It has never been easier to start a business and, thanks to widespread internet access, the UK has the third largest e-commerce market in the world. It's quick and cheap to get started, overheads are low, and the potential market reach is enormous. For those that have taken the plunge and have started to see things take off, how do you manage and maintain that growth? For many, they are flying by the seat of their pants. When you start a business, you may be the only employee, or one of a small handful. How do you manage this growth and keep the business running smoothly? Read on for some helpful tips and advice.
Hire, hire, hire
The hardest part for a business owner used to doing everything themselves will be to not do everything themselves. It's important to recognise when you are stretching yourself too thin and risking your reputation on the work you have coming in. When a business grows beyond what can be accomplished by 1 or 2 individuals, you need to recognise your priorities as a business owner and get in people who can help you focus your efforts where they matter most.
Taking on employees can be scary, but there are many types of employment. For highly seasonal work, such as spikes around Christmas, zero-hour contracts may be a perfect fit. For more consistent work, full-time employees may be necessary. It's a good idea to contact an employment solicitor for specific legal advice regarding employees.
Use outside services
However your business operates, it can be split into distinct categories. For an e-commerce business, the categories are likely to include stocking products, maintaining online storefronts and dispatching orders. Chances are you're already using third party services somewhere along the way, as you probably aren't delivering your orders to customers yourself.
That's when you rely on an outside party for part of your business process and any incidents that arise, even if they are the fault of the outside party, will be reflected onto your company by the customer. That's why you need to make sure the outside parties you use are reliable and can fulfil your orders on time, such as Parcel Broker for large parcel delivery.
Don't be afraid of debt
This might be considered controversial, and some business owners will insist on self-funding everything, but debt does not have to be detrimental. In fact, for a growing business, taking on debt can be a very good idea. As you grow, your business may come up against walls to further growth, such as large customer orders coming in that have expensive upfront costs. You know you will earn enough to soon pay for everything, but not in time to meet customer expectations. In cases such as these, acquiring debt to expand operations and fulfil more clients is a good thing. If you pay the debt back, you can come out ahead by acquiring debt.