There comes a time in the business life cycle where the term “startup” doesn't really apply.
While the hustle is all too real, the days of faking it until you make it seem a bit blurry and all focus is towards the future of your living, breathing, growing brand. With this new chapter comes new work, new focus, and ideally, new success. But what ultimately tips the scales from beginner to boss?
Here are three signs you're ready to take things to the next level:
1. YOU DON'T HAVE TIME TO DIY.
Oh, those countless late night hours exploring Photoshop while your college roommate agrees to code a basic website in exchange for meal tickets. Everyone has to start somewhere, and you should be proud of humble beginnings. But you're now past the point of no return. In other words: you're in it right now.
Let's face it; your precious time is best spent doing the things that you are really good at. The rest is better outsourced so that your business can grow beyond your home office and into the empire you are sure to one day own.
Your new mantra: Let it go, and let it prosper.
2. YOU HAVE A RENEWED SENSE OF FOCUS.
The more time you get under your business belt, the more you become aware of what you're trying to build, who you want to work with, and where your talents lie. See this as an opportunity to hone in on your focus and rebrand yourself as a specialist in your niche market.
If you prefer to act as a design house and offer a wide range of products, be sure to acknowledge a common denominator found throughout all your skill sets. The last thing you want your business to be known for is a “jack of all trades, master of none”, no matter how catchy it sounds. Get clear on what you want and go for it.
3. YOU'RE READY TO EXPAND.
Humble beginnings also means starting small and rocking it until the universe forces you to grow.
If you've come to a point where you need to start providing products and services in order to fulfill the wants of your target market, there's nowhere to go but up. As with any new business change, take a moment to assess whether these new additions reflect your core values and future goals. If so, work with a brand strategist on looking, sounding, and feeling cohesive across all platforms.
Once you feel ready to take on a whole new level of being boss, take a moment to ensure that you have room to climb. Pursuing consistency across all efforts as you refine, outsource, and expand is a crucial part of upleveling your business.
Here are a few tips to looking and feeling consistent across all platforms:
- Stay true to your purpose, or your WHY.
- Fully personify your brand. If it were a person, how would it talk? What would it eat? Where would it shop? Carry this tone and aesthetic from your website to your business cards and everywhere in between.
- Be present and engage. Avoid spreading yourself too thin to the point where you're absent. Be honest about your time and where you will benefit the most.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Erica Kelly is the Co-Founder of Flourish Collaborative. She graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) with a BFA in Interior Design. Erica honed her professional practice and design skills at local Savannah firm Rethink Design Studio. Mixed with a love for visual arts and graphic design, Erica's interior design philosophy evolved into a greater focus on user experience in a branded environment. She brings that same cohesive thought process to the table at Flourish Co., offering insight on how creatives can build a lifestyle brand from the inside out.