If you consistently work on your business, you’ll see a gradual growth quarter over quarter. This will go on until you reach a point where either:

●  You’ve grown so much that you’re struggling to keep up with customer demands.

●  Your growth has plateaued.

Planning for future growth is crucial for any online business. In today’s time, entrepreneurs have to be prepared to face any unexpected challenges. That’s how you become a leader and stand out in your niche.

The only hiccup here is: preparing your exponential future growth demands a lot of time and patience.

But — it’s not as difficult as you think.

Having a vision for the future and making smart decisions from day one can help you build a scalable business model that can make a significant difference in the longevity of your business.

In this article, we explore five ways you can take your online business to the next level.

How to scale your online business

1. Get your foundation right

This involves two things — your domain name and your website. These form the foundation upon which your online business stands. Your domain name is your business’s online identity. It’s the address that you communicate in presentations, on your business cards, on your banner ads, in a podcast, and more. Registering your domain name is the sign that your idea is now a business.

When registering your domain name, think about how you can make your website more brandable. This doesn’t mean you www.stuffallthekeywordsinyourdomainname.com.

It means making use of new domain extensions that are more meaningful, industry-specific, category-defining, relevant, and most importantly, keyword-rich. For example, a technology startup could opt for a .TECH domain name, an e-commerce business could go for a .STORE domain name, a creative agency could choose .SPACE. And if you’re looking for a more versatile and open name then you could go with .ONLINE or .SITE.

These domain extensions give you a domain name that’s brandable and meaningful to your business. Add a well-made, fully-functional website to this concoction and you have a strong online foundation to build and scale your business.

2. Always plan for the future

Building a business and planning go parallel to each other. That’s because planning is vital to your business whether you’re on day one or year one.

A good way to plan ahead is to start by setting realistic goals for growth. These could be yearly goals that are further broken down into smaller quarterly goals. Doing a simple exercise such as this gives you time to prepare for the coming weeks.

As you start preparing for these goals, you’ll be able to outline the resources and features that you’ll need to move to the next level. Here are some components that you can factor into your plan:

●  Possible resources that you might need.

●  Digital marketing goals.

●  Customer acquisition plan.

All these components will all come down to one key factor: budget.

3. Arrange for funding and spend wisely

A great option here would be to get featured on Shark Tank and get the necessary funding, however, that’s not an approach most online businesses can take advantage of.

Most small business entrepreneurs have one big responsibility to run and scale their business: secure the right amount of funding and collateral.

One of the options here could be bootstrapping where you either dig into your personal savings, take a loan from family members and friends, or get crowdfunding through sources such as Kickstarter.

Another way for entrepreneurs to get funding is to pitch to investors. While investors can provide great value to your business in terms of funding, valuable advice, resources; they’ll also take part ownership of your company.

Most small businesses opt for the latter, however, if you’re unsure about partnering with an investor then you could consider other options such as scholarships and grants. Many large organizations offer scholarships to startups and small businesses. These can range from $5k and up to a larger sum to help you reach the next level.

A few that you could consider include:

●  Fundbox Small Business Funding Scholarship

●  FedEx Small Business Grant Contest

●  U.S. Small Business Administration Grants

4. Study your analytics

Monitoring your business performance gives you a clear insight into the speed of your growth. Sales performance is one of the first metrics you should be studying when your objective is to scale.

●  Is your sales trend healthy?

●  How fast are your sales growing?

●  During what period do you see a spike in sales?

●  What do you attribute that growth to?

Strong sales performance is a key indicator of the overall health of your online business. If your metrics are positive and growing, then you know your business is scaling.

Other important metrics that you could consider to measure business growth are:

●  Primary platforms – which platforms are bringing in the most sales / new customers?

●  Product performance – which products or plans (in case of a service) are your top sellers? Is there an opportunity to add another feature to your product/service?

●  Lifetime Value:Cost per Acquisition (LTV:CAC) – how effective is your marketing? Can you justify the cost per customer acquisition?

Having a strong grip on your analytics will give you confidence and a competitive advantage when pitching to investors. It’ll also give you enough data to justify any expenses on updated technology or tools.

5. Determine your resources

The more you grow, the more resources you’ll need to manage your online business. These resources could be human or technological.

Here are two instances where you might want to invest in human resources.

  1. If you’re looking to build a strong content marketing strategy and build a strong company blog, you may want to consider hiring an experienced SEO professional, a content manager, and a few freelancers who can write good content that can help you lead the search results.
  1. If you’re looking to build your community on social media, you may want to consider hiring a professional who understands the nitty-gritty of all the social platforms. Someone who can curate engaging posts, drive engagement, and target relevant audiences on different platforms.

For technical resources, let’s explore these two examples.

  1. While you could hire an agency to manage your accounts and keep track of your expenses, you could save time by getting a simple accounting software that can do all this and more.
  1. As your business grows, so will your customer queries. Instead of managing a customer line that receives an overwhelming amount of calls in a day, you could install a chatbot on your website that could resolve basic customer queries 24×7.

Identifying areas where you can be more productive will help you prioritize your investments. However, once you do invest in these resources, ensure to check their performance periodically to make sure that you’re getting value for your spend.

Ready to scale your online business?

Your next step from here is to get started!

Carve out a plan and list down all the resources that you might need to scale your business.

●  Create systems and processes.

●  Look for investment and other income streams.

●  Find new clients and collaborators.

●  Have the time to step back, relax, and work on your own development.

Author Bio

Alisha is a Senior Content Marketing & Communication Specialist at Radix, the registry behind some of the most successful new domain extensions, including .STORE and .TECH. You can connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter