The idea for Scale My Empire was quickly conceived, and the impact he began to make far exceeded his expectations.
This is Scott Gellatly’s story!
When Scott Gellatly began to realize that his corporate dream wasn’t unfolding as he once thought it might, he decided to quit his job and launch his own business. He called it Bollo Empire.
The original project was a cloud tech consulting business, conceived with primarily small businesses in mind. The goal was to make them more efficient as they grew out of their “cradle zone.”
Over the past 4 years, it has evolved into SME (Scale My Empire), a company that helps quickly-expanding startups and small businesses become more profitable, more efficient, highly valued, and easily scalable through complete systematization.
Like many consulting companies, they started out trading their time for money. But, today their business is able to deliver value while remaining quite profitable.
As their work got more and more refined, the image of the ideal client emerged, and they have been able to specialize their service to the point where they can offer a fixed monthly fee for their services.
With a dynamic contractor team that does a wonderful job of aligning costs to revenue, SME became an enterprise delivering great value at a reasonable cost.
SME currently focuses on serving companies in the services business – specifically, those that are growing rapidly and looking to break into what we might call “mid-tier.” These are companies looking to drop their “small business” label.
This transition from small to medium isn’t as humble a leap as we might initially think. This is where SME comes in to make the shift as seamless and as profitable as possible.
“They [small businesses] might find this transition is creating a lot of challenges, particularly to their ability to remain profitable and competitive with an increasing overhead cost base.”
Another issue that small businesses face in scaling is maintaining the quality of their client relationships. Their customer base is quickly becoming several times larger than they’re used to. If a business wants to maintain their reputation while seeking growth, client relations is crucial!
The small business team is impacted as well by growth, especially when the environment they’re used to working in is expanding. Staying productive isn’t so simple anymore: major projects may now have to be delegated into separate portions and to new departments.
The core group isn’t as small as it used to be!
SME works with their clients to determine how to best counter these types of trends in a growing business. Scott’s team creates high converting sales systems and maximizes organization and team utilization with sophisticated projects. This helps the scaling business rake in a higher portion of profit.
Today, Scale My Empire does most of its business thanks to referrals and strategic partnerships with software vendors.
SME’s services are responsible for 85% of their income. They do, however, anticipate a jumpstart in their digital strategy, which will attract more business for the Empire!
The rest of their income has been earned through affiliate fees from software partners and educational content delivered through online platforms to their audience. This is another area that they plan to focus on and improve in.
In 2018, they want their business to continue to yield a continual low-cost revenue stream that will take care of their own bottom line quite well.
Now, we all know that not everything is peaches and roses for most startups, especially in the beginning. The same can be said for Scott Gellatly and SME. Through his own growing pains, Scott had to learn how to overcome his own limitations.
“I’m a ‘systems guy’ and just love to build and refine my own internal platforms.”
Because of this predominant focus on operations, SME’s marketing plan was lacking. Their lead flow was thin and they constantly felt like they had to stretch in order to find that next round of projects.
This forced Scott and the team to learn how they could maximize their sales. Fortunately, SME is primed for delivering a valuable service in a market where learning how to scale well is sorely needed.
Because they’re very good at their jobs, Scott doesn’t have to entertain that “I don’t like selling” attitude – a common challenge for most founders.Not everything is peaches and roses for most startups. Click To Tweet
The first (and the toughest) thing SME had to do in order to grow was to charge their clients more! This wasn’t a simple matter – in the first place, Scott realized that they were greatly undercharging for their services.
To decrease the blow of this to his clientele, Scott made sure to first seek out potential clients who were able and willing to pay for the kind of services SME provides. Scott then sought out an excellent network of freelancers to service any of SME’s clients who no longer fit their target market.
“A very hard decision to make and I really went the extra mile to make sure anyone we had to hand over had a great experience.”
Once Scott and his team made it through to the other side of this wall, however, SME really found itself in a new phase of business.
The second major shift in Scott’s growth strategy came around this same time.
They used to have a core full-time staff as part of the consulting team. This can get rather unpredictable when it comes to cash flow and making smart spending decisions – not to mention staying profitable!
“I knew I needed to tie my project delivery costs directly to revenue if I was going to overcome this.”
So, he wound down his full-time employees and sought contractors and freelancers instead. The change was, understandably, gradual and slow.
But, this worked out to be a convenience for everyone involved. The SME’s full-time crew consists firstly of freelancers that actually run their own freelancing gigs elsewhere, and secondly of freelancers tired of prospecting for themselves.
Scott’s team is an assembly of awesomely talented and seasoned individuals that are paid at an hourly rate. He is there only to provide them with the framework and the system to deliver top quality work.
“I’ve found that being a part of entrepreneurial communities of like-minded people, such as BLG, The Entourage, and Business Blueprint, have been the most helpful sources of knowledge throughout the journey. Their events force me to put down tools for a few days and just focus on my business.”
When we asked Scott Gellatly about his biggest win so far, his answer was the implementation of the growth hacks we mentioned before – which, by the way, took only 8 months to complete!
His business will now earn around $750k this financial year, with the goal of $1.25M in the year to come. In previous years, the business doubled or tripled in revenue year upon year in a natural progression of growth.
(Needless to say, if you’re looking to scale in the same way, Scott is definitely the one to talk to!)
When people ask Scott what’s the biggest benefit of joining BLG, he immediately answers: “community.”
“Just having a tribe to share wins, losses, and questions with (a problem shared is a problem halved!). I know for others it’s more often the fact that they can ask a question and get peer responses in minutes!”
We all, at one point, have had reservations about joining any community of this type. Like many, Scott asked himself, Will this work for me? And, Scott simply boiled this objection down to action.
Will you implement what you’ve learned? Will you turn your peers’ advice into an actionable game plan?
As Scott says, knowledge without application is the hole in the donut!
Need help to scale your startup? Learn how you can fast track the process, and connect with great business owners like Scott Gellatly, with our next free live webinar.