As far as exciting things go, watching your business grow from a single-person operation on your sofa to a thriving multi-team-member enterprise is on the top of the list. Just like Rome wasn’t built in a day (apologies for the cliché), you can’t expect your business to blossom overnight. But all growth has to start somewhere, and the best growth comes with a plan. One of the best ways to ensure your business grows the way you want it to is to put those dreams on paper, make sure your ducks are in a row, and find the help you need that keeps you working smart and your business on a steady, solid path forward. To set you up for success, I’ve gathered my best 5 things to consider when growing your business.
Let’s get started!
- Map your Goals.
Growing is great, scaling is better! You probably hear the word “scale” thrown around a lot and wonder what that even means. In short, scaling a business just means having a solid foundation in place that supports the current and future growth of your business. So, it would follow that the best way to have a solid foundation is to have a plan geared towards your goals.
When you’re ready to start growing, mapping your goals is key to ensuring you’re covering all the things that come along with growth. Putting it on paper is a great way to make sure you’re staying true to your brand, filling a need within your niche, and not leaving anything behind in the process.
A great example of successful growth is Magnolia. This company was started by one of HGTV’s favorite couples Chip & Joanna Gaines. To get where they are now they started with interior design, then opening storefronts like The Silos, expanding to Magnolia Table, and then establishing a partnership with Target. Through all of this growth they never left their initial industry of design, and they kept the brand in mind as they grew in each direction, staying true to their niche and audience.
- Financial Planning
One of my best pieces of advice: get a bookkeeper on board when you’re in the goal and growth mapping stage. Having a well-rounded and big picture idea of your finances is essential if you’re going to grow in a sustainable way. Knowing where you are financially will also heavily influence whether or not you can add organizational apps, upgrade your software programs, hire a design assistant, or pay to update your website. It also helps to know if you are charging what you should be for your services, paying your taxes correctly, and planning ahead enough for any unexpected crises that might crop up.
In general, being smart with money is the only way you’re going to ensure success. Partnering with a trusted bookkeeper/accountant who helps you go over your goals and plan ahead is key and one of the best relationships you’ll establish along your journey. You can find some great help from companies like Kickstart Accounting, Inc. and Business by the Book.
So you’ve created your business because you’re brilliant and creative – but you cannot expect yourself to be a master of ALL. And if you try to do it all, you’re going to hit burnout really quickly… Preach! That’s why one of my biggest pieces of advice to anyone in the process of scaling is to outsource. As you’re mapping your goals, start a column of tasks that aren’t your strong points that you can (and would be more than happy to) pass off to someone else. Whether this looks like finding a VA, getting in touch with a bookkeeper or legalese connoisseur, or even just setting up a good project management system, finding the right help for those tasks is essential.
I know this business is your baby, and handing parts of it off to someone else is daunting, but there’s nothing wrong with asking for help, and the best part of being an entrepreneur in this modern age is that you have access to professionals from across the globe! More than likely, there’s someone out there that specializes in the one thing you just don’t have a passion for. So let them handle all of that, so you can focus on the reason you started your business in the first place!
There are so many great software helpers out there, from Zapier to Calendly to interior design specific like Indema! The key here is getting set up with a software that helps you work smarter, connects you to your team, and takes the stress out of things like onboarding and client conversion. As an interior designer, you’ll probably want something that helps you manage your clients, has email marketing capabilities, helps you source and organize products, and keep track of invoices. But if you do a general Google search, you’re going to come up with endless options, so check out a blog I put together here for some of my favorites.
I would love to yell this point from the mountain tops! As hard as networking can be for some, it really is essential. Your network can fill in the gaps in your know-how in areas you’ve never imagined. Think financial expertise, client relationship troubleshooting, resource libraries, growth and educational opportunities, and so, so, so much more! Find a local business group (or two), your Interior Design Society chapter, online group coaching, Facebook groups, or anywhere you can build a safe community to ask for advice, referrals, or just vent about the pains of being an entrepreneur. These relationships will prove to be invaluable as you grow in your business and as a person.
Congratulations! Your business is growing, and you’re on the cusp of great things. With a robust and well thought out plan in place, you’ll do just fine. These five areas of focus are just the start, so find your people, reach out for support, and maybe even hire an OBM who can be your sidekick along the way.
Guest post by: Jackie Bajuk | indema Certified partner.
Email: [email protected]