You’ve got it all worked out—your business is growing, and all your hard work is finally paying off. Clients, orders, or whatever your company works with is pouring in, and there’s more than enough to go around. But now isn’t the time to get too carried away, because you’ll need to scale your business effectively if you want it to work out. There are certain skills entrepreneurs need to scale their business.
As an entrepreneur, it’s your job to make sure this process goes smoothly. Many people freeze up or make the wrong move, leading to issues down the line that could have been avoided. After all, it’s tough to manage hiring, funding, and strategy effectively and all at once.
This isn’t a how-to article, and it’s not going to tell you how to scale your business. That’s your job—and there are plenty of articles online that discuss strategy. Instead, this article is going to focus on you and the skills you’ll need to scale your business. So, without further delay, here are the top five skills entrepreneurs need to scale their businesses.
This should go without saying. As an entrepreneur, you’re in a leadership position at your company. It doesn’t matter how many employees you have—you need to be an effective leader, even if you’re the only one at the company. Leadership skills are especially crucial during scaling. Before we go any further, let’s take a look at a shortlist of qualities every effective leader must have:
Effective business leaders have a vision for their business. They work to preserve or adapt their vision as their company grows.
Entrepreneurs need creative thinking skills to be effective leaders. They’re the face of the company (internally or to the public), and people look to them for solutions to complex problems. A company leader that thinks outside the box is an effective one.
Effective leaders are organized. Keeping track of meetings, events, and information is essential, especially when landing new clients, hiring employees, and everything else that comes with growth.
When you combine these skills with your existing leadership abilities, you dramatically increase your likelihood of success when scaling. Somebody is going to need to be on top of everything, as with scaling comes new challenges. If you’re capable of leading yourself and your team through adversity, you’ll be able to overcome the obstacles that accompany expansion and scale your business effectively.
If your business is growing, it’s likely due to your ability to hustle and get the work done. Starting a business is difficult, and expanding it is even harder—if you’ve gotten this far, you’ll need to prepare to face even more challenges. Drive isn’t just about working long hours either, as the obstacles you’ll encounter will grow in complexity. You’ll be dealing with new employees, new clients, new regulations, and you’ll need to be prepared to power through the issues and take them head-on. Now is the time to hustle, and drive is a vital skill for scaling your business.
Hustling to get results is necessary, and you may be really good at it—but bringing in clients or orders isn’t enough to ensure successful scaling. Once you have all the attention, you need to have the capacity to deal with it. A successful entrepreneur knows how to evaluate a situation and respond accordingly. In some cases, this could mean delaying the gratification of expansion until your company is truly ready. If you can’t handle 15,000 new customers, don’t take 15,000 new customers. You need to effectively strategize, manage your resources, and decide which aspects of your business require priority when scaling. Messing up here could spell disaster for your company, so it’s vital to proceed with caution.
Communication & People Skills
Excellent communication and people skills are vital for scaling your business effectively. As your business grows, you’ll be exposing yourself to new partners, investors, customers, and employees—all of which need a clear vision of your message and company goals. If you can’t communicate effectively with your team, the business climate will be rife with confusion and apprehension. You need to know how to get the point across and make your intentions clear with everybody.
As far as people are concerned, let’s just be real here for a minute. If you’re challenging to get along with, people aren’t going to want to work with you. You can probably get away with it for a while, but bad people skills will cause significant problems down the line. You need people to scale your business, and people need to be able to work with you as an entrepreneur.
Also, you need to effectively evaluate people and work to build trust with employees and business associates. Trust is critical, especially during scaling—as cash flow increases, so do your vulnerability to internal fraud. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, an estimated 30% of business failures occur due to internal fraud. Don’t be afraid to distance yourself from people if they’re sketchy, and don’t get wrapped up in bad dealings because you’re unwilling to recognize the signs and say no.
While patience isn’t really a ‘skill’ per se, it’s still a vital attribute for any entrepreneur looking to scale their business. If you take the time to get your ducks in a row and do it right, you’ll be in much better shape than if you jump the gun.
Be patient, develop excellent communication skills, be driven, and become an effective leader. These are the five skills entrepreneurs need to scale their business.
By Artur Meyster, Co-Founder of Career Karma
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