When a newly established small business begins to grow, it’s an exciting time for all involved. Yet this excitement should be tempered with a bit of caution. New revenue streams often take a while to truly become established and can be unpredictable. An organization must be careful to develop an infrastructure that can easily be downsized in case next month’s income doesn’t meet expectations.
Here are a few ways to provide your business with the flexibility to easily adapt to changing conditions, no matter which direction those changes take:
- Hire temporary workers: These employees can be called in with as little as a few hours’ notice, so they’re a great resource for handling a rush of orders or a short-term business increase. It’s also possible to extend their employment duration once their term reaches its end if they’re still needed. If some individuals decide to move on, arrangements can be made with the agency to send replacements.
Another good thing about temp workers is their skill versatility. General staffing agencies can provide staff ranging from janitorial all the way to C-level employees. Assembly, packing, secretarial, filing and other such “light industrial” fields are the specialties of such staffing firms. An executive staffing agency is likely best for boardroom-level positions, and if you need creative help fast, find an agency that maintains a roster of professionals with the skills you need to produce your next project.
- Use scalable hosting: The tiny shared hosting plan a small business initially uses won’t do the job once its site starts to receive serious traffic. Limitations on bandwidth, processing power (also known as server resources), file types and other restrictions can cramp a growing business’s online presence. If your company is too big for shared hosting but too small to justify using a dedicated server, try a virtual private server. These provide much of the flexibility of a full-on dedicated box, but at a lower cost.
Eventually, when it’s time to move away from a virtual private server, look for an enterprise-level company such as Rackspace. They have multiple levels of server offerings under the same roof, so migration will be much easier if you need to adjust your service level. Better yet, their cloud solutions are made with scalability in mind, so upgrading or downgrading is as easy as clicking a few buttons.
- Try a coworking office: The concept of coworking is a relatively new option in the business world: a worker shares communal office space with many other people from different employers. Imagine a typical office, but one where all the cubes or desks are rented by different companies.
Coworking’s benefits include the ability to rent or release desks as needed, a proper business address and phone are provided, and workers have the opportunity to interact with people outside their industry.
Being able to expand your business or scale it down depends on your ability to quickly adapt to changing fortunes, whether bearish or bullish. Flexibility is key, and temp workers, scalable hosting, and coworking are just a few strategies for reacting to change. Do some brainstorming, and depending on the needs of your organization, you’re sure to discover even more.