Maintaining Quality As Your Home Business Grows - Digital Hints

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Maintaining Quality As Your Home Business Grows

There are more small and micro businesses today than there have ever been before. In the US alone there are over 28 million small businesses and even more sole traders and people making a little extra cash from a profitable side hustle. In the modern world, we’re all seeking alternative ways to make money. Some of us because our traditional employment doesn’t pay enough for us to live comfortably, and others because we want to start up on our own. Creating our own business, working our own way in our own time. The idea of working for yourself can be an attractive one, even if it is a lot of hard work, and the internet and its growing usage in everyday life is giving more people than ever the opportunity to get started.

Many of these small businesses are sales based. Some people buy products wholesale and sell them on to their own customers. Others, create their own products, package them and sell them themselves.

Often, the people creating and selling their own products start out on their own. Perhaps experimenting selling things that they’ve always made as a hobby. Cakes, crafts, clothing and home accessories are common things for people to make and sell, and sites like Etsy give people an easy way to start.

In the early days, this can work well. People get positive feedback on their creations from friends and family and wonder if they could make some money off it. They sell the occasional product that they’ve got time to make around their other commitments. They create one thing at a time, giving it their full focus and attention.

Over time, however, you might want your business to grow, or you might find that it starts to grow quickly, and somewhat unexpectedly as you gain good reviews and word of mouth begins to spread. When this happens, especially if it occurs suddenly, things start to change. They have to change if you want to keep up. You have to find ways to become more efficient and get more done. But, maintaining quality is essential.

If you’ve suddenly gone from creating one product at a time in the comfort of your own home to having to produce more, you might find it hard to maintain quality, and even harder to carry on providing your customers with the same exceptional service that they are used to. With more calls on your time, you can start to feel as though you don’t have enough of it and that you are being spread too thinly.

Maintaining Quality As Your Home Business Grows

Hire the Right Help

As your business starts to grow, you might decide that there’s too much work for you to take on alone. You might want to hire an assistant, or even a few members of staff to help you get through it all. This is often the first real sign that your business is becoming something more than a hobby that makes money. When you’ve got a team working under you, it’s clearly something more. It’s an exciting time.

But, don’t get carried away with that excitement and employ either too many people or the wrong people. It can be tempting just to hire friends and family to pick up the slack. But, ask yourself if they’ve really got the skills and experience that you need? Will they really bring something to your company? Or, would you be better off looking elsewhere?

Hiring staff for the first time can be overwhelming, and it can seem as though the best employees are out of your league. But, remember, you’ve got something unique to offer. You are a new, up and coming company and you want your staff to be involved in every area of your growth. This is a valuable experience that they might not get elsewhere and may appeal to younger employees, looking to learn.

Recruiting is an important process. Don’t assume that any help is good. The wrong help can actually make your life harder, and it will certainly negatively impact on the quality that you can offer. Take your time, find the right people and then train them thoroughly, and they’ll be a massive help.

Outsource

Outsourcing is a fantastic option for your growing business. Outsourcing some projects, like IT work, web design and marketing campaigns to freelancers or other teams can be the ideal solution if you want to wait until you are earning money more consistently before hiring permanent staff. It can save you money while giving your flexibility and access to people with more skill and experience in specific areas. When it comes to tasks like managing your accounts, you might choose instead to outsource the work to a professional company, who will work on your business long-term. This can also save you money and time, as well as reducing your stress levels.

If your business is doing well, and you need to increase manufacture substantially, you may instead choose to offshore these processes. Offshoring has some top benefits, but the main one for a small, growing business is that it gives you access to skilled workers, who can offer consistency and quality at a fraction of the cost of employing a team, and hiring a workspace back home.

Grow Slow

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting big things for your small business. You can reach for the stars, and have massive plans for your companies future. But, a big mistake that a lot of companies make is trying to do it all at once. They start thinking about opening other premises, going global and hiring a large team from the off.

Growing too fast almost always leads to a significant drop in quality and consistency. So, don’t rush. Build yourself up slowly, taking the time to ensure that high standards are met and that each stage is well developed, before moving on to the next step in your plan. There’s a lot to be said for taking your time.

Focus On One Thing at a Time

Maintaining Quality As Your Home Business Grows
You are essential to the quality of the service and products that you offer. It’s your business and your vision. Having staff and being able to delegate is fantastic. But, the responsibility still falls on you.

To make sure you can be at your best, it’s essential that you learn to focus on one thing at a time. We’ve all got massive to-do lists, but running around like a headless chicken means that nothing is getting your full focus, and your team don’t know where to turn. Focus on one job at a time, complete it, and move on to the next.

Develop a Routine

Maintaining Quality As Your Home Business Grows
Whether you are a team of 2, or 2002, all working on different jobs, doing different things every day and having no kind of working routine in place is confusing. It can lead to a drop in quality, as well as a loss of motivation and control.

If you want to maintain quality, efficiency and productivity, it’s a good idea to get into a working routine. Delegate tasks, have an order to your day and put systems in place so that each customer is offered precisely the same process.

Learn How to Say No

Part of growing slowly, and taking the time to do things right, is learning how to say no. When things are going well, work comes in quickly, and you can feel as though you have to say yes to everything. This can massively knock the quality of what you are offering. Learn to say no, to work, to things that take your focus away from your core job and to things that don’t either make you money or bring you joy, and quality control will be much smoother.
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