Canada is a country that is full of amazingly talented entrepreneurs who are innovating and very good at starting new businesses. However, as noted by the Canadian Government back in 2016, although we are very good at starting companies, Canadian entrepreneurs don’t tend to scale their businesses as well as our neighbours to the south. There are many reasons for this, but a lot boils down to a lack of readily available resources, be it experienced business talent or available growth capital.
What does it mean to scale your business?
Many use the phrases “scale your business” and “grow your business” interchangeably. But they don’t exactly mean the same thing – not quite. You need to scale your business before you can grow it – scaling is more about building capacity and capability.
Say you have the goal of doubling your sales this year. Great! But do you have the capability to handle all those extra sales? Do you have the means to invest in the extra personnel or equipment that filling all those extra orders would require? This is what we mean by scaling – having that capacity.
So, what do you need to scale your business?
Just like you needed a business plan to start your business, you will need another one to effectively scale your business. Determine what level of growth you wish to achieve and what you will need in sales to reach that goal. Then determine what kind of investments you need to make, being as detailed as possible. The better you budget and forecast your profit and loss, the less stressful scaling your business will be because you will already have an idea of what to expect.
The next step to scaling your business is finding the capital. This can be a challenge to many Canadian entrepreneurs who may have started their business by bootstrapping (funding it themselves). While bootstrapping can be a great way to start a business, it can be incredibly difficult and take a long time to scale a business in this way.
It is often more effective to look for business loans or to seek out investors. This can come with its own set of challenges as well since there are many types of loans and investments, each with its own pros and cons. You will need to decide what funding method will be best for you and your business.
Leveraging the expertise of others is an excellent way for entrepreneurs to scale their businesses. Hire or outsource experts knowledgeable in the areas where you lack experience. Building a strong team is essential to scaling your business.
And if there are functions that you are performing in your business now that are taking your focus away from scaling the business, you may want to reassign those functions to someone else so that your time may be used where you will get a higher return on investment.
Contact CBGF today
If you are looking to scale your business, a minority investment from CBGF may be a good fit for you. We also have an extensive network that we can share with our portfolio companies, who can provide their expertise to help your business grow. Contact us today to learn more.