Business & Finance

From Small to Medium to Big Business

Dear business owner,

There is so much valuable advice available for small businesses on the internet. Many of them are very useful and I enjoy them too.

Unfortunately, you can only keep following such advice for so long because many of them are designed to keep you SMALL. There’s nothing wrong with that if it’s what you want. In fact, you can run a business at a moderate scale and make decent income (check out the term “lifestyle business”). If that’s your choice, then please carry on.

However, if you want to grow to a bigger and more structured business, then this post is for you. The way a person starts from a baby, to a teen and then an adult, is the same way I think your business is meant to go from small to medium to big as well. Nobody stays a baby forever. Same way you shouldn’t keep running a “small” business for years perpetually (unless that’s what you want).

So Tunde I hear you: how exactly do I do this? No silver bullet because it’s a journey I’m on as well. But I think the following are helpful:

1. Register your business.

2. Separate your business bank account from your personal account.

3. Hire great people and assign roles: you can’t do everything yourself.

4. Learn basic accounting and get an accounting software (hire an accountant or outsource your accounting if you can).

5. Get a lawyer or services of a legal firm you can use from time to time.

6. Maintain and keep your records as organised as possible.

7. Set up business units to handle different functions (a unit can consist of one person and one person can be 2 or more units till you can expand).

8. Get a board of advisors or directors. This is much more strategic than most people give it credit for. Hopefully, I can shed more light on this some other time.

You have to do all this while carrying out daily operations, and making customers happy too – since there’s no growth without sales (generally speaking). But doing all this will give your business the much needed structural efficiency it needs for you to leave it on autopilot. My good friend Maple talks about this almost everyday. Olajide is also someone who has mastered the execution of these things across several businesses.

When exactly should you do all this? How do you know when you are ready? How will you even afford all this?

Truth is there will never be a perfect time and you may never have enough money to check all these boxes simultaneously. But you must DECIDE to do them and make the necessary INVESTMENT and SACRIFICE to make them happen. You can implement them in phases: just set timelines and communicate with someone who will make sure you stay accountable.

We can’t unpack everything required to address this on one post. But if there’s anything you’d like further clarification on, please let me know and I’ll plan to make a separate post addressing it.

Cheers to your continued success.

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Babatunde Akin-Moses

I am currently CEO and co-founder of Sycamore, a peer to peer lending platform that connects lenders to borrowers using technology. I love to write about business, economy, policy, startups, inspiration and entertainment. I am also deeply passionate about making Nigeria and Africa as a whole, a much better place to thrive and prosper for all.

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