Businesses of today feel the pressure to achieve success in a competitive and mostly saturated market place; especially startups that have yet to take off and establish themselves as stable running firms.
As great as it is to start a business that was once a mere idea, its success depends on its scalability. And doing just that hasn’t been an easy task. If you look at some of the winning companies that started small, have grown into successful organizations with sheer hard work, dedicated teams, and much planning in place.
However, not all had smooth sailing and they learned the craft of scaling their business the tough way – through numerous setbacks, failures, and losses. In the end, the businesses that come after them, enjoy their wisdom and take away the strategies that have proven to work. And so can you in this article.
What Exactly is Scaling a Business?
Scaling a business, in a nutshell, means that having a proper way set to increase its performance along with the increase in the workload or market demands. There are two factors that businesses mainly depend on – Capacity and Capability.
Technology plays a big role in enabling the scalability of many businesses and making it an easier process. However, you need to understand the difference between growth and scaling, as they are not interchangeable and are indeed two different things entirely.
In simplicity, growth refers to an increase in revenue with the increase in resources while scaling refers to the increase in revenue without having to increase the costs of production. Normally, you would want your business to scale more than growth. Having your current team deliver the increasing production requirements without spending any extra cost on additional resources is the ideal situation.
How to Know When to Scale Your Business?
In the words of Richard Branson, world’s recognizable and successful entrepreneurs, “You never know with these things when you’re trying something new what can happen—this is all experimental,”
However, there are still signs that you need to look out for pertaining to your business’s scalability potential. Because if not addressed in time, you will lose a great opportunity to take your business to the next stage.
So what are those signs of scalability to look out for?
- When you have to turn down potential business opportunities: As a small business producing a stable revenue stream, growing a client base along with establishing authority – it is imperative to accept any great opportunity that comes your way. Once the influx of business that you receive becomes overwhelming for your workforce to handle and cater to the best of their abilities – it is then you need to start focusing on scaling your business. Otherwise, you will have to say ‘No’ to several great prospects and lose business in the process.
- When you outgrew your previous goals: A lot of the time emerging businesses do not possess enough data on their business to predict the future in the most accurate way. However, whatever initial goals were set need to be reevaluated if they are being met and being surpassed easily. It only indicates that you need to scale and set new standards or goals for the sustainability of your business.
- When there is minimal risk involved: You simply cannot jump the gun because your profits jumped up a notch or your team has proven itself trustworthy. Taking a risk because you easily achieved the set target isn’t the best route for your young business. So it is best advised to avoid taking unnecessary risk and only do so when the window to such risk has been reduced considerably. Risk in any business is imminent and should be taken only when you know your business is ready to scale.
- When your infrastructure is strong and secure: When we speak about the infrastructure of any business, especially the one that is fairly young – we speak about the workforce that is hired. Since the employees are the backbone and an integral part of the company’s foundation. Their skills and hard work along with the determination to meet the company’s goal allow you to take your business to the next level. Your employees’ proven loyalty towards your business is a great indicator that they are capable of handling the change and additional workload.
Now that you have understood the indicators that propel you in the direction of scaling your business, let’s discuss the strategies to do just that in the best way possible.
Tips on Scaling Your Business Without Increasing the Cost
Scaling your business without having to invest a large sum or set up a new department entirely? Sounds magical but it is definitely do-able in this digitized world. Let’s begin:
1) Bank on Impressive and Hopefully Diverse Skill Set
‘Hopefully diverse’ is a wildcard that will benefit any entrepreneur in the long run. However, your main focus should be to hire members that have exceptional command over their skillset. This will enable you to take a sigh of relief as they will be able to understand your business goals and try to achieve them in the best way possible making sure that the quality is always high.
A team that is capable and has considerable experience will allow you to scale your business in peace without having to hunt for new talent and spend in their training. You can, however, invest in your current teams learning and help them grow with your business.
2) Make Technology Your Focal Point
One of the best resources any scaling or startup can rely on is technology. When it comes to scaling within a budget, technology has paved the way, making the process inexpensive and convenient. There are so many enterprise software solutions available to manage and automate much of your company’s tasks relieving your core team from the repetitive and error-prone tasks. In addition, they come with built-in tools to help you refine your business processes further.
Moreover, you can invest in a product of your own as an extension of scaling your business – this could be the development of a mobile app from a reliable tech partner, such as KoderLabs or a website that would generate more income for your business. Either way, the right technology can make your business thrive.
3) Consider Outsourcing
When you are planning on scaling your business you have to make some shots in terms of either expanding the in-house team or outsourcing the tasks or requirements to a third-party organization.
Depending on the nature of expansion and your budget, you can grow your core team and welcome more experts that add value to the business objectives and goals. If adding more talent and investing in their training isn’t feasible at the given time, then you can outsource your growing requirements to an organization that is seasoned and has all the necessary resources, including skilled individuals to handle your tasks with experience.
4) Understand What Sets Your Business Apart
It is necessary to identify what is your competitive edge. With time and progress, you start to understand the potential and flaws of your business and products even better. This then places you in the position to improve and refine your processes further.
5) Focus on Marketing
Marketing is an integral part of any organization. The marketing team needs to boost its operations and campaigns to generate better business without compromising the quality, workflow, priorities, and set standards.
This scaling of marketing operations should be done in an effective and productive way that will help the company grow at a rapid pace. For this, the strategies devised should be agile.
Scaling and growing the business is a long-term goal that is on everyone’s mind and radar. However, it may seem like a tough cookie to crack when you are young and upcoming in the industry. Hopefully, the above tips can allow you to narrow down your efforts of scaling without having to place your entire business or its growth at risk.
Just understand that at the end of the day, things can and will go bad as there is always an element of potential failure lurking within the external factors that are out of your control. So, be cautious and strategic and your business will scale and flourish.