How to Sustainably Scale A Business
Ambition and drive are fundamental to success when scaling a business. But you also need a clear plan for growth. When growth isn’t managed or structured, it won’t last long or be sustainable, and you won’t reach all your goals. In fact, the clearer you are with your scaling objectives, the more successful you will be to scale a business.
In my experience scaling my own and clients’ businesses, there are four techniques you can apply for maximum success. These four techniques are called the 4 S’s of Scaling. So use these time-tested techniques below to keep your business moving along. Even when you’re in over your head or just need to get clarity as you chart your path forward.
And if you need some extra help, check out our FunnelIQ tool. It might be just what you need to scale a business!
The 4 S’s to Scale a Business
Make an annual timeline. It’s vital to have a roadmap for where you want to go, and when you want to arrive. Your annual plan can include how many clients or customers you want to have by the end of the year. As well as what kind of time commitment is required once there are 10, 20, or more. Your timeline should also include your goals for partners, employees, and sales funnels. The more you plan for, the better your chance of success.
Monitor your timeline. Once you have a plan in place, you should implement some kind of system to keep track of your progress. And how much time you spend on each client. If you can’t meet your timeline, or you get an influx of new clients all of a sudden. You have to figure out how to change your plan so you can still do a good job. This may require you to temporarily pay an agency to help you until you put a better system in place. The dashboard of scaleurs.com will also help you to define and track your timeline. Think about where you are now vs. where you want to go and why. Use that to define a SMART KPI, and that KPI is what you will track in your team or executive dashboard from Scaleurs.
Be open to change and scaling up. Make sure you don’t have too much on your plate. If someone on your team feels overwhelmed, you have no choice but to help them. If you feel overwhelmed, you need a way to step back and assess so you can cope. Building a cohesive team means that everybody gets involved, and everyone owns a certain part of a project, so be proactive by asking your team how they’re doing and advocating for your people by seeing who can help pitch in to assist them. If there’s too much on your employee’s plate, you can hire outside help, ask someone else to contribute, or just do it yourself. Hiring outside help and asking others to step up can take some of the load off you.
Find people to outsource tasks to. It can be tempting to want to do everything yourself, but you don’t have enough time, energy, or know-how to do all that’s required to run your company. Know when it’s time to outsource, delegate, and get things off your plate. Rather than waste time on bolstering your weaknesses, focus your efforts on your strengths and the big picture of growing your company.
Find strategic partners; they make life easier for you, whether they provide you with data, exchange clients with you, or refer clients to your company. Say you don’t make websites, but your strategic partner does. You’d include them on projects that require building a site for your client (or even on improving your own site), and they’d refer clients to you — it’s a win-win. Mutually beneficial relationships help grow your business and allow you to focus more of your time on your core competency.
Build a deliberate environment. There’s a balance between making sure that your employees are happy and performing at a high level. A big part of building company morale is making sure every choice you make — whether it’s vacation policy, chain of command issues, or workflow processes — is clearly communicated and well-understood. Being a team member is a job in and of itself, so share in the stress and in the reward.
Have the right systems and processes in place. Remember, it’s more important to deliver on time than to pull in more clients. Most startups fail because of bad management. When you have lots of clients, you have to prioritize. Your first step is to deliver high-quality work on time, which is more important than landing additional leads or clients, so devise a plan for scaling in a smart, effective way. Make a budget, come up with a forecast, and prepare for how you’re going to grow while also maintaining quality.
Good communication solves almost any problem. As a marketing leader, the ability to communicate with your employees and your partners about an upcoming uptick in workload will help address anyone’s feelings of being overwhelmed. If your team feels inundated with work, you have to motivate them and offer to help or outsource tasks.
Don’t be afraid to move on. Some companies spend a huge amount of time and money on trying to please difficult clients. But there are millions of companies in the U.S. alone to work with, so there’s no need for your business to stand or fall on one client, or waste energy and resources on ones that are unpleasant, overly demanding, slow in paying, or otherwise problematic. If the terms aren’t working for you, negotiate them or drop the client.
Remember, failing to plan is planning to fail. If you scale a business smartly, you can deliver the best work to your clients while also growing as a company by scaling.
Remember to Enjoy the Ride and Have Fun
The arduous process of scaling might seem like it can’t be fun, and there is a common notion that scaleurs are fun-averse workaholics who spend all their time building their brands and scaling up their businesses or marketing efforts, but smart scaleurs understand that time should be set aside for fun and recreation. It should not be about work all the time.
I have been a scaleur for quite a while, and I have had to learn from other smart scaleurs that work should not be the sole focus of your days. As a matter of fact, one of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs, Richard Branson, has said, “If you are spending most of your life at work, it should not be a chore, and it should be fun!”
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!