Congratulations! If you are beginning to think of different ways to take your startup to the next level, you are in a rare position. In fact, 20% of new businesses will fail within their first year. So take time to celebrate the fact that your business has been a success, so far. With that being said, your work is not done!
Scaling a business can be just as hard as starting one. If you overspend early, you run the risk of running out of money, and your business will suffer. On the other hand, if you do not expand fast enough, a competitor will beat you to it and you may lose out on business.
Whatever way you slice it, running a business is not easy. If your business is ready to scale, but you are a bit apprehensive, this business growth guide should help ease some of your concerns.
1. Hire a Business Accountant
Chances are, up to now, you have been in charge of maintaining your business’s finances. From preparing your business tax documents to analyzing your cash flow statements, you have likely been doing it all. It is time to delegate.
Business accountants are financial professionals who help manage all of your business’s finances. As your business grows, you likely will not be able to handle the more complicated tasks that an accountant can handle.
Accountants are great if you need assistance doing any of these tasks:
- Maintaining your business’s financial records
- Navigating legal and compliance issues your business may face
- Handling your payroll and other employee needs
- Most importantly, business taxes
Before you hire an accountant, be sure to research how much adding a whole new position will cost your business. Depending on the cost, the benefit may not outweigh the reward.
2. Apply for a Business Credit Card
Like many business owners, you likely have made some purchases for the business using your own personal credit card. While extremely common, this is a bad habit to continue, if your business keeps growing.
Applying for a business credit card will help give you more flexibility when it comes to making business purchases. Once you have a business card, make sure you only put business expenses on the card. Keeping your personal and business purchases separated will ease any confusion come tax season or if you are ever audited.
A business card should be used similarly to a personal credit card. Do not overuse your credit card or your business credit score will go down. On the flip side, if you never use your new business card, your business won’t be improving its credit. Make sure to follow best practices when using your business credit card.
The main things to remember when using a business credit card is to keep your credit utilization ratio down and to make sure to pay your card on time, every time. It is generally recommended that you keep your credit utilization ratio to anything over 1 percent, and under 30 percent.
Using your credit card wisely will help raise your business credit score, as well as ease any stress you may have been experiencing when you were making purchases on your personal card.
3. Apply for a Small Business Loan
You will need more capital to help expand as your business grows. In the beginning stages of owning a business, you can get by with venture capital, crowdfunding, and even personal loans from family and friends. Now that your company is becoming a more sophisticated business, you will likely need a business loan to help fund some new projects.
A small business loan can help unlock possibilities you did not think were possible. Make sure to do your research before applying for a business loan. There are a variety of lenders and types of loans offered in the space. Not every loan or lender will be a good fit for your business.
Most lenders will have a strict set of criteria you must meet to qualify for lending. In the past, to qualify for a loan, a business would need excellent credit, to be in business for more than two years, and to have a decent amount of cash in the bank.
If you are worried about meeting any of these requirements, consider going through an online lender. These alternate lenders will typically have loans geared towards businesses that may have lower credit scores or who may be too new to obtain a traditional loan.
When applying for a business loan, remember to not bite off more than you can chew. A loan not suited for your business can do more harm than good.
4. Modernize Your Hiring Efforts
As mentioned before, your business is going to need more people to support it than you alone. You will need to bring in some fresh talent to truly help your business grow. Keep in mind that you do not need to hire dozens of people to make an impact.
Think about what types of roles you would like to further develop at your company. This will change depending on the industry you are in. Some of the more popular positions you may want to add to your company are:
- Marketing Director
- Information Technology Director
- Human Resources Professional
- Operations Assistant
Hiring is competitive. Being a relatively new business, it can be hard to attract top talent. To truly be competitive in the hiring space, we recommend using a hiring software.
Hiring software offerings like Recruiterbox offer robust software solutions to assist business owners with their HR tasks. These platforms are great for businesses of any size as they are very customizable. Some of our favorite features that Recruiterbox offers are:
- Resume Management System
- Applicant Tracker System
- Mobile-Friendly Hosted Careers Site
- Robust Integration Offerings
Using a hiring platform will help you choose the right person for the job, every time.
5. Treat Yourself
Entrepreneurial Burnout is real. Far too often, business owners will dedicate their entire lives to their company. There is a difference between being passionate about a job, and being obsessed with a job.
As your business grows, it will be harder to take a step away from the office. This is especially true with the recent trend working from home. Make sure to take a break when necessary. Working too hard can be just as detrimental as not working at all. Overworking can lead to increased aggression towards coworkers, decreased productivity, and a decrease in passion for the job.
The best business owner is the one who can step away from their business when it is suitable. To do this will take time. After all, you started this business yourself and know how to run it the best.
Some tips to follow to maintain a work-life balance are:
- Set boundaries and keep them. Make sure that certain vendors, employees, etc., know that when you are off the clock, you are off the clock.
- Delegate. You hired those employees for a reason, use them.
- Make social plans. Sometimes it can feel like all you do is work. Take some time outside of work to do outside of work things.
- Ask for help. Perhaps the hardest thing for a business owner to do. People understand, especially right now, that others need help. It is not a sign of weakness.
Remember, your business’s health is no more important than your own. If you start to put your business ahead of yourself, the business will suffer and so will you. Make sure to lead a balanced lifestyle in order to achieve success.