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The two things startups need to ask themselves are “How do I get this off the ground?” and “How do I create a business that is going to be able to scale up?” Doing everything yourself can seem daunting and frustrating, but it’s part of a strategy that will allow you to effectively manage and hire more people. Things like logistics and cash flow are actually going to be very important as you start to grow.
1. Understand Cash Flow and Money.
The first step is to understand cash flow and money. Without a firm understanding of cash flow and finances, your money may start coming and going in ways you don’t understand. Without knowing your cash flow, structuring your business model, and your structure of the payment terms, you risk finding yourself in dire straits and unable to cover costs. A brand that can scale is a brand with longevity. You simply can’t open your doors and expect to grow. You’ve got to put in the hard work. This means managing your effective cash flow budgets and getting a grip on what’s coming in, what’s going out, and how much you need to run your business on a day-to-day basis, including how much you need to actually inject to be able to grow.
2. Understand Logistics.
There’s no way to send out lots of orders or ship effectively to any department stores or boutiques unless you have a third-party fulfillment center or your own distribution platform. You could even have a full-time employee who’s just there managing everything on the backend for you, working out of your studio or office. However, logistics is really going to be the deal breaker between a brand that’s going to be distributed in a couple of different places and have a really nice small range, versus one that’s going to see scale. You cannot be the person who’s going to be doing your own logistics. You need someone else on board as part of your plan to grow.
3. Manage Your Business Yourself.
Also, keep in mind that all of the hard work you’re doing managing the different areas of your business is critical to hire the right people. It can be easy to open doors and say, “I’m just going to hire a salesperson to do the hard work for me.” However, you’d actually miss out on valuable information, such as how retailers and consumers are responding to your products. You would also miss out on learning valuable skills and traits- such as negotiation, persistence and what the expectations are for your role.
It’s best to think about it as the sum of all the other areas of your business that you are really growing. Whether that’s marketing, sales, operations, analyzing finances and cash flow, merchandising… all of those areas where you might think, “I can’t believe I have to do this myself,” they are amazingly valuable learning opportunities for you for when you do decide to hire out those people. Just because you have the money to hire everyone does not take away from that valuable learning experience. You want to be able to set expectations and empathize with your employees so you can understand what their work entails. Similarly, if you were to hire a developer or a coder to work on your site, you’d want to understand how they communicate. How else are you going to know and understand the language unless you do some research and learn a little bit more?
The handed-being-handed-to-you model is not going to cut it when you choose to scale your business. You’ll be hiring more people and your business will grow beyond you. It’s very important you understand exactly what those roles and responsibilities are and how they relate to you, the CEO of your company.
If you’re ready for hands-on assistance to figure out how to 3x your business, look at new revenue channels, and move in the right direction, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.