Karan Tanna, CEO and Founder Yellow Tie Hospitality who has featured in the Forbes list of India’s most promising entrepreneurs, shares his top tips for upscaling your business…
A business thrives on creativity and it flies high to a different ‘orbit’ only when new ideas steer the ship. For any business, upscaling and growth are the prime focus points all the time. The business that does not grow year on year misses out on the first determinant of being an established entrepreneurial set-up.
To ensure the sustainability of the business, it must be ensured that all the operational activities are in order. Having an effective back-up plan in terms of finances and sustainability measures, before the next curve of business expansion is planned, is always recommended. But before that, make sure that the economics of the current business is healthy (not necessarily profitable); because if the base is shaky, upscaling would be unstable and non-sustainable too.
So here is how to upscale your business:
1. Ask yourself, will the next phase take you to a higher ‘orbit’. Will it gives incremental value to oneself and the business?
Push your limits if you are passionate about what you are doing. Think out of the box. Imagine you are selling bananas and there is gradual progress in the number of bananas that you sell. But will that satiate your thirst for more? How about building your own supply chain methodology, so that you produce your own bananas and sell them too! Exciting, right? This, vis a vis, the gradual progression in selling more number of bananas every day, challenges the idea of a successful business. In the latter case, where is the value added to your skill set as an entrepreneur and in a profitable business that you run? One needs to align their vision to the plan of upscaling their business.
2. Make sure your core team on the same page as you
Business is not run alone, it is run with a team of people who could also be your family. If business is your top priority, ensure that your team sees your vision and believes in your ideas. Always be transparent with your team members and exchange ideas freely. That way, you would be able to gauge their preparedness toward the change that is due. You can also calibrate their capacities and decide their role in the next stages accordingly.
However, that is just one part of the entire story. You are also responsible toward your stakeholders (not only investors) who may also be a part of your journey. They should also be kept in the loop of every business move. They should also be geared up to the pace you are planning to move ahead so that they are prepared for the challenges that might arise in the future. Having said that, it is also important to take their advises and clear all their doubts pertaining to profitability and the risk factors involved. Ultimately, it is like a “Vallam Kali”, the boat race that happens in Kerala where it is all about the team effort. Without the team, winning the race is next to impossible.
3. Ensure your pockets are getting deeper
Be cognizant about the numbers you have achieved; this will give you a better idea of how the numbers will phase out when you are upscaling your business. There should always be a contingency plan if things did not work out. Only a contingency back-up plan, pertaining to finances can phase out any of the challenges that come your way when you are growing the business. Growth mentality is important, but you should be aware of your capacities both financially and resource-wise. As they say, a business where you cannot take 2 paisa home is not a business at all. A business should have the prospects of profitability if at all it is not yielding the results as yet.
4. Watch where you are spending your time!
Do not spread too thin. In other words, micro-management is fine at a certain level. But it is not possible always. Trust your peers with the major part of the work and focus on the domain that actually runs the business. So, if the business is led by operations, concentrate on its functioning and leave the rest of the concerns to your teammates. If required, recruit others or outsource. If it is a creative business, focus more on developing or creating new ideas to make it stand out in the market. The administrative part can be left to others. It is not as simple as it sounds, because if you lose focus and concentration, there are chances that the business will be disintegrated and will fall through the race of time.
5. Be aligned with the purpose of your business.
Every business contributes to society, the industry, families that are involved in it and the entrepreneurs themselves. Are your business upscaling plans in sync with the purpose of your business or is it being run just to upscale the top line and the bottom line? A business without a purpose is like a boat without a sailor. Apple is a strong example. A business without purpose, in the long run, will not get an edge over its competitors. Big businesses that have created value have always had a purpose since the day of inception and work towards the same purpose.
Yellow Tie Hospitality also believes in giving back to the ecosystem. Our incubation system shares ideas with new F&B companies to scale up to sustain the competitive market. Without aligning to the purpose of business, the set up can give you short-term profitability but can never turn into a million-dollar company.