to reach the largest number of customers possible. If your business moves from being a small business into a medium business, you will need to ensure you are staying on top of your finance and accounting, your sales and marketing and your human resources obligations. Putting an experienced team of professionals in place is the only way to ensure long-term business success at this level, so consider finding a business coach with experience in growing a business. They will be able to guide you through the process and steer you away from potential pitfalls.
As your business grows, you will need to explore options to reach new markets. You can do this by analysing market trends and creating a plan to capitalise in areas your competitors have not. Many businesses find success in exporting their products to
other countries or moving away from local suppliers to international ones to increase quality or decrease costs. If you are looking to begin importing and exporting, it’s important to understand the laws and regulations that may impact your business, but if done correctly this can be a fantastic method to grow and scale your business.
Bringing in new partners
Business partnership is a fantastic way to ease the demands on your time and offer your customers a greater service or product. Whether you are bringing in an individual with expertise, capital or connections to be an equity partner in your venture, or your business is partnering with another business to expand your offering, business partnerships create meaningful value when done correctly.
Before entering a partnership of any kind, be sure to do your due diligence. You should never sign any agreement without consulting with your lawyer.
Protecting your lifestyle and future planning
When founders begin a new business, they often have aspirations of working when they want and having more control over their time. More often than not, new business owners find that they end up working constantly, as the demands of their business take over their lives, impacting their physical and mental wellbeing.
The best way to manage this is to engage in detailed business planning and putting a strong team in place. While it can be tempting to do everything yourself, successful business owners learn to let go and delegate responsibility.
Running your own business should be a means to enrich your life and gain financial independence. It should never be done at the expense of your lifestyle and health.