7 entrepreneurs reveal how they scaled their businesses

Karen Bonner, Jess Hilbert and Shannon Oliver, co-founders of Red Duck Foods
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7 entrepreneurs reveal how they scaled their businesses

In the life of every successful entrepreneur, there is a bottom line: When you have to clone yourself, bury yourself under cover until all your customers are gone… or scale your business.

The first two solutions are not great solutions, but the third is tried and true. If you want to grow, you have to scale. That means creating scalable processes, expanding your team, and implementing strategies that will increase your revenue.

But how do you get there in a sustainable way? In a way that allows your business to double in size — without doubling your workload? And Do you need finance??

We asked seven successful entrepreneurs how they scaled their businesses. Here’s what they said.

Danielle Balog, small business ownerDanielle Balog, founder of Laundry Care

1. Reinvest your profits

When Danielle Balog left HR, she had two children under the age of 2 and she wanted to create a more flexible life. But without any specialized skills, she wasn’t sure what kind of business to start. In the end, she chose the one thing “anyone can do, but hate the most”: laundry.

As her laundry service grew, she hired more and more housewives and even expanded to other cities. Today, Laundry care has 15 employees and 200 suppliers across 22 states.

Part of her ability to scale is due to careful spending. “For the first few years, I ran everything on a tight budget,” she says. “I have reinvested nearly all of my profits so that every larger, one-time purchase is paid for in liquid assets or Credit Card 0% APR. ”

Then, to expand its infrastructure and footprint, Balog took out $50,000 business loan and $30,000 credit limit. Those funds, she said, paid “for larger projects like a new custom CRM, website, and mobile app coming soon.”

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Ishveen Anand, small business ownerIshveen Anand, Founder of OpenSponsorship

2. Know your stuff

As a former sports agent and management consultant, Ishveen Anand knows there is a better way to complete sponsorship deals.

Using her unique background, she founded OpenSponsorship, the largest platform connecting sponsors with professional athletes. In three years, more than 3,500 athletes and 2,500 brands have registered, making more than 2,000 deals.

Whether working with clients, employees or potential investors, Anand says it’s important to have a deep understanding of her business and its competitors.

“Know your business and industry inside out,” she says. “Whether it’s in sales meetings, recruitment, or raise money, you need to show that friend who bring solutions to life. ”

“As a woman, this is five times more important,” she continued. “We don’t get the benefit of the doubt, so we need to work even harder to prove that we are [to choose]. ”

Lora Ivanova, small business ownerLora Ivanova, founder of myLAB Box

3. Hire the right people

Lora Ivanova thought outside — and inside — the box as she founded myLAB box, an innovative home STD screening service. Since its launch in 2014, it has helped more than 20,000 customers and earned more than $2.5 million, according to AngelList.

During that journey, what the most important thing that Ivanova has learned?

“To hire and empower people who are better than me,” she said. “Early-stage startups can be a big challenge because the teams are small, so founders often wear multiple hats.”

While Ivanova admits CEOs are often good at a lot of things — which is probably why they’re CEOs — they have to look beyond themselves if they want to scale. “What really helps you grow your business is when you start bringing people in to help,” she adds.

Octavia Conner, small business ownerOctavia Conner, founder of Say Yes To Profits

4. Record everything

If you eventually want to hire the essential team members, Octavia Conner says you should start preparing now.

“From the beginning of the day to the end of the day, from referring new clients to posting on social media, I document everything I do,” says Conner. “This allows me to easily delegate work to my employees.”

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Although the team at her accountant and business virtual chief financial officer, Say Yes to Profit, is still small, her sales have grown exponentially. In 2015, she earned $22,000, profit margin is negative 15 percent; In 2017, she earned $135,500, a 35% profit margin.

Elisa Doucette, smal business ownerElisa Doucette, Founder of Craft Your Content

5. Create a clear vision

Elisa Doucette worked as a freelance editorial manager when her workload became overwhelming. For help, she hired an executive assistant and another editor. Then, as work continued to roll in, she decided to launch Create your content, an editorial, proofreading and content management agency. Three years in business, she now has a team of eight.

In addition to documenting processes, Doucette also says it’s important to outline your company’s mission, voice, vision, values, and culture.

“I don’t want a bunch of teleworkers simply ticking boxes on a list and waiting for someone to show them what to do,” she said. “I wanted to create a solid foundation for them to understand what this agency represents, so they can feel empowered to make any important decisions about how to fulfill their mandate. ”

Getting the ball into her team’s court worked. When “terror struck” after her managing editor left, one of her other team members jumped in and asked to take on the role.

“I am really lucky to have a culture and environment where My team wants to grow and develop their role within the agency,” she noted.

Lisa Bradley and Cameron Cruse, small business owners Lisa Bradley and Cameron Cruse, founders of R.Riveter

6. Know when to step aside

As a military couple who often travel, Lisa Bradley and Cameron Cruse find it difficult to make a career.

So, one winter, each person invests $2,100 in materials and starts producing bags in the attic. Before long, they were hiring other spouses to make bags in their own homes. Two years later, they joined Shark Tank and received $100,000 in exchange for a 20% stake in their company.

From 2014 to 2016, R.Riveter grew 1,475%, making it to Inc.’s 2017 list of fastest growing private companies in the US. More importantly, it provides income for 103 military families, with a third of every dollar spent on military families.

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However, despite all that success, Bradley recently stepped down as CEO and hired an experienced executive to replace her.

“Successful founders know how to hire the right people in the right roles as the business grows,” she says. “This important leadership function also applies to founders.”

“I have seen other founders who are doing well,” she continued. “Cameron and I wanted to focus on developing our vision for the company — and leveraging our CEO to help us make it happen. [it]. ”

Karen Bonner, Jess Hilbert and Shannon Oliver, co-founders of Red Duck FoodsKaren Bonner, Jess Hilbert and Shannon Oliver, co-founders of Red Duck Foods

7. Consider the big picture

Soon after Karen Bonner and co-founders Jess Hilbert and Shannon Oliver made ketchup for schoolwork, they decided to turn it into a business, and Food for red ducks born.

Over the past two years, the organic spice company’s sales have grown 316 percent. It has a team of five and will soon be available in more than 3,100 stores, including Whole Foods. The company used angel investments and working capital credit line to finance its development.

To get to this point, Bonner says stepping back is crucial. “Take time, at least quarterly, to set goals and review your progress,” she says. “Many of the most important changes in corporate strategy happen when you step back from the brooding phase and look at the big picture.”

Bonner also recommends creating a mastermind with other entrepreneurs. “Having a trusted group to talk to about your biggest challenges is incredibly helpful,” she explains.

Most entrepreneurs will find that scaling an organization — whether it’s freelance business or one cleaning company—A welcome challenge. After all, that’s a sign of success: that your business has expanded beyond its current capabilities. Follow the tips above, and hopefully your business will grow to even greater heights soon.

Read on for hard-won advice from seven other female founders:

7 female entrepreneurs share their best advice for new business owners

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