Let’s say you’re past the startup stages of your business – there’s cash flow coming in, but not enough for you to quit your day job and really scale your business. You’ll likely need to look for sources of capital, and it may come down assessing business loans for bad credit or using an alternative funding source like a merchant cash advance. Regardless of how you get capital to scale, you need to plan for the challenges ahead.
In this article, we’ll go through tips and tricks on how you can scale your business at a much faster rate in hopes to move full-time into your business. The reason most businesses fail is that they simply don’t have the ability to give the project enough attention (time) so it can build momentum and not only pay for itself, but also pay your bills.
You’re probably reading this and thinking, “Yeah right, easier said than done.” It’s true, building a brand while working a day job (and having a small budget) isn’t easy. But, it’s possible now thanks to the internet!
You can virtually grow your business at least 8x using tools like Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms. Let’s be realistic, 20% of businesses that have generated 80% of their business comes from online marketing efforts. We hear excuses all the time like, “But my industry is different.” The cold hard truth is that if you’re not putting some type of online marketing strategy to earn revenue today, then in the next 5-10 years, your business model will be greatly impacted in a negative way.
With social media marketing, you don’t need to spend a large budget. You can A/B test with small amounts of money to first see what works for your target market. Then, you can optimize and scale your marketing plan. At this point, you may need to look for funding sources to cover this expenditure, which can come in the form of a merchant cash advance (more on this soon) or small business loan (even if it’s a business loan for bad credit).
“Have the end in mind and every day make sure you're working towards it” – Ryan Allis Tweet
Clearly, without sales there is no business to run, but how can you increase sales? Depending on the industry that you’re in, the velocity of your transactions can determine whether you’re profitable or not.
The question is where are your sales coming from right now and how fast are they coming in? Are your sales mainly only when prospects add your product to their shopping cart, or are you cold calling and building up a pipeline?
The key is to get a firm understanding of your sales process, whether it’s a $1 product, $100 product or $1,000 product. Getting a better understanding of how much and how long it takes to generate a sale will help determine your strategies used to scale accordingly. You may need to add incentives and promotions, referral programs, a quicker sales funnel or add products to upsell or cross-sell.
There’s a notion circulating in the startup community that getting an investor is easy and the way to go. People say you just need to find someone with money, pitch your business idea and that’s it. There are surely investors out there seeking a great business model to invest time, money and resources. But, most businesses fail in this process because they focus less on actually generating sales and more on seeking an investor. If you’re a startup, then your main priority should be to generate sales independently. Once you can show on paper that the business is indeed valuable to the marketplace through your business model, then you might be eligible to seek an investor. The point is: grow first, then seek an investor.
That’s right, we said you need to grow first and then look to investors. This turns out to be a lot like the chicken or the egg dilemma; you need money to grow, you need to grow to make money.
Without investors, you can lean on alternative sources for funding. As a new business, your credit may not be up to par. Traditional lenders like banks assess your creditworthiness to approve loans. The good news is that there are still business loans for bad credit.
Additionally, if you expect to have an influx of credit card sales in the near future, you should consider applying for a merchant cash advance. A merchant cash advance is a funding option that is practically immediate. You don’t need to have a high credit score or a long business history. Instead, you’ll have to show credit card transactions and promise to pay back the lump sum of money over time by giving back a percentage of your credit card transactions. You can choose the program that suits your business.
When moving your business from a side hustle to your full-time pride and joy, you will face many decisions. The key isn’t to get everything right all the time, but it’s to foresee the future and plan for it. If you’re going to fail, fail fast and try again.
Some of the most important decisions you make will be in regards to how you source your business funding. If you forego the investor route, assess business loans for bad credit and alternative funding options. There’s pros and cons to it all, so it’s best to define your business goals and evaluate what method will get you there while minimizing risk and potential losses.
By investing back into your business and allocating funding wisely, you can focus on growth.