I have made a lot of mistakes and learned hard lessons when I was scaling my business. Looking back, there were things that I did and even more that I wish I didn’t do that would have made the scaling up process smoother and faster. That’s what I want to share with you right now. Well at least a glimpse into some of that.
Starting a business is easy. Some people may even say “they got lucky”, started a business out of the blue, and now it’s surviving. Scaling a business however is a very different story and I believe luck has very little to do with it, it’s about strategy, passion and strong vision.
Daily Planning, strategising, and having the right people by your side is key to a successful scale-up.
Before I dive in to the tips, know that choosing the right people from the very start is critical because they will be the ones to help you grow and represent the brand of “you”. When you’re a start-up, you will be wearing different hats. One day you’re a salesperson, the next day you could be an accountant so choosing a team that will complement you and your hat collection is crucial.
During the interview, see if you will get along well. Ask questions and follow up questions in order to dig deeper. Take your time to know why he/she is interested in the role and why he/she has left or is leaving their current job. Ask for personal references and call them.
It is better to take your time during the hiring process, slow this down and be fussy rather than realize later on that you hired the wrong person. By then, you will have invested time and money and the opportunity cost of what they missed is hugely unmeasurable.
During meetings, find a way to talk about your company goals and how each and everybody is contributing to achieve that goal.
A sense of ownership is what you want your employees to have because when they do, you can rest assured that they are doing their jobs well and in the best interest of the business.
People work well if you let them be. If you‘re all over them, they’ll get nervous and won’t be able to do more. Allow your team to grow, to try new stuff, and to be creative as long as it is still aligned with the company goals and values.
Building your dream team is a process, a long one. Be patient. They are not going to be working like a well-oiled machine right from the get go but as long as you have the right people and they have the right leader, it will be easy to mould them into becoming the team that will eventually help you grow your business and more importantly share your vision.
Rodney Michail is the Managing Director at Ausloans and 1800Approved Finance Solutions where he mentors willing entrepreneurs in the asset finance sector. He is also an expert in improving top-line sales and profits of SMEs and corporate.