How to scale up your home business

Growth and strategy

10 January 2017

Are you weighing up the benefits of scaling up? Scaling up is defined as increasing turnover or employee numbers by 20% over 3 years – and lots of home-based businesses simply aren’t doing this.

If you’re one of the UK’s 2.9 million homepreneurs, don’t be reluctant to grow your business. Here are some straightforward suggestions that can move your business onwards and upwards.

Don’t DIY

It can be hard to plan ahead when the everyday workload looms large. You may not be able to employ someone to manage your increasing pile of paperwork (yet), but have you considered outsourcing your admin? A virtual PA can help you claw back some valuable time to spend on your core business and forward-planning. You can arrange to have as much or as little support as your budget allows.

Other areas you can easily outsource include marketing, blogging and social media – and as your business grows, you can also hand over your HR and payroll.

Leaving home

While there are many advantages to working from home (low costs and no time spent travelling), it can also limit your business’ development.  Taking on staff, holding meetings with clients and generally needing more space are all hampered by working from domestic premises. Leaving home for networking events is also a valuable way to make sure you don’t spend too much time tied to your home office, they could also potentially lead to new and exciting business opportunities.

Plus, isn’t it better for your work-life balance to be able to lock the office door when you’ve finished for the day, then go home and really switch off? Of course, if you really want peace of mind in the evenings, you’ll need to make sure that your new business premises are protected with public liability insurance. Even if you’ve taken on a simple single room office, liability insurance will protect your business against any slip-ups.

Find your funding

If you want to upscale, you’ll need financial support. The time-honoured way to do this is to see your bank’s small business adviser, armed with a whizz-bang business plan and a set of confidence-inspiring accounts. Look online to see what your bank (and its competitors) has to offer.

Recently, crowdfunding has become another viable way for small businesses to raise money. Crowdfunding is a means of raising capital by getting smaller amounts of money from larger amounts of people, typically through an online platform. You’ll need to have a specific project or venture in mind – ideally one that’s engaging to potential investors. Also be aware that managing crowdfunding is time-consuming (a task for your virtual PA?).

Don’t feel constrained because you started as a homepreneur. Think about changing the way you work and where you work, look into loans and protect yourself with public liability insurance for businesses.