How can I scale up my business?

How can i scale up my business?

Your business is growing at an exciting rate. However, the business can’t function without you. 

“How can I scale up my business?”. I had a call from Frank, a business owner this morning. He had spent the weekend thinking about his business growth and asked ” I’ve got an established business. How can I scale up? “. That prompted some discussion on our daily team call, so I thought I’d share the findings.

As the owner of an established professional services business bringing in a £500k+ turnover, you’re growing at an exciting rate. You’ve put time, hard work and expertise into building your business and you’ve set it up so your team are able to take care of some of the day-to-day tasks you used to do. 

However, you’re still the spoke at the centre of the wheel; all decisions are made by you, and the business can’t function without you. 

Do you ever have any of these thoughts about your team:

  • They don’t think for themselves
  • They don’t have any commonsense
  • They aren’t commercial
  • They think they are better than they are

Now let’s flip it. How does your team see you? They might be thinking: 

  • You’re a control freak!
  • You’re a micro manager!
  • It has to be done your way
  • Suggestions for improvement are not always welcome
  • You don’t give them the chance to develop
  • You think you know everything

Being so hands-on means you don’t have time to look further ahead than the next few months and develop a strategy to set your business up to scale. It’s time to let go of some control so your business can start achieving its full potential.

Help your team think for themselves.

You’ve done a fantastic job getting your business to where it is now. But to scale the business it’s essential you have a well equipped team behind you to support growth. 

If you are finding that your  team can’t (or won’t) think for themselves, that’s on you. Have you trained them (by default) to come to you for all the answers to the things they don’t know, or stuff that they do know but won’t make a decision on without consulting you first?

The fact is, your team will often know the answer or they’ll even be able to come up with an even better solution than you. Encourage your team to find the answer to the problem themselves. 

The next time they have a question, ask them to come up with three proposed solutions and work out which one they think is best. Aside from saving you a lot of time otherwise spent answering questions, it will develop your team’s problem-solving skills and enhance their knowledge of your business’s processes.

Breaking the cycle can be hard at first, but the result will be a business so that it functions without you. Making it more valuable. Whether you intend to sell or not, you will have a better running business.

And that means you can stop being Chief Fire Officer – putting out all fires, large and small!

Invest in your company culture.

Developing a culture of continuous improvement is a win-win. It creates a virtuous cycle, boosting efficiency, paving the way for growth and giving you a motivated team with better staff retention. You’ll notice the results from your team if they feel their contribution is valued and they know they have the support to grow if they want to.

A practical way of doing this is to hold after action reviews. These help share best practice and build knowledge both when something has gone wrong or particularly well. 

Be intentional about roles.

Letting go of control in your business doesn’t mean it’s no longer in expert hands. Develop your top team, made up of people who will relieve you from a lot of the decision-making burden. It’s important they aren’t afraid to make mistakes; trust them and give them room to grow. They won’t always get things right, but it’s unlikely you never made a single mistake building your business to this stage. It will free up time for you to spend where it matters most. And you may find that it has a positive impact on staff retention. People want to work in a happy, upbeat environment, where they feel their contribution is valued and they have the support and room to grow (if that’s what they want).

Paying attention to where people are best-placed applies to all levels within your business. Take the time to examine your team members’ talents and where they would be best suited. Does their role utilise all the skills in their toolbox? What do they excel at and how could this be put into action for the greatest impact on the business? 

Personality profiling can be useful in matching people with certain traits to roles which can use these traits.

Spend the saved time where it matters most.

Letting your team handle the day-to-day tasks will free up your time to spend on what’s really important. Family time, holidays and things you love that you were just too swamped to do before.

It will also give you time to look at your business through a strategic lens. When was the last time you really sat down and thought about what you need to put in place to ensure your business thrives in the next 2, 5 or 10 years? Focusing your expertise on big-picture thinking will set your business up for sustained growth, and knowing it’s able to operate without you will significantly increase its value to any prospective buyers, should you wish to sell it one day.

How can I scale up my business?It’s time to put it all in motion.

You’ve built a successful business, but this is just the start. Now it’s time to really unleash its potential. We’re here to support you as you make the transition to a hands-off approach, acting as your sounding board and providing advice for those strategic decisions. Fill in our form and let’s look at how we can give you the support you deserve.

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