Getting your business off the ground can be a tricky endeavour, but once that is achieved, the pressure is off, right? Unfortunately not; instead, you need to target consistent growth as you seek to hit your targets today, tomorrow, and well into the future. This requires scaling. Growth is great, but it brings with it, its’ own problems and considerations. So, what does a successful scaling project look like? Follow our guide and find out for yourself.
Business Scaling: What to Avoid
Going too Early
This is a trap that many business owners fall into, and it starts with impatience. You want your business to grow, so you scale up your processes to inspire that growth. Unfortunately, this approach might leave you with a business in total disharmony. A scaling project should always be triggered by real growth; not the other way around.
Your business receives a boost in sales. This is great, but it does not necessarily translate to growth in real terms. Spending more on your acquisition processes can result in sales growth, but unless you are safeguarding revenue—for example, by strengthening customer retention rates, or closely monitoring marketing ROI—real growth will not occur.
Failing to Plan for the Long-Term
Initially, it is tempting to scale up your company to meet your immediate needs. However, it is important to step back and take stock. How long will your upgraded processes be good for? Will this step just lead to several more in a few months time? Consider the long term plan and scale accordingly.
Scaling Like a Pro: Tips for Taking Your Business to the Next Level
Structure Your Approach
No business owner should ever do anything without a solid strategy in place first, and a scaling project is certainly no exception to this rule. Conduct a planning session, during which you fully outline your targets and parameters for success.
These can then be applied directly to your scaling project, ensuring cohesion and giving you a platform to build on. Forbes recommends delineating a clear step-by-step plan, covering everything from outright goals to intermediary financing options. With this in place, you and your team have a clear roadmap towards success.
Consider Both the Long-Term and the Short-Term
To paraphrase an old adage: “Long-term strategies are great, but I still need to eat.” With this in mind, remember to balance your long-term strategies and goals against your short-term needs and requirements as an active business. Don’t make risky moves in the hope of prompting growth within your organisation; the stakes are simply too high.
A prime example of how focusing purely on the long-term can go terribly wrong is found in the story of WebVan. This on-demand grocery delivery startup experienced incredible growth, but a strict adherence to the “Get Big Fast” business model was ultimately its undoing.
The organisation expanded quickly, spreading itself too thinly and finding itself unable to cover its short-term day-to-day costs. When the company folded in 2001, its losses topped US$830 million, and 2,000 employees had to be laid off.
Instead of adopting this cavalier attitude to growth and scaling, work both timescales into your strategy. What are your eventual aims? How will you analyse your success? What measures will you take to ensure the continued smooth operation of the organisation during the scaling process?
This facilitates a more considered and careful strategy for scaling, enabling you to reach and surpass both long-term and short-term goals.
Use the Tools and Services at Your Disposal
There are an array of third-party tools and services which businesses can deploy during the scaling process, each of which is designed to ease your organisation’s push to the next level of operation.
Service providers like Build Live Give are able to increase productivity, output, and—consequently—growth, while also ensuring that all provisions are in place to ensure successful long-term and short-term operation. Build Live Give utilises Podio technology to give business owners greater control over their processes, and gives them the data insight required to identify what is working well and what needs a tune-up.
The experience offered by a solutions expert like Build Live Give can provide a significant advantage to business owners as they seek to scale their companies up.
For more information on what Build Live Give can provide to your business, connect with the team via their Facebook page.
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