You start your company with a fantastic product that customers want and are willing to pay for. And as your business continues to grow, well-meaning people begin telling you that you need to find ways of scaling your business operations and growing your business even further.
A lot of companies have chosen to downsize, and maybe that was the right thing for them. We chose a different path. Our belief was that if we kept putting great products in front of customers, they would continue to open their wallets.Steve Jobs
In business, many people will pay lip service to the term “scaling your business”. But what does that really mean? And how do you know if you are doing this in your own business? The term “scaling your business” is used frequently in business but it can have different meanings depending on the context it is being used in.
When a business is able to scale their operations, this means that they are able to handle a growing amount of work or sales in a capable, cost-effective manner. This article will look at what it means to scale your business and the difference between growth and scaling your business. It will also look at five different ways companies can scale their operations to continue to be competitive in the marketplace.
What Does Scaling Your Business Operations Mean?
Imagine that you are a service-based business who has just signed a new client. You increased your revenue by signing that client but now you don’t have the resources available to fully serve them. So you hire a new employee to help your business manage the workload more effectively.
Yes, your business may be growing but it isn’t scaling. Although you grew your revenue when you signed on a new client you also increase your expenses at the same rate. The reality is, if every sale you make requires the same amount of time and effort as the previous sale then your business model is not scalable.
Your business scales when it can cope with an increased amount of work while maintaining or increasing its efficiency. When it comes to scaling your business, here are some great predictors of success:
- Predictable revenue
- Subscription-based services
- Having diverse income streams
- High customer retention rates
- Creating a value ladder of products to offer for your customers
According to this article in Fortune, companies scale their business when their revenue increases while their operating costs remain low. If a company increases their revenue but increases their costs at the same rate, then that business is not scaling. But how can you focus on quickly scaling your business while still building a strong organization?
5 Ways You Can Scale Your Business
Now that we have defined what scaling your business means – the question becomes, how can you do this in your own business? The best way to scale your operations is to identify the aspects of your business that can be duplicated in a quick and cost-effective manner.
Here are five effective, actionable steps businesses can take toward scaling your business:
Entrepreneurs must have the desire to scale
Most entrepreneurs want their businesses to grow but many don’t dream of their business growing past a certain point. According to a report by Barclays, many entrepreneurs lack the fortitude and ambition to scale when they are in the startup phase of their business. If scaling your business is a priority, then you must develop a plan and action steps for how this will be achieved.
Find ways to automate your processes
If you take a hands-on approach to your business, it may be very hard for you think about scaling operations as part of scaling your business. This is because, in order to scale your business, you have to find ways to automate your processes. In business, flexibility and growth do not necessarily go hand-in-hand. Look at investing in IT support systems and ways you can delegate responsibility for certain necessary tasks.
Identify your competitive edge
What sets your business apart from your competitors? In order to scale your business, you need to clearly understand what sets you apart in the eyes of your customers. You also need to understand the core strengths of your business so you can invest in focused growth.
Focus on the right things
Entrepreneurs that are not able to scale their operations are usually focusing on the wrong things in their business. Yes, there are daily tasks within your business that must be completed. But you must begin to focus on the key activities that will move your business forward in a focused and strategic way.
Build your network
Most entrepreneurs understand that developing your network is key to succeeding in business. Yes, you also have to continue to develop your skills and clearly understand the value and expertise that you offer your customers. But as this article in Forbes points out, building the right connections is key to effectively scaling your business and long-term growth.
For businesses, the path to success is not found in simply growing but in scaling your business. To effectively scale your business you must be achieving exponential growth while keeping your costs fairly low.
But truth be told, scaling a business requires a whole new level of skills and systems that many entrepreneurs can’t fully anticipate. For this reason, some business advisors caution against scaling too quickly. According to Startup Genome, over 90 percent of startups fail due to self-destruction, not competition.
As you begin scaling your business, you may find yourself having increasing expenses, customer support issues, and miscommunication between staff members. So in short, a bad process will only be amplified once you begin trying to scale.
This is exactly why we developed Tallyfy’s repeatable workflow app. In order to scale your operations, you must have repeatable processes for every role in your business. With Tallyfy, you can easily define and measure every step of your workflow. The tracker will allow you to identify problems, progress, and delays. And because we know that not all processes follow the same path, it is easily adaptable.
Check out this customer story to read about how one of our customers was able to streamline their processes and scale operations by using Tallyfy’s app.They were also able to gain clarity and reduce bottlenecks.