You have your home based business set up and running. You feel like it’s time to scale up and do bigger things for your business… how do you do it?
First, let’s define what scaling up a business means. As per Merriam-Webster,
‘Scale’ is increasingly being used as shorthand for ‘scale up’ (“to grow or expand in a proportional and usually profitable way”) and as a noun that means “proportional growth especially of production or profit” and/or “a large market position.”
It simply means putting your business in a bigger or larger market. You want to take a larger number of customers out of your industry.
Here’s what you can do to scale up your home based business (in the Philippines)
1. Register your business
Get your DTI or SEC (if you have not), Brgy business permit, Mayor’s permit (also called Business permit) and then your Certificate of Registration through BIR. WHY?
Because medium to large scale companies require Official Receipts when doing any transactions and so, the only way for you to get business from them is to have your own valid Official Receipt (OR).
2. Organize your products or services
Make sure that you can comply with the growing demand of your business without compromising your quality or else you risk losing a whole lot.
3. Hire the right people to help you
Because you’re already scaling up, you need more people to help you out. Train someone until you can safely delegate to him or her. Hire an intern, a freelancer, a 3x a week employee- anything that will suit your business process or flow.
This is to give you more time to strategize and work on other areas of your business. Remember, because you’re growing… your competitors are also growing so you need to keep up if you want to share the market with them. You need to work “outside” your business from time to time like attending seminars, learning new concepts, reading books and anything to add value to your business concept.
Later on, you can think about forming a team of people to help you with your business. What specific skills you need from them or specific tasks you want done so your business production is doubled or tripled.
4. Zero in on your business’ Unique Propostion Value
Also known as a unique selling proposition (USP), your UVP is a clear statement that describes the benefit of your offer, how you solve your customer’s needs and what distinguishes you from the competition. Your unique value proposition should appear prominently on your landing page and in every marketing campaign.
5. Learn the ropes of exchange deals
Can’t afford to advertise your business? Why not offer an exchange deal with someone who can advertise it for you and in return you give them the same value through your product or service?
You are growing! Customers will expect more from you and will look for something new. You have to be smart about this and use it to have an edge against your competitors. Offer something new that will complement the needs of your existing customers and that can possibly attract more customers.
We’ve seen a lot of businesses that grew and then stopped for some reason and are now stuck and stagnant. That’s not what you want to aim for. You want to be part of the rat race or be known differently, either way you need to keep on innovating and growing.
7. Forge connections and foster relationships
For most businesses, it’s not enough to be a leader or visionary or a master of whatever industry you’re in. But basically it boils down to who you know and who knows you.
8. Use free resources and technology to scale up
Arm yourself with knowledge on different free resources in the Internet (or outside the Web) that you can utilize with your business. One good example is using Canva to design your marketing materials, business cards, portfolio, etc. There’s Google Drive (you’ll have to spend at some point for a bigger and robust Google product functions) where you can easily create spreadsheets for your inventories, sales reports, business processes, etc.
Perhaps I’ll write a different post about free resources you can use for your business one of these days.
9. Expand to another location
That’s obviously a good way to scale up, right? But a word of caution. Plan this thoroughly because branching out would mean higher over head costing from you. When all things considered, branching out will give you higher profit potential especially because you can easily offer your product or service on that specific locality.
10. Increase your capital investment
Of course if you want to scale up, you will need more investment to put into it. You’ll need to pay for more inventory/stocks, new people to hire, rental for the new space, shipping, etc. There are plenty of ways to increase your capital when starting, either you saved enough while the business is running or you take up a loan. Consider your options well and go for it.
As a business owner, you’d have to plan this all before scaling up. Your home base business (or any business at that) should be at least “tested” and running for some time before even thinking of scaling up. This way you already know your target audience, you know your way around your industry, you have a steady stream of customers. Otherwise, scaling up will be a lot harder than you’d think because you have yet to “face” difficult challenges in your business.