Starting a small business may have been one of the best decisions that you ever made in your entire life. Instead of struggling for a little recognition and a few promotions in a corporate job, you figured out that making money is all about owning a small business and not merely toiling in a bigger company.
Over time, you stopped being an underdog and became a mid-sized business. In addition, you needed to pay business taxes beyond the obvious ones, but not enough to overwhelm you.
However, how do you know when you are no longer a medium-sized business and need a more comprehensive tax-compliance strategy?
Just as you don’t notice when your child has grown a few inches taller, you may not even have noticed that you are no longer a medium-sized business. While an increase in your revenue stream is one clue, here are ten other clues that you are now actually a large business.
1. Less Face-to-Face Internal Communications
The old days of stopping by somebody’s office to hash out project details or troubleshoot problems are no longer possible. You and all your senior managers are too busy to spend time on office visits or staff meetings. For the sake of expediency, most of your communications are through the Internet or a mobile device.
In addition, not all your key people are in the same location anymore, so even if you wanted some face-to-face time with your top people, it’s not possible anymore unless you buy a plane ticket.
2. Many Branch Offices
Over time, you have scaled up your business by simply replicating your business model across a wider region. It could be statewide, nationwide, or even international. Instead of a few offices, you now have many, and instead of everything close to headquarters, your branch offices are spread far and wide.
3. Distributed Decision Making
In order to make better decisions, you needed to get the most up-to-date technology. This was not only necessary to sift through increasing piles of researched data but also to facilitate collaboration between key players in different locations.
In fact, decision making may have become so complex that you have retired the idea of having on-site computer systems and now do everything in the cloud to cut costs and facilitate better collaboration and faster decision-making. Now, instead of a few key decision makers, you have distributed decision-making to a wider number of branch managers.
4. Distributed Workload
Your workload has multiplied to the point that if you don’t keep on top of everything, you risk the possibility of a system overload. Realizing that the workload exceeds what you and your current managers can handle, you upgraded your computer systems to process all the information coming in at a faster rate.
In addition, you automated many tasks that machines can do faster and better than human beings. Finally, to cope with the high volume of transactions in each business day, you not only increased your internal staffing but also began to outsource your most specialized work to independent contractors, many of whom worked overseas.
By distributing workloads in this way, you managed to reduce the impact of workloads through decentralization while managing the increase in business volume more efficiently.
5. More Sophisticated Customer Service
Due to the problems that arise from preventing delays in fulfilling customer orders and losing sales, you took a number of measures to improve customer service, from adding more staff to outsourcing a proportion of your orders to external fulfillment services.
6. Improved Strategic Thinking Methodologies
In order to avoid the perils of underperforming and failing to meet revenue expectations, you hired outside consultants to improve your strategic planning. You may even have researched modern methodologies like Agile, Lean, Scrum, and Kanban and chosen the best one for your organization.
By improving your methodology, you were now able to see the big picture, identify constraints, and remove bottlenecks. By rethinking your strategic processes, you managed to continue to take advantage of business opportunities.
7. Increased Workforce Specialization
Your employees stopped multitasking and started to specialize because this was necessary to stay better organized.
8. Enhanced Inventory Control
Your inventory control had to become increasingly sophisticated to offer the best management solutions, and you had to computerize many processes that used to be possible to do with just a human workforce.
9. Hiring More Talent for Marketing and Sales
In order to avoid the high cost of making educated guesses on what the market wanted, you began to intensify your research and testing of product lines, often using the latest software for more accurate sales forecasts. You also asked HR to increase its criteria for hiring top talent when it came to finding marketing experts and sales reps.
10. Increasing Levels of Government Compliance
The legal requirements of your business became more complex. Besides hiring more corporate business lawyers, you also needed better-qualified accountants and more sophisticated software to handle the complexities of local regulations and government compliance standards.
In summary, you know you are no longer a medium-sized business when you have had to make massive technological and personnel changes over time to improve productivity, keep employees happy, and satisfy customers.