Scaling your business is widely regarded as a necessity. Competitive pressures often create conditions where a company's only has two choices: to grow, or to fail.
Here are some tips on how to successfully scale your business:
Know Where You’re Going
When you think about scaling your business, a good place to start is making sure you’re clear on how you measure success. Knowing where you’re going will increase your chances of success by creating focus and minimizing wasted resources.
It doesn't matter whether you are creating a new business or already have an established business: it’s never too late to create, or even update, your metrics for success.
Trying to scale a business without a particular goal in mind, or the right goals in mind, can hurt the entire effort. Setting the right goals for your company is required to become clear on your success metrics and to successfully scale your business.
Let’s take a new Fintech startup for example: some goals that you might have are to achieve a certain number of people using your new product, or maybe to process a certain number of financial transactions through your platform. Or, even earlier than that, you may be trying to validate your product idea by aiming to find a certain number of people that match your buyer personas, for purposes of product planning and marketing.
As a startup, in general, it’s very important to diligently select metrics for success, because you’ll have particularly limited resources to leverage in attempting to reach your goals.
Learn From Others
Do you know how other success stories of scale came to be? Working in a vacuum when it comes to your growth strategy is not only unnecessary, it's pretty foolish in this day and age.
With all of the information we have access to, blueprints for growth are never too far away, along with the pitfalls of others that you can avoid if you stay informed.
Become familiar with common growth strategies. Find other companies in or near your target space that quickly achieved scale. How did they do it?
Keeping with our previous example, if you were starting up a Fintech company, you might research Robinhood's explosive growth through their legendary execution of a referral strategy (aka the "One Million-Person Waitlist",) strategic hiring, and automation.
When you do things for your business on a day-to-day basis, do you think about what your business would look like if it were doing the same thing 10 times more frequently? 100 times?
When you (or someone) perform tasks for your business, think ahead to when your company has to do the same thing at scale.
It's important to create repeatable systems for the operations of your business.
Are there parts of your operation that can be automated? Find and take advantage of software that can automate your business processes. Or, if you have a strong software engineering force, give them some direction, space and time to help you automate some of your more important or expensive processes,
Are there parts of your operation that are "stuck" to one person? Take steps to make sure that your on-boarding and training processes allow an effective distribution of work, and prevents bottlenecks from forming.
If you can proactively take steps to ensure repeatable and scalable processes, you're more likely to avoid bottlenecks and major failures down the line.
Go Forth and Scale
As you think about scaling your business, make sure you have your bases covered:
- Know where you're going by having clear goals and metrics for success.
- Learn from other success stories of scale.
- Think ahead to what your business might look like when looking at your current operations at scale.