If you have a successful small business, then you’ve already overcome a bigger challenge than most people even face in a lifetime. Countless fantastic business ideas never make it off the drawing board due to a simple lack of confidence. Many others get started, but never make it as far as you have. But running a business is a marathon – and the race is far from over! Succeeding as a small business is a great accomplishment, but if you’ve done that, then it’s time to grow. That’s because the ‘small’ in ‘small business’ should be a temporary state.
Scaling a business has a lot in common with launching a new venture, although it’s slightly less intense, since you already have a foundation. And, thanks to your experience, you have the knowledge to avoid some of the pitfalls you probably experienced when you first got started.
There are five basic steps to scaling a typical business, according to several sources – including this one. Those steps are:
As with any investment – and make no mistake, that’s what scaling is – you have to do your due diligence and make sure you’re ready before ‘pulling the trigger.’
Growth requires money, and you have to know where it’s coming from. You have to be ready to ‘put your money where your mouth is,’ before you even start implementing your plan.
3. Developing Sales
Scaling is all about serving more customers. But you have to find the customers first, or you’ll wind up spending valuable capital on overhead while you wait.
4. Upgrading Tech
Chances are that the equipment or software you used to serve your old customers won’t be able to keep up with the added demands of expanded operations. You need to consider an upgrade.
5. Finding Staff
Customer service is the core of any successful business. And providing quality customer service to more customers will require a larger team.
Those are the basic steps of scaling a business. But, for many small businesses, getting past step two can seem like an insurmountable task. Just because your business is successful doesn’t mean your drowning in cash. And financing, particularly in difficult financial times, can be hard to come by.
But paying for an expansion isn’t just about finding more money. A shrewd businessperson knows that finding cheaper ways to do things is the best way to get where you want to be, which is in the profit zone. It’s all about cutting expenses, without reducing quality.
When it comes to reducing expenses, the first place to look should be in payroll. This is where step five comes in. Statistics show that payroll expenses are the biggest cost to all sorts of businesses, ranging from 30% to 68% of gross revenues, depending on your industry. In short, it costs a lot of money to hire new employees.
But it doesn’t have to!
A virtual assistant can do just about any job that a full-time, in-house employee can do, and they can do it cheaper. There are several reasons for this. Firstly, there’s no overhead. You don’t have to cover office space, equipment, electricity, or most other expenses associated with a traditional office space. Secondly, you’re not responsible for non-payroll-related benefits such as medical and retirement. And, if you’re willing to source your VA from an offshore location, the wage rates can be drastically lower. In fact, according to VAN, a leading virtual assistant networking association, businesses can save as much as U.S. $60,000 per year by hiring a virtual assistant, rather than a full-time, in-house employee. That’s not just substantial, it’s a game changer!
So, if you’re looking to scale your business, and to save money while doing it, then it’s time to look at virtual assistants as a real solution. Hiring one or more of our skilled and affordable virtual assistants can drastically reduce your biggest expense, which could be the competitive advantage you need. It could literally be the deciding factor in whether or not your expansion shows a satisfactory return.
Contact us here to learn more!