You’ve done it. You’re startup. Your brainchild is growing up. You’d love nothing more than to sit back, relax and let nature run its course.
Alas, just as a parent’s work is never finished, so too are the continued responsibilities of a new business owner. Now that the dust has settled and breaking even is behind you, it’s time to start investing in the future of your company.
It’s understandable to want to keep your burgeoning business close to home. You’ve come this far, so it might be difficult to imagine what was once a fledgling idea, has now come into its own and is bursting at the seams to grow and expand.
We’ve gathered up a few tips from experts to help move into this new phase of your business.
One is the Loneliest Number
As we mentioned in Part One of “What to Expect When You’re Expecting to Start a Business,” it’s never been easier to connect with motivated, talented individuals who have the potential to add to your vision.
It’s easy to be over-protective about your project, but loosening up on the reins and enlisting some much-needed help allows you to focus on growth, rather than just keeping things afloat.
“Some of the best advice I learned early on was don’t try to be all things to all people,” wrote Michael A. Olguin, contributing writer for Inc., “because it typically means you are not very good at any one thing.”
As you gain traction, it’s harder and harder to cover all the components that keep the lights on and the revenue coming in.
What worked when you were a one-man or one-woman operation may not necessarily work when you’re juggling a growing demand for your products or service, as well as the day-to-day minutia.
When you tackle it on your own, Olguin said, “you jeopardize your ability to focus and create undue pressures for your team, your budget, and your company as a whole.”
Stay Focused and Set Goals
It’s easy to get tunnel vision after the struggles of your startup, but there are ways to mitigate the rut.
In “5 Tips for keeping your Startup Business Growing,” Forbes contributor Eric Basu highlights the value of continuing to organize your time and expectations right along with your budget.
Goal setting ensures that you are always on track for the next stage of development in your business.
“It’s a common trap to get immersed in the chaos of a startup and find a year later you were phenomenally busy, but never achieved the goals you originally planned,” Basu wrote. “You can revise the goals as need be, but you need to set them first to revise them later.”
If you’re lucky enough to have a team early on, goal-setting also allows people to see eye-to-eye on the direction of your company.
Whether it’s daily for yourself, quarterly for your employees or yearly for the business itself, goals give everyone a common, concrete, and achievable vision.
More Ideas on Managing Expansion: Partnerships and Self Care
Growth often demands that you, at some point, consider scaling your business through partnerships, franchising and other avenues. It also demands that you take care of yourself – your body’s health influences all.
Tips for Expanding
In a 2014 article for Entrepreneur, reporter Karen E. Spaeder offered 10 practical ways to expand your business.
Expansion can happen through licensing, franchising, forming alliances with companies offering complimentary services, diversifying and branching out into other markets. The possibilities are endless.
It’s not as risky as it sounds if you’re careful and well-researched and the benefits to your business’ financial future and longevity are manifold.
“Choosing the proper (method) for your business will depend on the type of business you own, your available resources, and how much money, time and sweat equity you’re willing to invest all over again. If you’re ready to grow, we’re ready to help,” Spaeder wrote.
Tips for Your Mind
We’ve talked about the health of your company, but one point that has been neglected thus far is your physical and mental health.
It’s easy to say you don’t have time for yoga classes or gym memberships, but when passion is one of the biggest driving forces for entrepreneurs today, can you really afford not to find time? When you’re passionate about your business, it shows and spreads.
There’s a positive correlation between passion for your work and success, and it’s harder to feel enthusiastic when you’re drained physically and mentally.
Take the stairs, park a little farther away from the office, or watch a 15-minute yoga video online before work or during your lunch break.
The health of your company is maintained through healthy habits. Give yourself the same level of care you put into your company as CEO and you’ll ensure vitality for years to come. You’ll decrease the chances of burning out so you can continue to manage and direct your startup.