How data can help you upscale your business

After SME published an article about why now is the best time to grow your business, we talked to someone who’s done it. Peter Hunt is Managing Director of OSE European and has upscaled the company from a small courier service based in Newcastle-upon-Tyne into an international logistics business that is targeting £5 million in turnover this year. Here, he shares what he’s learned along the way, and offers tips on how you could successfully grow your business too.

By Peter Hunt

While starting a business isn’t easy, upscaling can be even harder. However, there are some ways that you can increase your chances of success. Here, I’ll talk you through what we’ve learned while upscaling our business, and provide you with some of the tips we’ve picked up along the way. These should help you on the path to growing your business, whatever stage you might be at.

Use data when making decisions

When you’re making decisions that affect your business, you should be using and analysing all of the relevant resources that are available to you. So, if you’ve collected any data since starting your business, use this to your advantage. You’ll struggle to successfully upscale your business if you aren’t studying the numbers.

At OSE European, we keep track of the metrics that have the biggest impact on our success. So, we might look at which of our services are most in demand, where the majority of our customers are based, and whether we have all of the resources we need to complete the jobs we’re securing. We can then make decisions and take our business in a certain direction based on the data we collect.

Keeping an eye on the numbers helps us to know that we’re where we need to be. And, if we do find that we’re falling short anywhere, this can be addressed quickly and effectively. By closely monitoring your KPIs, you’ll find it much easier to successfully upscale your business too.

Don’t rush to hire new staff

When you’re considering growing your business, your first thought might be to take on new staff. But, rushing into this could cause real problems for your company. At OSE European, we’ve benefited from holding off on hiring new staff until our existing team is struggling to keep up with demand. This means that we’ve rarely had to deal with having more workers than necessary.

Before we expand our workforce, we also look at whether there are any processes that could be fine-tuned to make everything run more efficiently instead. This ensures that we get the most out of our money, and we don’t end up taking on too many workers who might eventually be made redundant.

Make the most of existing customers

Without a doubt, growing sales with our existing clients, rather than always trying to bring in new business, has been the key to our success. In our experience, putting time and money into offering an exceptional level of service to our customers has been the best and most effective way to grow our company. We go out of our way to solve any problems our clients might have, no matter how small. This means that, when they next need any of the services we offer, we’re at the forefront of their mind.

This strategy has helped us to secure larger contracts with our existing customers, and we’ve gotten referrals off the back of it too. It’s also helped us to establish a great reputation, which has helped us gain new clients down the line.

Trying to secure brand new business can take up a lot of your time and resources. Plus, it often gives inconsistent results. That’s why we focus on taking the best possible care of our current customers instead.

We’ve been able to upscale our business using these three tips, and you could too. By analysing the data you have on hand, taking your time with hiring new staff, and making the most of the customers you already have, you’ll have a much better chance of succeeding.