The hard part of building a business isnt getting it off the ground, it's building it from there, as Anthony Schumey explains.
Starting a business might be the toughest thing you’ll do in your career, but the hard work isn’t over once you’ve “made it”. Turning an idea into a money-making venture on a small scale is great, but the ultimate goal for most business owners is to take their product to the masses. Whether that means catering to an international audience within a particular niche or the mainstream at large, scaling your company is all part of the “business” process. Although reality is always more testing that the theory would suggest, the process of growing your business doesn’t have to be rocket science.
Think big and find ways to connect to a global audience
The first step to growing any business is to listen to what the market is saying and then act decisively. Elon Musk would be a great example of thinking big - instead of saying that something isn’t possible, he thinks critically about the problem, recruits the right people and then throws everything at it to achieve a goal.
Once you’ve dreamed big and brought in the right people to help, connectivity is crucial. In an age where reaching the masses is easier than ever, you need to establish a platform that’s able to cross boundaries and be easily accessible. Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter should be seen as a standard for any business looking to grow beyond a local market. However, your thought process needs to be broader than this. The internet has opened up new modes of operating and your business needs to embrace these dynamics. Bitcoins.net is an example of a company that’s taken an existing model and adapted it to scale up its service. By allowing customers to learn as well as invest in cryptocurrency they offer a fully rounded and international service – highly important in this age of increasing competition.
Customer service remains crucial
The final tip any entrepreneur needs to think about before scaling up their business is support. It’s all well and good taking something to a global audience, but you risk losing it all if you can’t maintain a high level of service. Small businesses often do well because they offer a better level of customer service than big corporations. While there are inevitable sacrifices that will have to be made in this area as your business grows, it doesn’t have to completely fall by the wayside. With technology being what it is today, providing a high level of support is still possible even as you grow. However, even with products helping automate and manage your support service, it pays to have a personal touch. As Mandy Holford, director of customer services at Echo-U, has stated, positivity and an ability to listen are crucial when it comes to dealing with your audience. Again, using social media as a tool to interact with customers and deal with queries in real-time is invaluable and perhaps the best way for growing companies to maintain a high level of support.
Of course, there are many other things that a growing business needs to consider as it moves from a local to a national and then international entity. However, if you can keep in mind the three core concepts listed above, you should be well on your way to taking your business to the next level.
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