If you’re like many entrepreneurs, you didn’t have unlimited capital to start your business. Maybe you ran your company in your garage or spare room. You might have started your business part time until it developed.
Many of us bootstrapping entrepreneurs are proud of our humble beginnings. But what if you’re still operating in the same manner…even though your business is now thriving? How do you move from shoestring operations to running a fast-paced and successful business?
Make it Real
The first thing you have to do is realize that you run a “real, live” business. That was something I had trouble with in the beginning (and occasionally even now), because it didn’t seem possible that I could run a business that I actually loved (and it be successful!). Treat it as a real business and not a hobby, and your business will react in kind.
You’ll be amazed what a difference it makes to take you and your company seriously! If you think and act like a real company, customers will too, and the money will pour in!
In the beginning, you probably were the Customer Service Rep, Product Shipper, and Product Designer. Now you need to step back and be the President or CEO and oversee the activities of your business. It is extremely hard for entrepreneurs to delegate (I speak from experience), but once you do it, you will free up your mental capacity and time to make higher level decisions that will help your company grow.
Keep in mind: you’re not great at everything. Decide what your strengths and weaknesses are and select your tasks based on that list.
If you can’t hire full time help, hire freelancers and virtual assistants to help you part time. Many of my clients interact with their marketing, customer service, and web development partners virtually. You save time on meetings, and if you build a strong relationship with service providers, geography will never be a factor.
Plan for Growth
Did your sales exceed your expectations last year? Set a higher goal for this year, and stick to it. Start being accountable for your business decisions. Create a business and marketing plan that acts as a guideline for your business’ actions. Decide where you want your company to be in one, three and five years.
Growth is exciting! Especially when it means your good idea has developed into a viable business. Don’t let your business’ growth take you by surprise, or you might miss valuable opportunities for sales and business relationships.