And, I’m not talking how to scale up just any business … I’m talking about scaling up YOUR business!
The term scaling up is a hot topic right now, but what exactly does it mean and how is scaling up different from business growth.
There is definitely a distinction between the two so let’s start with a quick lesson.
Business growth requires an addition of new resources like employees, capitol, inventory or expenditures.
Scaling a business occurs without a substantial increase in resources and requires less effort.
Scaling a business feels more natural. There are key strategies to follow to scale up quickly and as smoothly as possible. With anything in life, whether it be personal or professional, there is always room for improvement and room to grow or in this case scale.
There are infinite possibilities to do more, to make a bigger difference, to make a more positive impact and to achieve greater success. No matter how successful you’ve been in the past, there is a higher level of achievement to strive for and scaling up your business can help to create even more success in the future.
Continuing with the current success formula and maintaining existing levels is an easy path to follow. The tried-and-true method so to speak. But, how do you move to the next level and multiply the results even further to maximize your impact and scale up?
The ultimate goal is to have more business than you can handle. It’s a good problem to have and by following these simple steps you can learn to scale up your business and also help it grow in the process.
SCALE UP YOUR BUSINESS TIP #1 – SET GOALS & HAVE A PLAN
Get ready! Set goals, milestones, intentions – whatever you want to call them – that have clear and definitive deadlines. There is an old adage that says if you build it, they will come, but you need to know what to do when “they” get there. In business and in life, you must always have a plan. And, not just a plan b but sometimes a plan c or d and even a plan Z.
You must have the desire to scale up and the commitment to grow. In order to effectively grow or scale up a business, it does take effort and determination, but the payoff is worth it in the end. First you must set the intention and make the commitment to scale up now. A list of brilliant ideas that are never acted upon are merely a list of things to do. A to-do without a when will never get done.
SCALE UP YOUR BUSINESS TIP #2 – CREATE THE MINDSET
It’s ok to think big but help everyone see the vision along with you. Creating and setting the mindset starts at the top and must trickle down to everyone involved so that all are working towards a common goal of scaling. Just setting the goal is not enough. Everyone must have a clear understanding in order to achieve the desired outcome.
SCALE UP YOUR BUSINESS TIP #3 – ASSESS YOUR CURRENT SITUATION
How is your business doing right now? Do you have the resources to scale up? Are you ready? Too much scaling, too quickly is a good problem to have in theory, but if you can’t meet the demand you will do more harm than good. You don’t want to upset customers and clients or turn them away. Or, worse make them switch to the competition. That is why assessing resources and ensuring they coincide with your scaling up plan is key.
Continuing to re-assess throughout the process is also important so you always know where you are headed. Data is key and tracking progress with quantifiable results helps to prove to investors, clients, employees, colleagues and everyone involved that your business is scaling up successfully.
SCALE UP YOUR BUSINESS TIP #4 – KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE TARGET AND THE COMPETITION
Always keep an eye on the competition to know if scaling up is helping you differentiate. The goal is to do it bigger, better and faster so you can stand out from the crowd and reach your target market. Your scaling up plan should include ways to capture your target market from the competition. Two simple ways to help scale up your business are offering new customer incentives and creating special promotional pricing.
SCALE UP YOUR BUSINESS TIP #5 – COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE
Communicating doesn’t mean having to break the bank on the marketing budget. Word of mouth is an invaluable and affordable way to scale up your business quickly. Tell everyone you know your intentions to scale up, and I mean everyone. You may have a set target market in mind but often customers come from a friend of a friend. Customers and clients can even come from a chance encounter with the grocery store clerk who has a friend of a friend … the point is you never know! This is why communicating your intentions and a little shameless self-promotion at every stop of the way is a cost-effective way to scale up your business. Social media is also a must. Plus, it’s an easy and inexpensive way to spread your message, tell your story and connect. Basically, tell your story to anyone who will listen.
SCALE UP YOUR BUSINESS TIP #6 – DELEGATE, DELEGATE, DELEGATE
In order to scale up your business, you need to find the time to work on your business instead of working in the business. This is hard for many of us to do, especially if you are a self-proclaimed control freak and want to do it ALL – but don’t. Don’t get stuck in the weeds and let the daily minutia stop you from transforming your list of scaling to-do’s into action. Find good people to help you perform administrative tasks or manage your social media accounts or websites so that you can focus on scaling your business and eliminate the chaos. According to Inc.com, it is estimated that “the typical CEO gets about 200 to 300 emails per day”1 which proves that we need help cutting through the daily stuff so start delegating today.
SCALE UP YOUR BUSINESS TIP #7 – GROW AND SCALE UP YOUR NETWORK
As you tell everyone you know about your scaling up plans, be sure to continue to scale your contacts as well. The more connections you make and retain then the faster your scaling efforts will start to take form. Reach out to old connections, foster existing relationships and join organizations and associations that allow you to grow your network. Online connections allow you to grow your network faster than ever before so take advantage of technology and use your network to help you scale up your business.
SCALE UP YOUR BUSINESS TIP #8 – RELEASE COMMITMENTS
Overcommitting zaps a great deal of energy, and lost energy creates obstacles to success. Learning to release commitments goes beyond delegating. As business owners, we must reassess where that energy is focused and redirect that flow which means learning to say no when necessary.
One person can’t do everything. Prioritizing what is most important will create the energy needed to continue moving the needle. Here are some words of wisdom from one of the most innovative tech masterminds of our time, Steve Jobs, as he reminded us that “people think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things I have done. Innovation IS saying ‘no’ to 1,000 things.”2
SCALE UP YOUR BUSINESS TIP #9 – REDUCE FRICTION AND FOSTER COLLABORATION
Addressing friction and drama whether its within your team or with key stakeholders is important because friction limits collaboration. Successful scaling requires collaboration from all parties, and it should be a positive experience. Learning to come together and knowing when to agree to disagree to achieve a desired outcome requires constant effort that is needed to scale up successfully. You are only as strong as the people that work for you and with you.
SCALE UP YOUR BUSINESS TIP #10 – BE PREPARED FOR ANYTHING
Thanks to 2020, a new question must be incorporated into any scaling up plan slated for 2021 and that is can my business survive anything? While scaling up and maximizing growth is ideal, you have to be prepared for the things that can completely unravel that growth. If you have to close your doors for an extended period of time, can you take your business online? Do you have enough of a pad to lose business and still survive?
SCALE UP YOUR BUSINESS BONUS TIP – KNOW WHEN TO ASK FOR HELP
Why be mediocre when you can strive for greatness and that is what scaling up your business allows you to do. Scaling up now and setting the path for future growth allows you to truly be prepared for anything. But, creating any kind of business plan is a daunting and overwhelming process, and a plan to scale up your business is no different. That is where I come in because I can help. I’ve been exactly where you are and just needed someone to listen and then a nudge in the right direction. My name is Michael Giannulis and one of my missions in life is to help business owners and entrepreneurs scale their business and multiply success. I’d love to learn more about you and your business. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to start working on scaling up your business today!