How to Keep Your Start-Up Afloat: Scalability

The following is a guest post by online business journalist, Hilary L. Smith. 

Would you sail to an island getaway without a route? No matter how tantalizing the promise of the horizon or how experienced of a sailor you are, you’d probably at least bring a map, and maybe a skipper to help navigate. Though you have the destination in mind, getting there is just as important!

Scaling a Start-Up
Operating a start-up business is a lot like planning a sailing expedition with coordinates, a compass, and crew. According to the infographic below, 46 percent of start-up businesses failing can be attributed to bad planning. Don’t navigate perilous waters without making the preparations for reaching your goal!

Running a start-up is all about scalability. Because a start-up is a small business, in order to keep it afloat, it’s necessary to optimize each of your processes so you get the most out of your efforts. Make sure all the aspects of your startup run smoothly and get to your destination by scaling your processes.

Plan Your Route
Identify which tasks are most important for your start-up. Generally, production, fulfilling orders and customer service are the primary concerns of a start-up company. Though all these processes may be housed under one roof, choose team members that you trust to carry out their respective jobs.

Stick To a Path
Once you’ve figured out which tasks are priority, streamline your production schedule accordingly. Decide on deadlines according to matter of importance. Critical tasks should take the least amount of time to find a solution.

It may seem counterintuitive that the hard-hitting assignments should be completed first.  However, when you become adept at managing your task schedule, the most important work will be easier to finish. Knocking out high-priority duties quickly and consistently should be de rigueur for your business.

Be Prepared
Be sure that your start-up can support success. It’s essential that a growth in sales translates to a profit increase. For start-up companies, often a greater volume of orders means it becomes difficult to turn a profit, or even complete the orders altogether.

In order to avoid this problem of scale, be sure that your business is prepared in stocking and production. Also, make sure your distributor relationships are sound and you can continue to buy the items you need at the price you’ve been getting them. In-house management with staff responsibilities clearly delineated along with software like QuickBooks are also very important.

Since you’re already planning on selling so well, you should also prepare for future expansion. This definitely is a part of your long-term business plan, but it’s also important to mind your brand presence and customer service. According to AT&T Research, web traffic increases 50 percent every year — your network needs to be supported by IT, and your web presence should be strong on social media platforms and original content publishing.

In closing, if you want your business to sail into sustainable profitability and long-term success, a scalability plan is key.

Hilary L. Smith is an online business journalist with a background in social media marketing. As an entrepreneur, she understands the importance of scalability in a start-up and she often covers the subject in her writing. She also enjoys covering business communications, media marketing, business globalization, and virtual technology. 

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