Having a start-up is exciting, but when you are no longer the new kid on the block, you must see where your business will likely go next. Of course, you want to make things bigger, better, and more profitable, but as you have had your mind on getting things off the ground for the last couple of years, you might not have given too much thought about how to do it.
You might think that your plan of action will depend on what type of business you have and which niche you operate in, and to a certain extent, that is true. However, there are some simple steps you can take which are necessary, regardless of what you do.
Look at Staffing Levels
Your workforce (whether that is 4 or 100 people) is the lifeblood of your business, so you need to look at how your plans will affect them. You need to look at workloads, how that is likely to increase as you get busier, and how automation or recruitment can help there. If you do choose recruitment, you need to consider whether those new staff need to be at your office or can work remotely. If you can recruit from anywhere, this widens your candidate pool and increases your chance of getting the best person for your job.
You should also look at wage structures, possible raises, and any likely rewards for them from a potential IPO, which, after all, would not be possible without their efforts.
If you are thinking of an IPO, there are other boxes you need to tick. First among these is to learn more about SOX compliance. It was not essential while you were a private company, but if you want to go public, it is a legal requirement. You might have to make some changes to how you deal with your finances to comply with this, but once achieved, it does have the benefit of making your business more secure through risk reduction and data protection, as well as reducing accounting complexity.
Nobody would blame you for not knowing the ins and outs of this, however, so seeking professional help rather than trying to work it out alone is probably the best way forward.
With the financial side of your business sorted out, you need to look at how you look to the outside world, as this will have a large effect on any future plans you have. Your current online profile might be that of a plucky start-up, but as that is no longer the case, you need to change the tone to that of a more established business with a pedigree and a host of satisfied customers singing your praises.
As with financial compliance, this area is one best handed over to the experts, and you can turn your new message into one that is congruent across your website as well as all of your social media channels. This way, no new customers who approach your business will get mixed messages about what you do and what your stand for.