Women In Business

Mastering the art of scaling your business for profit

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The single most important decision I made since starting my own business at 24 from my one bedroom apartment was to master my revenue streams by identifying and maximising predictable channels and ways of selling my products. Scaling my business for profit allowed me to turn my corporate hamper business into a nationally recognised, million dollar business.

The benefits of scaling and having a highly profitable business are countless, from enabling yourself to build a steady stream of revenue to seeing a return on investment for your paid advertising and marketing budget. But perhaps most important, is the peace of mind you gain when you suddenly have less stress about money. Something many small business think, just comes with the territory!

There is always a steady tide of potential for failure in business. In fact half of all businesses won’t make it to the five-year mark with Bloomberg stating that 8 out of 10 entrepreneurs who start business fail within the first 18 months! However these failures can be avoided with by realising that scaling your business and growing your business are two seperate things altogether.

Scaling your business means you’re able to handle an increase in sales, work, or output in a cost- effective. It means your company is fit to manage growth without taking a hit another areas.

So before you go and hire a whole new sales team because your local strategy is working and you think the next step is all about growth – Here are some specific strategies that will help you scale your first so your growth can be more seamless.

1. Introduce a new product or service to an existing client base.

A former coaching client of mine successfully grew her online e-commerce business when she tapped into a whole new online revenue stream.

By tweaking the business model to not just selling online to retail customers but adding a wholesale arm to the business we were able to almost triple her sales within the first 30 days. The increased wholesale volume has meant that she also reduced the cost of goods from the manufacturer and decreased the cost of importing costs, allowing her to bring in her product via sea freight, rather than the more expensive option of air freight.

2. Outsourcing is essential for sales

Hiring staff or freelancers can mean more leverage for your sales.

When I decided to hire staff, I saw my corporate gift hamper business
double in sales instantly. I was no longer working on the tools and it allowed me to be pitching proposals to the right people. It freed up my time to focus on income generating tasks.

3. Tech yourself out.

The cost of running a business and using the latest software programs can eat into your profits. When you add up the costs of running an inventory software program, an accounting software package, a website, an e- commerce store, plus merchant fees, PayPal fees, hosting costs, and maybe a 3PL program, it becomes way more cost-effective to house all of them into one program.

4. Start small and grow fast.

In my second Christmas season with my first corporate gifting
business, I organised a 3-month lease at a local warehouse. I hired staff just for the busiest times when I knew that I had a peak sales period. I knew that peak sales period would provide me with enough cash flow to cover wages and the short-term rent.

5. Research and identify your ideal customer

This process takes time, but should not be missed. The best way to scale your business is to get to know your buyer intimately. Once you know your ideal customers you can create different revenue streams to sell to them in a profitable, scaleable way.

Scaling any business will always involve a degree of uncertainty and risk but careful planning and small tweaks that service your ideal customer first and enable you to spend time on creating more profit making opportunities will stand you in good stead for greater growth down the track.

About Sarah Cross

At 24, Sarah J Cross started at her kitchen table and grew her own corporate gift hamper service into a nationally recognised, million-dollar business. Her first Christmas season she went from landing a $30,000 order and wrapping every package by hand herself, to growing her company annual sales of $1.5M per year and being a finalist twice for the Telstra Business Women’s Award. Sarah is also the author of Fearless Fempreneur which outlines the strategies and in-sights to inspire other creatives business owners. She is also the owner of the Creative Product Institute - A mastermind for seasoned business owners in the homewares and lifestyle markets who want to take their business to the next level.

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