How To Turn Your Home Business Into A Robust Startup
A lot of businesses are set up as a home business nowadays. Thanks to e-commerce platforms, the internet as a whole, and the many resources available to home business owners, you don’t need to invest in a big office or a large operation to start a new business.
At some point, however, your home business will outgrow the home office you have set up for yourself. You need to start recruiting team members, finding suitable partners, and operate on a larger scale. Growing becomes a serious obstacle to overcome.
To eliminate pain points in your growth stage, you need to do a few things right. To turn your home business into a robust startup with high-growth potential, here are the tips and tricks you need to keep in mind.
It Starts with the Team
The first thing you want to get right is building a strong team. When you gather likeminded people to support the business, you are more likely to succeed in transitioning from a home business into a fully functional startup. Unfortunately, finding the right people isn’t always easy.
To avoid recruiting the wrong people, start with knowing the kind of team you want to build. What are the skills you need the most right now? What kind of culture do you want to create for your startup? Will team members multitask and handle multiple functions?
Defining the essential requirements lets you hire wisely. The conditions also help you identify the critical positions or roles to fill first based on what you need the most. If you receive a sudden spike in orders, for instance, getting help in fulfilling those orders should be a priority.
One last note about hiring and expanding the team is understanding the importance of timing. When to hire is as important as who to hire. You want to grow the team alongside the business, but you also need to find the right balance between team expansion and cost.
When you are operating from home, things like IT service management, facilities management, and well-structured workflows aren’t always the most important. After all, the business is running smoothly without them.
Add more team members, a bigger office, and thousands of customers to serve, however, and the lack of workflows can cause problems. This is the next pain point to avoid when transitioning from a home office to a bigger one.
Learn from the Big Operators
The way to avoid the pain of growing is by starting with the basics as early as possible. Yes, procedures and workflows aren’t fun, but they are necessary to keep everything in order. Big businesses make use of software solutions to help them manage routine tasks. Your enterprise may be small now, but as you scale up, solutions like TOPdesk could prove invaluable in helping you work smarter.
TOPdesk offers features like customer support, IT service management, and even analytics tools in one platform. With these features unified and designed to be very robust, TOPdesk is perfect for larger businesses. You can view the key features here to learn more about this software.
Understand the Market Better
As mentioned before, growing as a business is always a balancing act. You want to expand the team – and your business operations – alongside the actual business and market growth to avoid increasing your overhead costs beyond what you can afford.
This balancing act is perhaps the trickiest part of transitioning from a home business to a startup. You have to stay lean while remaining agile enough to anticipate the market. A way to overcome this problem is by gaining a better understanding of the market from the start.
The more you know your market segment, the better you can plan for market changes. You will reach a point where you can predict market changes before they happen. This means you can make better, more calculated decisions when growing the business.
Better market understanding is achieved through data. Analyse market data and continue evaluating your market segments to stay ahead.
Invest in Customer Experience
One crucial element that must not be neglected when growing as a business is customer experience. Unfortunately, bad customer experience is still the primary reason why many home businesses fail to reach their fullest potential.
Catering to a handful of customers is easy; delivering a personalised customer experience to thousands of customers is another animal entirely. The latter requires more attention to detail and an eye for an excellent customer journey.
Two resources can help you in this department, and they are automation and insights. Automation lets you expand your business capacity and cater to more customers without actually expanding the team. You automate parts of the customers’ journey using available tools.
Insights, on the other hand, lets you manage both satisfaction levels and expectations. Treat service requests and customer complaints seriously. Remember that the customers’ journey doesn’t end when they buy your products and services.
Nail Your Finance Management
Last but certainly not least, make sure you are also managing the financial side of your business meticulously. Getting a sudden stream of revenue from new customers doesn’t mean you can immediately spend more on activities like marketing.
Your initial goal should be to achieve (and maintain) a healthy cash flow. When your cash flow is healthy, you can fund future expansions and cover your costs without jumping through hoops. There will be no financial issues stopping your business from growing further.
There are more financing sources for small businesses that want to expand too. Aside from business loans, you can now turn to crowdfunding and short-term loans to get your products (and services) to market sooner than your competitors.
Of course, you also have to invest wisely. Don’t go for the biggest, fanciest office just yet. Save the money and scale up gradually so you can keep your overhead under control. This last tip, combined with the previous ones we discussed in this article, is how you successfully transition from running a home business to becoming the CEO of a successful startup.