"You've outgrown the old you. You're uncomfortable because your old life doesn't fit anymore - Leighann Heil.
As entrepreneurs, it's so easy to get caught up in the day-to day. We're selling, building relationships, gaining new customers, and getting referrals.
It's therefore crucial to keep in mind the business "product life cycle" (the length of time from a product first being introduced to consumers until it is removed from the market). Your offering will be broken down into four stages: introduction, growth, maturity, and decline.
This also means no matter how "hot" it is, it'll go through these stages-and in some cases, will fall off.
So what do you do?
To ensure continued success, it's essential to have a well-considered scaling strategy in place.
What is "Scaling"?
Simply put, it's growing your business slowly and steadily so it can sustain a consistent growth over time. Business operations best suited to scaling are those who successfully handle increases in demand, while still controlling their production costs.
With this as a guide, here's some examples of "scalable businesses":
Software as a Service (SaaS);
However, one of the most challenging businesses to scale is...you guessed it...Consulting.
But that's another blog🥁🥁🥁
"Not everyone will get you. Focus on the people who do"-Sungho Spark.
When should you scale?
Here's another concept: The law of diminishing returns (a principle stating that profits or benefits gained from something will represent a proportionally smaller gain as more money or energy is invested in it.)-indicates that they'll come a time in your production /service delivery when you'll either "keep fishing...or cut bait", if you want to remain profitable.
#Founders who are considering scaling should first consider whether their operations are truly ready for growth-since it's gonna require TIME, MONEY and EFFORT.
But if this is you...here's 7 ways to get to the "How" of scaling:
Expand your Business Model
An easy way to do this is by offering new (or enhanced) products/services to meet your customers' changing needs. Say for example, you're selling home décor. How about selling complimentary products-plants, wall treatments. If as a consultant you usually offer one-on-one coaching services-maybe it's time to introduce "Group Coaching" as an option (or adjunct) offering.
In the same home décor example, what if you partnered with an interior designer to do in-house consults or classes specifically targeted to your clients? Having an add-on service (and a possible collaborating partner) helps both of you to grow...scaling plus two.
3. Hire Employees
With increasing customer demand, there's now a need to serve them on a bigger scale - you can't be all things to all people.
Recruitment and Training is now more important than ever before-especially since every employee will now become "the face of your brand" in the minds of both new and existing customers. You'll have to ensure your service representatives have the requisite experiential "brand knowledge"
"Every success story is a tale of constant adaption, revision and change"-Richard Branson.
4. Automate your processes
When you improve your work flows and internal processes, you free yourself from the grinding that comes from working "In" your business-freeing up space to work "On" your biz. An example of this is creating an effective email strategy; one that helps build relationships, keeping your brand "Top of mind" for your prospective customers-since this also helps generate sales.
An added benefit of this is that allows you to document your tasks (and subtasks)-which expedites the onboarding process for new employees-bringing them up to speed in a shorter time.
5. Constantly market your biz
Social media, podcasts, WhatsApp blasts, online advertising-allows you to establish your brand (and you) as an industry leader-as well as attract new customers.
It also allows you to see what is "working" and what's not. Areas of marketing strategy bringing higher results can be invested in-those that have gone through all the stages of the product life cycle-can be pruned.
You may even consider a "signature offer"-something that sets you apart from your competition.
6. Expand your online presence
Here's where e-commerce becomes your friend. Placing your products where the most people are searching-at all hours of the day (and night) is simply "Golden".
7. Start looking for external sources of funding
Earlier, we indicated that 3 considerations for scaling (and why it ain't for errybody), is that it requires, TIME, EFFORT and MONEY-yup.
Look, scaling involves investment-more money than bootstrapping alone. Remember, you'll have to upgrade/purchase software, equipment-in short, capital goods-which means you'll have to start looking for lending sources-and creating proposals to meet with their criteria. This is when professional assistance will be needed-don't even try doing it yourself!
"Make sure your business is creating a service experience so good that it demands loyalty" Steve Maraboli.
So there it is, 7 ways to scale a growing business.
But you don't have to it alone.
Book your 1:1 session here and let's get started.
You'll be glad you did!