5 Surefire Signs to Know if Your Business Is Ready to Grow
(Whaddya say, is it time for a new chapter in your business’s book?)
Sara East |December 31, 2018
Look, every business wants to be successful. And growth equals success in business, right? But how do you know when you’re ready to make that next big move?
To help you answer the question for yourself, we talked with professional business coach and strategist, Zack Shay. To start, she said you first need to ask yourself, “What do I want out of life?”
Sure, not many truly know what they want in life, but every business owner needs to know whether they truly want to make it rich. SPOILER ALERT: It’s insanely demanding and will most likely ruin your social life, love life and potentially your hairline. Or, on the other hand, do you want to make enough money to have a successful business that lets you live comfortably?
To help you out, we invite you take a good long look at your business and ask yourself a few simple questions.
Time to Get to Know Your(Business)Self
Search the internet for info on business growth and you’ll get articles up the wazoo. You’ll hear things about the right amount of cash flow, knowing the industry, and how much business you need in order to grow. And there’s plenty of good stuff out there. Go ahead and have a look.
But we’ve taken a different approach. And with the help of Zack Shay, we’ve gone outside the box and thrown together a few key things that no one ever really talks about. These are questions to ask yourself that’ll help you determine if you’re truly ready, or even need, to grow your business.
#1. Do you have a mentor who’s achieved similar growth?
Growing a business is one of those times where it’s okay not to blaze your own trail. In fact, following the path of those who have successfully gone there before you may help give you a guiding light.
"My first mentor had an amazing profound impact on my business and life. She completely changed the way I thought of myself and my business."
According to Shay, a good mentor will show you better strategies to get sales and help you determine how to price yourself. They’ll also make sure you’re properly protecting your business with insurance and taking care of the legal side of owning a business, and they’ll ultimately make your life easier.
If your mentor has achieved the success you’re hoping to achieve, you can pick their brain about the ups and downs and how to grow successfully.
#2. Do you have a support network?
Successfully growing a business takes a village. Okay, let’s be honest, being successful at life in general takes a village. When you’re jumping head first into one of the most demanding challenges you’ve ever faced, you’ll want a large network to rely on.
This network includes everything from marketers and copywriters to manufacturers, shippers and designers. You’ll want experts in the areas that you’re not an expert in, and maybe even some in the areas you are.
#3. Do you have contractors you can hire for extra support?
Filling the gaps with contractors is much less risky than using employees. The hiring process is more streamlined, and there’s less of a commitment. You may pay more per hour for a contractor, but you’ll save time, stress and money in the long run.
Deciding whether a contractor or an employee is a better decision for you will mostly come down to the type of work you’re looking for and your budget. There are pros and cons to both.
Whether you hire employees or contractors, you’ll want a handful of contractor connections that you can reach out to when you need help.
#4. Is your business protected?
Rapid growth can lead to rapid problems. It’s important to protect your business with insurance. If you’re not sure where to start, our article on the best small business insurance is a good place.
Shay recommends paying a lawyer to write up terms of service/contracts/etc. You shouldn't skimp on protecting your business.
“It’s important to have an insurance company you trust,” said Shay. “It’s great peace of mind and can help you to weather the unexpected.”
#5. Are you willing to push yourself to new levels?
Rapid and successful growth doesn’t come from playing it safe. Those who make millions are risk takers and demand a lot from themselves and their team.
The good news is that taking calculated risks, paired with an unwavering determination to make things happen, shoots hundreds of people to success every day. If you’re mentally prepared to tackle the challenge of growth head-on, you’ll stand a better chance.
Knowing whether you’re ready to grow your business doesn’t only come down to how much money you’re making and whether your team and your product can handle the expansion. It comes down to whether you’re willing and able to put in the hard work demanded for growth and strategically scale your company so that your success does not become your downfall.
"You’re never ready to grow. No matter how prepared you think you are, you’re going to be blindsided by something unexpected."
By asking yourself the above questions, you can at the very least prepare yourself for growth and be ready to handle it if it comes unexpectedly. And if you’re wondering if the billionaire life is right for you, just make sure you ask yourself what you want in life and what you’re willing to give up to achieve it.
What If My Business is Already Growing?
Sometimes a business will grow before you even know it’s happening. If you find yourself in the throes of rapid growth without a mentor or network to rely on, Shay recommends you try these four things.
Hire contractors to fill the gaps instead of employees. The gaps will most likely be short-term, which is perfect for contractors.
Prioritize yourself. Don't let crisis mode overtake you. Make sure you're sleeping enough, eating healthy and taking breaks. You need to bring your A-game to get through this. Burning yourself out will only make the situation worse.
Be willing to admit your mistakes to your customers. If you get orders you can't fill by a deadline, be honest. This will create more customer loyalty and a better reputation than just dropping the ball.
Ask for help. Go to a local networking event, join an online community, find somewhere with other business owners in your industry, and ask for help.
If You’re Growing Big, Avoid These Mistakes
If you’re running or growing your business without making any mistakes, please let us know your secret. If you’re human like the rest of us, you’re bound to make some mistakes. But there are a few common missteps that businesses tend to make when it comes to growth that you can avoid by simply being aware of what they are.
Don’t ignore the numbers. Sales is not all that matters. You need to know and understand your assets vs. liabilities, net vs. gross income, and personal vs. business income. You can make a million dollars in sales and end up with no extra money in your bank account if you don’t know how much your business actually costs.
Don’t try to be perfect. It’s okay to ask for help and admit your mistakes. Asking for help is the best way to get yourself out of a mess, in both business and life. This is where that mentor could really help.
Don’t overspend in the wrong areas. Focus on substance over flash. It’s easy to drop a ton of money on websites that aren’t functional, ads that don’t bring in quality leads, or hiring a professional videographer vs. a college student who has great skills and will do the job for less. Make sure everywhere you spend your money, you’re seeing an ROI.
To Grow or Not to Grow
That truly is the question here. Some of the most successful businesses haven’t expanded at all since the day they opened. Many businesses jump head-first into growth, never look back, and see tremendous success. We hope the tips in this article have helped you determine which path is best for you and your business. Go get ‘em, and good luck.