Reaching three important milestones can open up important questions about a business’s future that need answering; acquiring custom including repeat custom, proven potential in growth and seeking investment if needed.
Where does the business go now? Does it stay where it is now or go on to the next level?
It is never easy trying to plan for the unknown future but identifying at an early stage of your business timeline where the next level will take you is one of the most important forward thinking moves a business owner makes.
But it is inevitable that at some point your business will no longer be a start-up or even a small business and when this does happen it should not come as a surprise; planning is crucial to your success.
We have put together seven tips to take your startup level to the next level.
A BUSINESS PLAN SHOULD NEVER BE VISITED ONCE
Take into consideration from the offset that your business plan is not a document that is set in stone. It will change as your business grows. Revisit it as often as you like and re-assess your goals to see what is going well and what is not. Treat this as a work in progress document. With that in mind refer to your initial goals, are they still relevant? Are you still going in the right direction?
Many businesses will change their business plan at least three times.
GET ON SOCIAL MEDIA IF YOU ARE NOT ALREADY ON IT
Millions of business benefit from social media. If this is not your strong point get a professional who can assist with your social media analytics. They can assist in building an online presence and strengthen your reputation online. In addition to this they can engage with your customers. Here is a good starter guide.
CREATE A BLOG
A blog surprisingly can build traction. It is good to practice link building and reaching out to your customers.
GET ACCESS TO A MENTOR
A mentor is the perfect individual to assist in getting your business to the next level. They have been there, have learnt valuable lessons and can advise on the best approach to take. Potentially they are the idea person to tap into new business. Here are some tips on choosing a mentor.
BECOME A LIMITED COMPANY
All start-ups should at some point consider becoming a limited company if you are not already. A limited umbrella protects you and your business if anything financially bad was to happen. In a limited company your assets and liabilities are protected within the umbrella of the company. If for any reason you were to go into liquidation outstanding debts from creditors would not be paid by you as an individual. This is the best protection to have. Here are a list of the ins and outs of a limited company formation.
It is true as a sole trader you are trading in a bad world. Some people like being a sole trader but you are missing out on some great benefits. As your business expands you get greater borrowing potential as well as potential to take home more money.
Customers prefer a company status of limited and is proven to attract more business. It is worth being limited for this reason only.
GO IN THE SAME DIRECTION AS THE TALENT
As your business grows you may want to consider choosing an environment where the talent is. Start-ups companies that are proving to be a success will potentially be looking to raise further funds so that can gain access to new talent that will help expand their business and flourish further.
Many businesses choose the location before the people but this is the wrong way of getting the best talent. Choose what talent you want and then pick a location where you can find this type of professional. The larger the team the more difficult it is to relocate. Asking a large team of highly skilled professionals to uproot is rather tricky. Here are some tips on how to do so.
We have provided some very good tips on how to move to the next level. You can take on board all seven or just take advantage of a couple and review in a few month’s time. However if you are not a limited company yet, this would be the tip that requires the biggest amount of attention.
As a sole trader you and your business is the same, there is no differentiation. This is not the safe option from a legal perspective. Create a separate legal entity; still owned and powered by you but with the much needed added protection.
Reduced risk, flexibility and improvement in reputation. These are just a few of the benefits of a limited company. Carry out some research and see how it could benefit you.