By Kayla Matthews
When looking ahead to 2018, solo entrepreneurs may wonder if they should take the next steps to grow their business. Alternatively, they can stay where they are for now.
Several aspects should dictate the final decision, including these five important considerations.
1. More Fiscal Responsibility
As business continues to grow, there are more financial figures and data to analyze. Whereas a small business’ finances can undergo analysis mostly in-house, businesses that start to eclipse sales in the $5 million range find that keeping track of finances gets more difficult, requiring the use of an accountant —or several.
Well beyond tax time, growing businesses may need to hire accountants and financial professionals to ensure that growth and maximized profits are continuing. Solo entrepreneurs likely lack the financial experience at a certain point to confidently manage finances and resources for a larger business.
2. Good Hiring Is Vital
As a small business grows, gauging the performance of individual employees becomes a more difficult task. The number of employees will grow alongside the growing responsibilities of a budding business, making the hiring process more important than ever. As a business leader making the transition to a larger business, the increasing responsibility on your plate makes monitoring the effectiveness of every employee unrealistic.
As a result, it’s more important than ever to hire quality employees who work together and keep each other in check. Further, if you hire trustworthy managers who can monitor employee performance, you can have a solid structure in place without sacrificing too much of your own time. The people you hire defines the culture of a company. As a company grows and more employees become involved, hiring the right people is vital to success.
3. Customer Service Concerns
A growing business also means more customers. An increase in customers can translate to an increase in profits, but also an increase in demand for customer service. An increase in sales ramps up all aspects of production, which for a newly growing business can translate to certain products and services being subpar for consumers. Customer service is important for addressing customer dissatisfaction, with poor customer service resulting in a lack of growth.
A growing business will find that an uptick in resources and budget for customer service is necessary to curtail the imminent growing pains they will experience.
4. Moving Your Office
Moving locations is common for a new business, with one in five small businesses reporting they plan on moving to a new office space in 2017. Especially when moving from a home office to a commercial building, there are costs involving general liability insurance and commercial property insurance that the budget should regard.
Also, moving to a new location that’s far away from the current location can result in some employees departing or requesting additional compensation. Moving is a part of a growing business, though you should prepare for its fiscal and employee-based impact.
5. Use Data, Market Analysis and Economic Analysis
Growing businesses tend to overvalue their sales when evaluating whether to take the next step in growth. Although great sales numbers are certainly a positive, you should evaluate your industry and niche as a whole before deciding to take the next step.
Specifically, it’s important to evaluate market studies, economic analysis and other factors beyond your control that can dictate whether or not growth at present makes sense. Growing a business is one thing, though growing a business alongside a growing industry is another.
It may very well be time to grow your solo business, taking the next step by expanding your staff and resources.
It’s also possible that substantial growth would be better planned in another year or two.
You should consider the five aspects above when deciding whether to take the next step.
Have you grown your business? What else would you consider important?
About the Author: Kayla Matthews writes about communication and workplace productivity on her blog, Productivity Theory. Her work has also appeared on Talent Culture, MakeUseOf, The Muse and Fast Company.