Scaling Up: Making the Leap from SME to Large Business
When a business reaches around 250 employees, it is, by definition, on the verge of transformation from an SME to a large enterprise. However, making the jump to the big league is about more than just employee numbers.
This article looks at what an SME owner needs to think about to ensure their business can handle the changes ahead.
Getting the right team in place
Working conditions are going to be different for employees in a large company. Some of your existing people may prefer the change while others will want to find new opportunities elsewhere.
Recognising this and making sure you are doing enough to retain, recruit and onboard the right people will help make the transition easier. While every business is different, most large companies tend to offer more security, better career prospects and a more impressive salary package at the expense of control, freedom and flexibility.
This is because large companies have to be more bureaucratic and process-driven. Roles tend to be more specialised with formal development pathways.
Reassess your company vision
An SME can operate more easily with a less defined vision. There is usually enough contact between the company founders and employees to reinforce the mission and a culture is likely to have built up around shared ideas about what the business stands for.
This is not going to be enough once your business reaches a certain size. Besides, your vision is likely to have changed as your outlook has broadened. It is vital to get the company directors together and to formally define a vision and long-term strategy.
Progress should then be measured via KPIs and employees put on performance development plans to ensure they are delivering the strategy and developing their skills.
Revisit your recruitment tech
It is well known that large firms often struggle to take advantage of new technology. They may have invested heavily in developing proprietary applicant tracking systems and other legacy tech and are unwilling or unable to change to more efficient software.
Coming from an SME background, you can take advantage of this by getting the right tech in place before you upscale.
Next-generation technology solutions like idibu will help you to become (or remain) agile as you start dealing with significantly more clients and applicants. If you have ever run a short-term high volume recruitment campaign, you will know how important it is to have the right tech in place.
To find out how idibu helped businesses like O2 (Telefonica) and Access Group to improve their recruitment processes through smart technology, read through our case studies.
Upgrade or expand your services
Outside of mergers and acquisitions, there are two main ways in which businesses can grow. They can either attract more new customers or encourage their existing customers to spend more money.
As a recruitment company, you can achieve this by adding new services to your offering or breaking into new sectors. Customer surveys and questionnaires can help to highlight areas of development and it is always a good idea to see what your competitors are up to.
Whichever path you take, with the right technology in place, you will be able to scale effectively to handle the new business you are bringing in. That’s why it’s important to sort out your technology before scaling. The last thing you need is for your tech to break once business picks up.
Build strategic partnerships
Working together with other businesses can increase your reach even further. The key is to find a complementary business to yours. That way you won’t be competing for business but you will have services or sectors you can cross-promote to the benefit of both companies.
For example, if you specialise in unskilled health service recruitment could you strike a deal with a professional services recruiter and target big hospitals? By pooling marketing resources you could save each other significant money while reaching a larger audience.
Attend networking organisations
It is no coincidence that many large businesses are hooked into a number of networking groups. They understand that making connections is essential for growth. Every networking event you attend could lead to a new customer, employee or even an investor.
Use your growth to renegotiate terms
Your transformation into a big company will make your business more lucrative for your vendors. This gives you leverage for striking better deals from your suppliers. Reducing your vendor costs will accelerate your growth towards profit and happy shareholders.
To summarise, by reassessing your vision, building the right team around you, networking, building partnerships and exploring new services, your SME will be in a great position to step up to the next level. To handle the jump, getting the right technology in place is vital. This is where Idibu can help.
idibu is next-gen candidate attraction software designed to maximise your recruitment CRM. Click here to arrange a free demo or get in touch now on 0800 311 2750.