First off, what does it mean to scale your business? To scale your business is to set it up for rapid uninterrupted growth. For example, if you’re a solopreneur, setting yourself up to hire a sales team would be scaling.
No matter how you choose to scale your business, you need to cover a few basics. Mostly, you need to make sure everything is a repeatable system. If you have to explain how to do things to a new hire, that’s not scaling. Instead, you should have standard operating procedures in place for those new hires. As you scale your business, you’ll see the interruptions grow too. For example, if you hire 20 new employees, you’ll have to train 20 new employees. However, if you have a standard operating procedure in place, that training is eliminated. Of course you never fully eliminate interruptions, but you should still shoot for that.
You should also make sure your legal and accounting systems are in place. Legal problems and accounting problems can also compound with a larger organization. As an organization grows, it becomes harder to go back and fix things that should have been done right the first time. For example, I had a client who never withheld and paid sales tax on the product he was selling. He wanted to scale up his business, but he first had to get current on the sales tax as well as create a system to make sure he never ended up behind again. Ultimately, he suffered a fine of over $10,000, which made it hard to scale up as fast as he wanted.
Finally, every business needs that cash reserve. Scaling might not have an immediate effect on revenue, but it will have an immediate effect on costs. It’s a good idea to have some way of paying the next six months of expenses, preferably with money in an account, but a line of credit can supplement that as well.
Scale Your Business With Employees
The most common way a small business scales is with employees, especially service-based businesses. If you need more customers, you can hire a sales team. If you need more providers, you can hire more service providers. Finally, if you need both, you can hire both!
To do this, you need a hiring, onboarding, and training process all in place before your first hire. You’ll also need the legal ducks in a row. If done right, adding a new employee should be very quick. The hard part will be finding the right person for the job!
If your business is local or regional, you can expand to new locations. This is a great way to scale your business if you have a business that is ready to be duplicated. The most common example of this is franchises. We’ve all seen them. They’re super standard. That’s how it works. The standardization makes them quick and easy to duplicate in a short amount of time. That’s what you should be shooting for if this is how you will scale your business.
New Product Line
If you’re a one-product company, but you have an amazing and loyal client base, expanding to another product line could be the next step. For example, a company that produces novelty T-shirts can easily add novelty tote bags and expand their revenue without a huge added expense.
Scale Your Business with Marketing
There are a lot of types of paid marketing out there. However, not all of them work for every situation. Furthermore, most of them only show a result after a substantial investment. In order to maximize your return, it is a good idea to perform some sort of analysis of the expected return. That adds cost, but increases your ultimate ROI.
Let’s say you want to expand by using social media ads. It is a good idea to figure out who is willing to buy your product or service and what social media platforms they use. Beyond that, you need to know when they’re online, what types of ads they respond to, and anything you can use to narrow down your targeting. That analysis will likely cost your time and money, but it is well spent. If you have that figured out, you can scale rapidly using social media marketing.
This is the case with all forms of advertising. If you want print ads, PPC ads, social media campaigns, or any advertising, you’ll need to first conduct an analysis or you’d be wasting your time and money.
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