Scale or Fail: The Roadmap to Scaling Your Business
Scaling isn’t about unbridled growth with no direction. At some point, you might have to slow growth and scale down due to market or demand fluctuations or scale business even more to meet unexpected growth. This could be a result of natural peaks and troughs in your business cycle or a consequence of a recession. Even a fundamental change in your industry that is beyond your control. Either way, lots of factors can make or break a business, so it’s important to be ready for whatever comes your way.
Scalability is about knowing when to change course and having the resources to do so. If you don’t prepare to scale, then you can pretty much prepare to fail. Failures will inevitably occur as you scale.
The secret ingredient that keeps “failures” from turning into “disasters” is the capacity to use mistakes to your advantage. Learning from them and adapting — the old saw about “failing forward.”
Be Prepared with Reserves
When your business is thriving and growing rapidly, ensure you have provisions to meet new demands. This might mean having access to a greater volume of products or increasing staffing levels quickly to deliver a service. It may also mean having a cash flow that is sustainable and funds that can be moved about quickly. If there is a downturn or a sudden fall in demand, do you have a plan in place to cut costs and streamline the business so it can still run efficiently under pressure?
Watch the Market
Ultimately, your business plan should take into consideration the changes that put pressure on scalability. This should be the key driver of your plan. If there is a limit to the production you can churn out, there is little point in executing a marketing strategy that is going to give you more sales than you can handle. Success is about finding the right balance to ensure your business can adjust to the ups and the downs, and knowing when to take your foot off the gas or ease up to comfortably meet changing demands.
Keep up with the changing world. Change is happening faster and faster. The only way to thrive is to accept the inevitability of change. Move faster than your competition and race to the future. Build that business, instead of just creating a job.
Keep a Scaleur’s Mindset
Moreover, never forget that the starting point for scaling lies not in your capital, resources, infrastructure, clientele, or workforce, but within you: the scaleur’s mindset. That means having the energy and desire to scale business, and possessing a “growth mindset” that embraces change and uncertainty, thrives on challenges, and learns from failures.
If you’ve cultivated the right mentality for scaling, you are ready to ascertain whether your existing processes can be scaled.
Existing processes will be under heavy strain as your output increases exponentially — can you align and standardize them to accommodate an explosive period of growth?
Invest in your Team
In almost all cases, scaling will require automation, which is largely a function of the right tools and technology. But processes also depend on people — and scaling, as with almost any function in business, demands that you have the right team in place. In a broad sense, this means having a team that lives and breathes the company values and gels with the company culture. You need the right mix of generalists and specialists to cover all the bases. Areas that in-house staff can’t cover must be filled in by outside help (freelancers, contract labor, outsourcing, etc.), or you’re going to have a rocky time with managing a corporate growth spurt.
Remember the nine core marketing positions that comprise your “A-team.” In smaller organizations, the same people may play more than one role, but fulfilling all of them is a key step toward successful scaling.
Meanwhile, you must emphasize your differentiators as a company. Scaling is not achieved from wishful thinking or sheer will — if you wish to scale business up, you must have something original, compelling, and marketable to entice a vastly expanded clientele.
A differentiator, you may recall, fulfills three criteria: It must be true; it must be valuable to potential clients, and it must be provable.
Become a Successful Scaleur
Scaling is a strategy that can only be mastered by a scaleur who is a dedicated learner and considers real-time business priorities. I hope the article above has helped!
Marketing Scaleurs is a scaling company that helps entrepreneurs scale their marketing efforts. We’re experts in growth marketing, product development, and more, creating custom growth plans for startups, entrepreneurs and scaleurs in order to help them gain traffic, generate leads and increase their revenue.
If you want traffic, leads and sales, get in touch and you’ll start getting results in no time!