Anyone who has ever started a business from scratch knows how difficult it is to scale up with little to no capital. As the owner of a startup, every cent that goes into your business has tremendous value, and wasting even a little portion of your financial resources can have major repercussions down the line.
Smart startup and small business owners will do everything to save up and ensure that they invest in all the right things. This means that many business owners often take to handling multiple jobs by themselves. From admin tasks and accounting to marketing and customer service, business owners are willing to wear many hats just to save a dime. This practice is perfectly acceptable during the first few weeks or months of your business. Unfortunately, so many business owners stretch this method of running their business for far too long a period. This makes it impossible for them to scale or grow their business as much and as quickly as they would like.
What should you do to avoid this pitfall?
The dangers of running a one-man show
Face it, you don’t have the time nor the energy to do everything that your business needs to grow. There’s no one person who can successfully pursue growth without needing an extra pair of hands — or ten.
When you force yourself to run your business alone for an extended period of time, you run the following risks:
Danger #1: You can’t focus on any aspect of your business that needs extra attention.
Say that your business is unravelling because you’re losing a lot of money buying Facebook ads, Google ads, or any other pay-per-click ad that are not giving you your money’s worth. You know that there’s a major issue here, but you can’t spend too much time trying to resolve it because you also need time to do your bookkeeping, answer customer emails and social media messages, respond to emails about business opportunities and networking, and so on and so forth.
Remember, there’s only so much you can do in a day. You have a fixed 24-hour period to take care of everything, and it will never be enough! Not to mention your life outside your business. The less time you spend on a major issue, the less likely it is to be resolved. Eventually, all these little issues will just pile up and possibly wreak havoc to your business.
Danger #2: You don’t have eyes on your business 24/7.
Your fledgling business is like a baby; you need to monitor it 24/7 to ensure that it’s safe, secure, and growing the way you want it to. There are many things that could go wrong with your business while you’re sleeping. Your online store can experience a technical issue and shut down which means that you’ll lose a full night’s worth of sales. A customer might be disgruntled because you’re not addressing their issue fast enough. Next thing you know, you’ve got a scathing review of your business going viral on social media. These little hiccups might not have a major immediate impact, but they are going to cost you in the long run.
Danger #3: You overlook certain issues with your business.
Aside from not having enough time to resolve business concerns, another pressing danger is that you might not even notice some of the critical issues that your business is facing because you constantly overlook some aspects of the business. These problems could be anything from accounting inaccuracies to mounting refund and return requests from your customers. When these go unnoticed, they also go unresolved and obviously become threats to business growth.
Solution: Build a team of highly capable people and delegate tasks to them.
So what’s the obvious solution to all three dangers of running a one-man show mentioned above? Delegating, of course! Splitting business tasks across several people, each of whom are experts in their particular areas, is one of the most highly effective ways of driving new business development.
Interested? Learn more about building a small but capable team and 10 more ways to fast-track your business growth below.
10 ways to fast-track your business growth
There are no shortcuts in business, at least not long-lasting ones, but there are definitely some things you can do to help your business along. If you want to find out how to increase business growth opportunities, check out these 10 ways to fast-track your business growth:
- Hire a virtual assistant or build a team of them.
There have been a thousand and one articles already about the benefits of hiring a virtual assistant (VA). Hiring even one virtual assistant for small business growth can work wonders because you can find a VA for almost any task you can think of.
Need help with bookkeeping, customer service, digital marketing, social media management, content writing, graphic design, sales, and more? Hire a VA. There are so many things you can use a virtual assistant for, so don’t hesitate to turn to virtual assistance services for your staffing needs.
Still not convinced? Maybe your fellow business owners can convince you. Check out this article on 19 entrepreneurs explaining the benefits of hiring a virtual assistant.
To ensure that you’re getting the best VA, find a trusted virtual staffing company. Companies like 20Four7VA do more than just connect you with a VA, they also take care of HR and recruitment, payroll, and even training and performance monitoring.
- Utilize important business tools like Customer Management System (CMS) or Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software.
There are so many business tools available out there, but some of the most important ones are CMS and CRM software. Your customers are your most valuable assets, so it’s only right to make sure that they are getting the best possible experience and service from your business. A CMS and CRM tool can help you monitor your customers’ journey and refine any part of the process that could be causing unnecessary friction for them.
- Simplify your business.
If you’re a service-based business, check all the services you’re offering and weed out the unprofitable ones. The same thing goes if you’re selling products. Don’t just sell something for the sake of adding more products to your offerings. Sometimes, less really is more. Simplifying your business also makes it easier for you to keep track of how everything is performing.
- Simplify your business processes.
Just as you want to make things easier for your customers, you also want to unravel your business from within. Get rid of unnecessary rules and protocol. See if you’re doing anything (marketing, accounting, admin work) that isn’t necessary and leave it behind. The simpler your processes are, the easier it is to keep track of everything.
- Gather and analyze data.
Improvement and growth is all about learning what works and what doesn’t. For a business, that means gathering as much data as possible and analyzing each data point. Important data for a business can include:
- Website traffic and user experience
- Checkout and abandoned cart data
- Social media engagement
- Customer feedback
- Cohort analysis
- Be one step ahead of the competition by keeping track of their moves.
Competitor research is a vital but often overlooked part of business development. Learning as much as you can about your competitors will help you anticipate their every move and ensure that you’re a couple of steps ahead of them. This is one of the important but time-consuming tasks that you can delegate to a VA. If you can’t do it yourself, make sure that someone on your team is keeping track of the competition and generating monthly reports about them.
- Automate as many processes as you can.
Automation is one of the best ways to reduce overhead costs within a business. When you automate a process, you reduce the amount of manual labor needed to do that task and help ensure accuracy at the same time. There are so many things you can automate within your business including sales and marketing emails, lead generation, data keeping and reporting, and so on. To help you get started with automations, here’s a helpful article about 7 sales and marketing automation tools to convert leads and retain customers.
- Prioritize existing customers.
Sure, getting new customers is amazing for your business, but don’t just forget about your existing customers. After all, return customers generate a massive part of your income. Here are some customer retention statistics that will show you just how important your existing customers are:
- Getting new customers is 5x more expensive than keeping old customers.
- On average, customers spend 67% more in their 3rd year as a customer of a business than in their 1st year.
- On average, 20% of a company’s customers provide 80% of their profits.
- Partner up.
Teaming up with other businesses whose niches are related to your company’s can be highly profitable. It’s also an excellent way to boost each other’s brand exposure and consumer reach. You can also team up with industry influencers to reach the same goal. The key thing to remember when forming strategic partnerships is to make sure that you choose the right company or person to team up with.
- Don’t forget about passive income.
Many businesses forget that it’s possible for a business to have more than one income stream. Passive income from affiliate marketing, ads on your website, paid content, and so on provide you with excellent ways to beef up your revenue without spending too much capital, time, and effort. To achieve this, you can hire a VA to generate content for you such as podcasts, ebooks, or online courses, and another one to pursue affiliate marketing and on-page advertising opportunities.
To sum up
When it comes to scaling your business, it’s pretty impossible to do it alone. The key element to growing your business faster is to build an effective team that you can fully trust and to share key duties, problem solving, and idea generation responsibilities among yourselves. Once you build a system that works, you will be well on your way to rapid business growth.