Scaling a Small Business

This summer has so far been very wedding focused! Here are some workinprogress shots from recent projects.

In between custom orders for seating charts, invitations, and other wedding details, I've also been spending time figuring out the path to take my little company. I'm at a bit of a crossroads after a year and a half of accepting almost every project that has come my way. The great thing about the past year is that I've let myself experiment with so many varied projects. It's been a fun learning experience, but the time has come to answer some difficult questions: which of these avenues can I scale and what do I need to give up (despite it being a big love of mine)? Sometimes it has been hard to  distinguish the reasons behind why I chose some projects-- is there a market for it or do I just love to do the work?

Besides trying to answer these ohsohard questions I have been thinking about how I need to go about creating a scalable business. After doing some reading and thinking back to business operations in companies I've worked in, here's what I've concluded so far:

1. Strategize. I need to work on  strategy as much as working on individual projects right now. It's obvious I know, but in the day to day hustle of having so many 'todorightnow' tasks, it helps to have a daily, weekly, monthly reminder. My current related challenge is how to keep the handmade, authenticity of my products while scaling the business. 

2. Making (and sticking) to action plans. Breaking down the strategy to tasks and goals I can tackle every week and month will help keep me on track. I'll be able to measure my progress and feel good about the defined goals I've completed. 

3.  Get out there (soscary!) I've done a lot of connecting with people online and I know I need to do more in person. I met so many amazing people when I was a part of the One of a Kind Show this spring. It is so great to meet like minded small business entrepreneurs! I know what I have to do, but just have to keep putting myself out there! eek.

4. Not being afraid to take some risks. I have been pretty risk averse when it comes to my business (and let's face it, life in general). I think I need to step out of my comfort zone more, because every time I do, I never regret it. Some scaling questions that need answering that involve risk (and that I've had on the back burner for too long): Rent a workspace or continue to work from home? Do I outsource some of the tasks that take up a lot of time and don't necessarily need to be done by me (like marketing, or packaging, or printing?)

If you have a small business, you'll know how fun and exciting the days can be. You also know how much work it is, and how daunting it is to make big decisions that might change the course for your little company. The best we can do is to try and stay calm, enjoy it, and the toughest part, treat it like a business!

Hope you are all having a great week and enjoying the weather! The summer here in Toronto has been fantastic, so happy to be living in shorts and tanks these days! I have some new listings up on my Etsy shop-- speaking of wedding season, a custom wedding card is a great gift idea for that newly wedded couple! Also, I do place cards for weddings, birthdays, or any events that require a seating plan- it also works as a lovely keepsake for the guests!


Happy wedding season!