Upgrading your business and expanding as a small business owner can seem risky under normal circumstances, not to mention in the post-pandemic world. Shifting supply chains, disturbed economies, and skyrocketing fuel prices can scare off many growth plans. But under the shifting market currents, you might be surprised to find the golden opportunity you’re looking for. Any crisis has its dangers but also its rewards for those who are willing to take them.

5 Steps to Upgrading Your Business

5 Steps to Upgrading Your Business

We’ve put together the below steps to help you in your journey of scaling up your business in 2022.

Upgrading Your Business Step 1: Don’t Rush

Diving head-first into expansion can seem like a good idea when your business is profitable. However, if you do not plan for it, you might end up not only failing but also crippling your business. Be careful not to bite more than you can chew.

To make sure you are prepared to push onward, ask yourself:

  • Are we aligned on internal values and structure?
  • Is there a clear view of the products and target audience?
  • Do we have any shortages of manpower or stock? 

Answering these questions will pose an existential problem to your business during the upscaling process. Most of the challenges that entrepreneurs face come from them.

A prepared entrepreneur will leave the door open to expansion from the moment they create their business. Even if you didn’t yet, you can do it before expanding. Map out your existing processes in detail and then think about how they can work on a grand scale. Use an OKR template more easily organize and don’t forget to ask for your employees’ feedback!

Step 2: Make the Plan

How will your business needs change once you’ve scaled up? How do you imagine it working as opposed to how it currently is? Even if you have no shortages and an organized internal structure, you might not be ready to move forward if you don’t have a business plan. This must contain:

  • Market review: The general supply and demand for your type of product. Check how healthy your economic sector is.
  • Marketing strategy: See how your product is performing compared to the competition. Review your current target customer groups and how well your products are marketed to them. Check for opportunities for improvement.
  • Operations and management: Check your supply lines to ensure they won’t be spread thin by the upscale. Estimate how many hands on deck and materials would be needed to support the growth.
  • Financial plan: Everything comes down to money in the end. Make sure you have ironclad financial coverage and know exactly how far it will go. This will be the fuel for your expansion.

Make sure all of your goals follow the S.M.A.R.T. formula and are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. You might choose to consult experts at this step.

Upgrading Your Business Step 3: Quality Over Quantity

Especially in the beginning, it is imperative to hire the right people at the right time. After having the plan in place and starting your expansion, you will need to slowly bring more people in increments. Make sure you don’t blob out, focus on getting talent with experience even if they might require a bigger investment in terms of financials.

Having motivated professionals will help to form a core group from which you can then internally promote later down the line. Flooding your organization with new hires who will require extra care and training can end up paralyzing your current team, who will need to do both their jobs and train their new colleagues.

Step 4: Timeline

Plan every step of your expansion and set up milestones for growth. Just like with employees, you should aim for incremental growth, not big sudden spikes. This will give you the time to correct any mistakes with minimal damage and risk. 

Every employee should have a clear picture of what they need to do to contribute to the growth and when. No plan will be perfect and errors will appear – plan with that in mind. Make sure to schedule recurring meetings to calibrate and ensure you keep yourself on track.

Step 5: Go Online

Many businesses during the 2020 pandemic closed. Many others however capitalized on the growing home delivery business and gave up on their office buildings and went online. They then reported record quarterly profits.

While you might choose to still keep your physical presence, digitalizing where you can, will help your business have a greater reach. To maximize your impact, you should also start developing your online marketing sector, side by side with the growth of your company. To help with this, getting a social media expert can also be a worthwhile investment at the right time.

Conclusion on Upgrading Your Business

In time, as the growth stabilizes, additional opportunities and challenges will appear. Maybe you’ll see options to automate your processes, come to the conclusion that keeping a part of the operation in-house is not profitable and outsource it. 

The beginning is the hardest, but if you follow the steps it will serve to pave the way to even greater expansion. Whatever might come your way, in time you’ll develop a sense for it.

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About the Author: Patricia Davis Brown

Patricia, like her blog, is not a one-dimensional designer, which is evident in her accolades of 17 national design awards. Over a 38-year career in the industry, she has carved a niche in several areas of design. Licensed in interior design and certified in kitchen and bath design, she offers a full menu of design services ranging from whole house interior design, kitchen and bath design, lighting design, full remodels, commercial design and universal (ADA) design. Patricia is a sought-after speaker in the industry and has been published in many publications as seen on her interior design firm’s website, https://www.patriciadavisbrowndesigns.com/. She writes for such publications as QuinStreetinc, Relaxed Remodeler, and eHow.com talent offering design tips.