A good way to grow into a bigger company is for your well-heeled potential customers to think you’re that big already.
5 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
It’s probably not likely that you started your entrepreneurship journey by taking over or inheriting an established business. Businesses often get built from the ground up by someone with a vision and big goals. As you start to build your business, you do the best you can with what you have.
You’re probably not starting out with a team and it may be years until you can build the business to that level. While you’re building, you’re focused on all the strategy and structures pieces that you need to do daily. You’re the jack of all trades doing everything from admin tasks to marketing to billing to support.
It can be easy to get lost in the busy work as the revenue starts to roll in. While this is a fairly typical path, it’s not the best way to build a business. There’s an important element that’s missed in the beginning, and for some, even years later. If you’re going to build a successful business that’s bigger than a one-person show, you need clarity.
Understanding the Big Picture
In the beginning, or even now, you should understand what the vision and main goals are for your business. Where you are now in your business is fine but that’s not how you should be building. Another approach is to build a business according to where you’re going—not where you are right now.
Let’s say you own a small marketing agency. Right now, you are probably the one doing everything. That, or you have a few virtual assistants who handle one-off tasks. But, that’s not where you see this business going. What you see is having a larger marketing agency that has a full-time team and is working with global companies.
Your branding, messaging, platform and the way you do business should reflect that. You shouldn’t be branded as yourself with all of your messaging and marketing focused on how you can help clients. You should consider branding as an agency. The agency has a name and you are the CEO of it. Your website, marketing and the way you deal with clients should reflect that.
No one knows what’s happening behind the scenes but they do see what you put out to the world. Branding and doing business as an agency would help you stand out and appear more professional. That, in turn, could lead to better clients and your business grows. When you take it that serious, so will others. Everyone on the outside takes their cues from you.
Understanding the vision.
It’s the same principle for any kind of business. You build according to where you’re going. You may not be there yet with all the pieces but that shouldn’t stop you. There are tweaks you can make now that make your business look and feel like where it will be in the future.
We’re so focused on the work right now. That’s a good start but the goal is to not always be where you are now. Get clear on your main goals and what the future business would look like. If you want your business to stay smaller with a few people on staff, that’s okay, but still add that extra level of professionalism. Make it seem larger than a small shop.
If the goal is something bigger than just your — office, staff, large clients, travel — set up your foundation and structure to achieve that. You have to be clear on what you want for your life and business. You should see where this is going.
if you’re not clear, take some time this week to get clarity. Write down your goals. Talk it through with a partner or your mastermind group. Think about the high-end clients you want to work with — the large corporations that will hire you. Look at those who do what you do but are ahead in the process. Use all of it to create the vision of your future business.
Then, start making the necessary changes to your foundation and structure. That might take your business from a sole proprietorship to an LLC or corporation. Your business name might change from yours to something that encompasses where you’re going.
Only you know what makes sense for where you’re going. Don’t let your current situation get in the way of your growth. Build your future business right now with some tweaks and a clear vision.