Now that your business is running like clockwork, you’re ready to take things to the next level. With 2022 in the books, the new year is the perfect time to make scaling your business a priority. Now that the U.S. economy appears to have narrowly escaped a recession and inflation is finally subsiding, things are looking up for 2023.
If you’re like most business owners, the two things you never seem to have enough of are time and money. Scaling your business in the right way could be the solution. To capitalize on the opportunity, entrepreneurs can take a page out of the book of the wealthy and begin to scale their businesses in a similar way.
Growth Vs Scaling
Contrary to popular belief, growing and scaling your business are not the same thing. While both strategies may have a similar end game — to grow your profits — they use different tactics to accomplish this.
To grow a business is to bolster its capacity and operations, paving the way for greater revenues. However, with that growth, a business can also expect to face higher costs to maintain this more robust pace.
Scaling means boosting revenues with cash flow but also managing to keep costs low for all internal processes. It is dependent on introducing greater efficiency in the business model. It is also implementing systems and procedures that will remain in place and keep profits flowing for the long haul. Remember it’s not just the sales that you make, but also the sales that you are able to hold onto that bring you closer to the wealth you are after.
If scaling were easy, every business owner would be doing it. It takes discipline and a successful business plan. But if you are willing to do the work today, you could be on your way to a more successful and profitable business tomorrow. Wealthy business owners are pros at scaling their companies, so let’s take some growth strategy lessons from the pros.
1. Know Your End Game
The rich could never scale their retail businesses without customer loyalty. While loyalty is something that has become a buzzword used in rewards programs and credit cards, there’s more to it than meets the eye.
Before you can establish customer loyalty you should create the right culture in your company. This means first getting employee loyalty right. Once the employees are happy with their situation, their excitement will spread like wildfire through memorable customer service so that your business becomes a place that people want to frequent.
Communication is key to creating loyal employees. Once you’ve established your goals and mission as a business, be sure and share them with your team members so that they feel as though they are a part of something bigger than themselves. Without this crucial piece of the puzzle, the reason why you chose to become a business owner, you will only be spinning your wheels. Identify your goals, share them with your team, and watch how the customer experience blossoms and loyalty to your business increases in a natural way.
2. Business Map
Motivational speaker Tony Robbins advises entrepreneurs to have what he calls a business map. This is a plan that examines your business from a trio of angles:
Don’t let the term map fool you. It’s not just about getting from where you are to where you want to be in one fell swoop. According to Robbins, it’s more about introspection.
A business map involves identifying what is working in your business as it relates to the aforementioned three themes, and what is not. It is also about realizing your role in the community and the impact that you’d like to have.
You can approach a business map in a myriad of ways, such as a flow chart, diagram, or using software, to name a few. Find the approach that is most suited for your business and then start asking yourself the hard questions about what’s working and what is not.
Never lose sight of the big picture in good times and bad, which will bring you closer to your long-term goals. Be receptive to feedback from employees on any challenges they are experiencing and be willing to make changes to improve the business.
3. Better Your Offering
Whatever end product you deliver to the public, whether it’s an item or a service, you’ll want to make sure that it is at its best in the early stages. Once the scaling begins, it’s basically too late.
Bettering your product or service should be done prior to any business scaling because once the company grows and scaling starts, things will be moving fast and it will be hard to slow it down.
Be open to receiving customer feedback and addressing any issues until your clientele is happy. With your sights set on quality, you’ll find that the business will run more smoothly. You’ll also be in a stronger position to handle the business scaling once it begins because you not only know your product or service inside and out but also what the customer expects.
4. Key Talent
As a business owner, you probably already know how to delegate. However, this is a skill that you are going to need in spades once your business begins to scale. In order to scale a service business, it is critical that you are selective about the talent you bring to your team, especially in service businesses. Focusing not only on the skills they bring to the table but also on their character.
You will need to depend on your team more than ever when sales are booming. Delegating will be more important than ever to the point that your business runs the same whether or not you are physically present.
In addition to your staff, you should also focus on networking opportunities. This means only bringing in third-party providers that you trust, including vendors/suppliers and service providers. These people are going to be a part of your business’s scaling story.
As a small business owner, you have an opportunity to create closer relationships with outside parties, which can work to your benefit. If you can build fans among them, you are creating greater brand loyalty in the process that is likely to follow you throughout the scaling cycle.
5. Brand Awareness
The rich scale their business in a way that they distinguish themselves from the competition. Their offering to customers is unique compared to whatever else is being offered in the marketplace. To understand your position and influence in the community, ask yourself the following questions:
- Where does your business stand vs. the competition?
- What sets your product or service apart?
- What is unique about it?
- What are your largest weaknesses and your greatest strengths?
- Last but not least, how are you disrupting the industry in which you operate?
Even if you can’t answer all of these questions today, it will get you thinking in the right direction.
Stay nimble and be quick to make any changes along the way that will help you get to your goal of scaling your business like the rich. In answering the above questions, you might have to make some difficult decisions on your way to scaling your business to its potential. But in the end, it is worth it.
Your brand is not only the face of the business but also its reputation. It will set the tone for everything from company culture to clientele to new hires. Your brand will also fuel your marketing and sales efforts, so its importance cannot be overstated.
6. Welcome Innovation
The last thing you want is for your business to get stuck in a rut. This means you might have to stretch your limits and keep an open mind about technological innovation. This could come in the form of automation or decentralization, to name a couple of market segments.
Technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) could help to automate some of the functionality that is relevant to your business online. These technologies are designed to make your business more efficient and require less manpower than you would otherwise need to complete certain tasks manually.
Meanwhile, although blockchain and decentralization are emerging concepts, they are famous for features such as cutting costs and speeding up payments. Or you could launch an app where you can engage more directly with your customers.
You don’t have to make major changes on the tech front or innovate just to impress the neighbors. The idea is to select a new technology that will support your scaling plans, whatever, that might be. Whatever innovation you integrate is sure to go a long way with your customers, staff, and overall branding and ultimately help your business to gain scale.
Now that you know some of the ways in which the rich and successful build their businesses for scale, you can integrate the concepts that work best for you. Scaling doesn’t happen overnight. It is a journey that could pave the way for lifetime success. You are going to have to make some investments along the way to scale your business. But those investments should pay off in spades once you see the results in the top and bottom lines of your business.