Anyone can set up a simple online business from their sofa these days but what happens when your business grows beyond your living room? For many business owners, taking the next step and continuing to build their business comes with a mixture of excitement and trepidation.
Taking your business to the next level is all about pacing yourself and figuring out what is right for the business. For some people, this might mean taking a Bachelor’s in Organizational Leadership, for others it might be a case of working out where to run your business.
Here’s what to think about as you try to make your decisions.
Will Your Website Hold Up?
The first question you ask yourself is whether your website will be able to manage more traffic as you up to your efforts to attract more customers. Though you might be more focused on how your website looks, your customers may be more interested in how long it takes your website to load. And you should be too since loading time can affect your bottom line.
When you launched your website, you will have created a set of ‘core’ pages, but as your website expands, you may need to look at ways to improve the speed of your site and ensure that it is still easy to navigate. Everyone wants a website that is easy to navigate and simple to use – no matter what stage your business is at, this should be a top priority.
As your business grows, you may have to rebrand in order to keep up with what your customers want and expect from you. As your business matures, your branding should mature with it. This is entirely normal, and many companies go through a few different versions of themselves before settling on a particular look and feel.
Do You Need More Space?
Though your business may be online-only, you still need to have physical space to store your wares and work. For many people just beginning their journey, a spare room might be enough, but as your business grows, the need for space is likely to exceed your home! In fact, there are plenty of reasons to move out of your house and into an office.
When you are looking for premises, you should keep two things in mind: how do you want to use the space and how much room will you want to expand into? Though you may not have customers visiting all the time as you would in a physical shop, you should still think about how the premises look as you will want to motivate your staff to work well.
There are a few secrets to creating the perfect office space to motivate and encourage your staff. Everything from the layout of your tables to whether you have a dream board or not can affect how your team works together. Plants are always a good idea too.
Take a Chance and Experiment
While you are setting up your business, the thought of taking a chance and experimenting a little with your business may be unthinkable. However, once you have started to grow, a little experimentation is a good idea. You should be thinking about how your business can move into new areas and embracing a bit of risk.
All businesses are about risk in some way. If you aren’t prepared to take a risk, you won’t do anything that your competitors aren’t already doing and you won’t stand out in a crowded market place. However, you should consider the types of risk you are willing to make and work out ways to sure up the other elements of your business just in case the risk doesn’t pan out.
Bringing on new employees is also a good idea, but again, this can be risky. You should focus on building a great team of people with complementary skills. This means thinking about what your own strengths and weaknesses are and then bringing on people who will work well with you and bring new ideas and skills. The more diverse a team you can create, the better the chance you have of striking upon a brilliant opportunity and making the most of it!
Taking your online business to the next step will be a challenge, but if you are determined, ready to expand and willing to take a risk, your business will grow and develop. There is no perfect route to business success, and you are almost guaranteed to hit a few bumps along the way. Treat each bump as an opportunity to learn and refine your business model as you go.