Early Stage Business Growth
You thought of an idea, built a product, found your first customers, generated revenue and learnt a lot along the way. The hard part is over, right? Starting a business isn’t easy, however, even more difficulties arise when you have proven all of your assumptions and have achieved a reasonable level of income to make the business survive, but you now need start to generating real, sustainable growth. You have now reached the early stage business growth phase.
One of the pitfalls of early stage business growth is that entrepreneurs think they can do everything themselves.
You may well have the necessary skills to look after everything from responding to customer enquiries to keeping your books in order, but as a business owner, is that approach really going to grow your business?
The entrepreneurs that leverage their time most effectively are the ones that create the most successful businesses. Have you ever heard the success story of Peter, the busy idiot? No, me neither.
Rise To The Challenge
Growing your business and entering the early stage business growth phase means you need to step out of your comfort zone. Step out of a safe haven where you have just about enough time available to do everything each week, but in reality are spreading yourself too thinly and achieving very little. You are doing no more than treading water.
Your role is to now grow the business and step aside from the tasks that can cause a distraction. Assign repetitive daily processes to someone else as soon as you can and begin to build a team around you. This will allow you to focus on the most value-adding aspects of your business, working on your business instead of in the business.
Business owners need to walk away from the “sole trader mindset” of doing everything themselves in order to save costs and instead adopt the growth business mindset of “what can I be doing to grow my company now that the rest is taken care of”?
But, how? It can certainly seem impossible to take on a new team member, especially when you feel you don’t have the funds in place to do so, or you feel unsure about reaching out for support.
Fear of the unknown can paralyse your decision making when you have never delegated tasks or processes to anyone before, or when you are confronted with having to manage other people for the first time. Yet this is an essential learning curve if you are serious about scaling up. Without taking a little calculated risk to step aside and invest in other people’s time and experience, you won’t be able to reap the rewards that come with a business that isn’t built entirely on you.
Think. If you can’t step away from your business for a week without it collapsing or stopping dead in its tracks, then you haven’t got a business, you have a rather exhausting hobby!
Early Stage Business Growth: Turning To Others
Turning to others to help grow your business doesn’t necessarily mean employment. In the ever-evolving world of technology that we live in, there are more options than ever before when looking for people to help grow your business. The gig-economy is changing the workplace and how we source our talent. The precarious world of employment that business owners operate in is now by more flexible, affordable and risk-free solutions than ever before.
One of the ways in which entrepreneurs can help facilitate early stage growth is by turning to freelancers. There are many platforms that can provide you with short-term solutions, allowing you to take on a web developer or bookkeeper, for example. This stop-gap solution is ideal for one-off projects to get the business where you need it to be for growth, clearing your to-do list.
Alternatively, a more sustainable long-term option could be to turn to an agency which offers Virtual Assistant support, like Virtalent. A Virtual Assistant can take on a PA or customer support role, or you can even delegate whole areas, such as marketing, to a VA who specialises in this. A Virtual Assistant allows you to develop a more professional working relationship on a long-term basis with someone who will be truly incorporated into your team, without the expense and commitment of a “real” member of staff.
Delegating allows you to focus. Be smarter with your time by investing in other people’s time, allowing them to take control of key processes whilst you drive your business forward and grow a long-term, sustainable business.
So ask yourself: do you want to push yourself to the next level of early stage business growth? If so, What are you waiting for?
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