Let’s talk about your business’ ability to achieve growth beyond just ‘incremental’ growth.
‘Scaling up’ generally refers to growth levels of ‘multiple’ or even ‘exponential’ above your current level without jeopardizing cost, performance or quality. And pretty much every business is capable of achieving ‘multiple’ growth if they put their mind to it (see related article: Increasing Business Growth from ‘Incremental’ to ‘Exponential).
While early-start businesses are inherently looking to scale their growth, there’s a growing breed of established businesses using their success and reputation as a springboard to expand or diversify their offerings, rebrand, or pursue other lucrative business opportunities. They’ve already got a proven business engine, they might as well leverage it.
“Let’s see what this puppy can do!”
…exudes energy, passion and unbridled business potential. Scalability.
Let’s look at some immediate steps you can take to make your business more ‘scalable’.
8 Immediate Actions to Begin ‘Scaling Up’ Your Business
1. Make their decision easy
Scaling requires fast market adoption. Offer a quick and easy-to-understand solution that is unique, has superior value and ROI, and is easy to implement and use. The easier, quicker, greater, faster, better, more compelling your solution – the more likely and quickly it will be adopted. Make it easy to find you and do business with you (see related article: 6 Essentials to Catapult Sales Growth).
2. Clearly define your target market and drivers
Scaling requires a clear understanding of who has the significant problem you can solve, what will compel them to take action (i.e. adopt your solution), and finding them in significant numbers. There’s no sense spending time on those that don’t need/want your solution.
3. Optimize and automate processes where possible
Scaling requires speedy and consistent process from start (outreach and sales) to finish (delivery of value and follow up), and business processes in between. Automation can be as simple as documenting a repetitive process (standard operating procedure), or as complex as self-serve automation for customers. The precision use and extent of automation is unique to every business.
4. Make your business model more conducive to scaling
Scaling requires expansion of one or more of the 5 R’s: recurring revenue, repeatable offerings, re-deployable design, replaceable consumables, repeat customers – all designed to generate substantial growth at a fraction of the time, effort and/or cost. One-off sales won’t cut it any longer.
5. Outsource what’s slowing you down
Scaling requires accelerated workflow. The pace of scaling up your business will be dictated by the slowest-paced segment of your business – your “weakest link” or bottleneck. Consider outsourcing if your constraint is a major hindrance or can’t be addressed quickly or cost-effectively (See related article: Debottlenecking Your Business, Not Just Your Operations).
6. Minimize customer acquisition time/cost
Scaling requires efficient prospect qualification, engagement, and deal closure. Optimize your prospecting and sales process (sales funnel), focus on improving deal closure, and leverage external networks (referrals, channel partners, collaborators, lead generation firms, social media, etc.) where appropriate. Concentrate your efforts on the 20% (Pareto Principle) that will generate 80% of the results (see related article: Strategy Execution – Reduce Your Churn).
7. Avoid customization where possible (the enemy of scaling)
Scaling typically requires a consistent or near-consistent offering in order to increase volume and accelerate speed of delivery. Customization (i.e. developing unique options for an individual customer) dramatically slows speed of delivery and therefore can be extremely detrimental to scaling. Avoid customization at all costs, it’s a slippery slope.
8. Keep focused on transactions (number and/or speed), not revenue dollars
Scaling requires finding and delivering more business transactions – whether described as contracts, projects, services, clients, widgets, etc. “# of Transactions” is a straight-forward metric understood by all – whether in management, accounting, production or distribution, no translation required into dollars. If focus is kept on growing the number of transactions, the revenue dollars will look after themselves (generally referred to as ‘lead’ and ‘lag’ measures). Concentrate on the “lead” actions.
While the ability to ‘scale up’ has often been coined a phrase to describe early-stage businesses developing momentum, well-established companies are seizing the opportunity for themselves more and more. All it takes is a slightly different approach, and attention to a few fundamentals. Let’s see what your puppy can do!
Be Bold, Think Big, Be Curious, Keep Focused
- 5 Essentials to Attracting & Retaining Top Talent in Your Organization - November 13, 2018
- 8 Immediate Actions to Scale Up Your Business - June 6, 2018
- Are You Constantly Navigating Your Ship (Business) From The Engine Room Rather than the Fly Bridge? (6 Actions To Keep You OUT Of The Engine Room) - April 18, 2018
- Business Culture Inside Equals Brand Outside (Why It’s Essential to Build from Within) - March 7, 2018
- 6 Essentials to Catapult Your Sales Growth (“It’s hard to sell mediocre”) - January 29, 2018
- “Debottlenecking” Your Business, Not Just Your Operations - November 1, 2017
- Increased Revenue Does NOT (necessarily) Increase Sale-Value - July 26, 2017
- Let the Silence Do Your Talking - May 15, 2017
- Business Execution is Like Building a Puzzle - April 27, 2017
- Optimizing Your Peer-to-Peer Coaching and Mentoring Experience - March 28, 2017