Being your own boss is brilliant. You have the flexibility and space to be as creative as you want and the sky is the limit. There are many upsides to being self-employed, but there are also challenges too, especially in the current climate.
There’s no ‘right way’, however there are definitely things you can do when launching and scaling a business to make it easier!
The most important thing when launching and scaling your own business is that you are doing something you are passionate about, as it will bring you joy beyond the financial returns. Truly believing in your idea and being excited about pursuing it can help drive its success.
Of course, while pursuing a passion is important, it is also important the underlying business idea makes financial sense. While you may be able to turn your passion into a business, not all hobbies are easy to make money on.
If you are passionate and therefore excited about launching your own business, it can be easy to rush the initial stages and launch before you are fully ready. Instead, it’s really important to spend time at the beginning planning and researching and putting in the foundations that will be needed.
Having a well-thought-out strategy and plan will save you a lot of time, effort, and money. Don’t make the mistake of being so eager to get going that you never build a solid foundation and end up having to backtrack and start again.
So before you go running off to take care of all the fine points, first walk through these four questions to determine why anyone would want to buy your product or finance your company.
Think about where your company will benefit from professionals, especially in areas you might not already have expertise. For example, working with a marketing agency you will gain from their experience and skills in this key area. By teaming with the right companies, you can not only grow your company quicker but also free up time for you to spend on other areas where your time may be more valuable.
Initially, we thought our products would be shipped within the UK, however, we soon ended up shipping within the EU and the US which brought with it a whole new learning curve when it came to customs clearance and managing to keep our products moving smoothly. There are firms who specialise in this aspect and help small and medium-sized businesses in different industries.
Twill are an international logistics firm, who assist businesses in growing from their local market to an international one. They have resources and excellent support to help you understand the process with their Go Global campaign. Working with them means your Customs Clearance complies with local regulations and checks the process along the way.
We are being inundated with messages at the moment about the current high inflation and the increasing cost of living. This can lead to pressure to drop your prices. But first;
A non-profitable company is not a sustainable company. Pricing is so important to get right and something you really need to research within your market. Once you have taken into consideration your own costs, expertise, and time spent you may find rather than decreasing your costs you need to stay the same or even increase them. Remember a more expensive item with a greater profit margin needs to sell less overall than a cheaper item with a tiny profit margin.
It can be tempting to do everything when you start your own business to save money. However, as you grow, it’s really important to free up your time and think about a more sustainable approach to expand and also avoid burnout.
What are the parts of your business that you don’t enjoy doing? Perhaps you struggle with social media and are looking at employing a social media assistant. Maybe you decide you need a VA to keep on top of emails and invoicing. Or you decide to invest in a skilled photographer to take some product images for you to uplevel your website.
Many industry-leading companies now have fully automated production and inspection lines, the use of these industrial vision systems eliminates human error, frees up time, and saves on costs.
Whatever you do make sure you use the time you free up to be more productive or to create a better work-life balance. We use time blocking to really maximise our time spent and recommend it as a great way to schedule your time.
As you progress through your journey of launching your own business, you will find you need to be flexible to adapt to changing situations. You won’t be able to grow as you learn without being flexible. It’s also a good idea to take stock and see where you are currently. Is now the right time to expand or do you need to solidify those foundations first?