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How to successfully scale your business – Ultimate Guide

Lenka Kiprijanovic

USA

If you’re owning a business, you’ve probably at least once thought about expanding. Now imagine if you could progress while managing to spend minimal amounts of resources and hire only as many employees as necessary, while your revenue increases. 

This is what scaling is all about. If you’re interested in gaining more and spending less, then keep reading.

18.03.2024.

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If you’re owning a business, you’ve probably at least once thought about expanding. Now imagine if you could progress while managing to spend minimal amounts of resources and hire only as many employees as necessary, while your revenue increases. 

This is what scaling is all about. If you’re interested in gaining more and spending less, then keep reading. 

Table of contents:

  • What does “scaling a business” mean?
  • Difference between scaling and growing a business
  • When is the right time to start the scaling process?
  • Business essentials to start scaling effectively
  • Additional helpful tips

What does “scaling a business” mean?

If you’re looking for a way to make your business more successful and increase your profits, then you’ve probably heard of the term “scaling”. But what does it mean?

While “scaling up” sounds like some kind of a buzzword, it is actually a commonly used term to describe handling and preparing your business for growth but without additional expenses. 

Simply, it’s as if you were Santa Claus preparing for Christmas but you never had to pay additional costs for hiring more elfs to help you.

One of the most famous examples of successful scaling companies is Google, since it brought many new customers without spending too much additional resources.

Difference between scaling and growing a business

While terms “scaling” and “growth” are usually used interchangeably, they actually mean two different things. Here’s how to distinguish one from the other. 

Growing a business

This process implies potential growth in revenue but it involves hiring new team members and expending resources as well. 

It means that you have to spend more in order to bring your business to the next level, while balancing that growth with the increase of the customer flow. 

However, if you experience a dip in clientele, you will have more expenses and no work or revenue to sustain it, which could be a problem.

Scaling a business

When you want to scale your business, you focus on the expansion of your team and resources as your revenue grows, but that expansion is a lot slower than the increase in customers. 

This implies that while your customer flow gets bigger, your expenses are much lower than if you were to grow your business.

Even if the customer flow drops, by scaling your revenue will still be high enough for you to sustain your workforce and potential additional resource costs.

When is the right time to start the scaling process?

When we talk about business expansion, it is common knowledge that choosing the right time to make a decision or launch a new product is crucial if we want our business to reach new levels. 

This skill of time management is of the essence for someone who wants to scale as well.

According to data provided by McKiney, only 22% of new businesses launched in the past decade have successfully scaled. This is a rather small percentage if we were to look at the quantity of new businesses compared with the time range which was taken into account. 

Choosing the right time to start scaling should be one of your top priorities if you want to succeed in boosting your business.

Here are some indicators your business is ready to start this process that you should consider:

When your employees have too much work. Although your cash flow became bigger due to constant sales, you were probably forced to turn down some new working opportunities because your working team had too much work to handle.

When your long-term goals seem to be out of reach. Even though you achieved your short-term goals successfully, you just can’t seem to grasp the opportunity to implement other long-term goals, which are more focused on the future. You should consider scaling if you’re struggling with achieving that long-term success. 

Fast increase in leads. While an increase in leads means that you’re on the good path to expansion, if you don’t focus on your potential customers as well, those leads will vanish real fast and leave you in an unwanted situation.

If your business is showing signs of struggle and you recognize some of these factors to be the reason, then you should be thinking about scaling up.

Scaling your business business essentials to start scaling effectively

Business essentials to start scaling effectively

Now that you know when it’s the right time to think about scaling, there are also certain steps that you need to take in order to make the process of scaling as effective as possible.

 We will now go through some of the most important parts of this process, which will help you in building your business and positioning it higher on the scale.

1. Establish your team of professionals

If you’re planning on bringing your company to the next level, you need to focus on creating a team which will be highly efficient and show professionalism at every step and every task that you put before them. 

There are two types of skills your employees have to acquire in order to make their work structured: hard skills and soft skills.

Hard skills are more job-specific, organized and focused on the concrete problem at hand.Some of the examples of hard skills would be project management, business analytics, graphic design, search engine optimization, coding etc.

As for the soft skills, they are more focused on the development of the individual team members and their capability of working in a team, alongside their coworkers. Such skills would be more focused on customer service,organization, communication, agility and time management.

When you’re looking to expand your team, bear in mind that since you’re about to work with less working force, your employees should be capable of attaining these types of skills.

2. Consider hiring a Virtual Assistant

Since scaling means that there is much work to be done, and far less employes and resources available comparing to average business development, you could potentially be in a situation where your team just can’t handle the workload, but your company is still not ready to hire new full-time employees, since you’re trying to grow your business on a budget.

This is where Virtual Assistants, or VAs, could come in handy.

Scaling your business consider hiring a virtual assistant

For starters, Virtual Assistants are available 24/7 and they work only until their task is done, so you don’t have to spend as much money as you would if you were to hire a regular employee.

There are many more advantages to hiring a VA, since they can handle different types of tasks while they guarantee their professional approach:

  1. Customer Support

VAs can handle all kinds of customer support services, such as resolving customer issues, their inquiries, and providing information about services and products your company supplies. Additionally, they can also manage refunds, returns and exchanges, which can have a positive effect on your company’s future development.

  1. Order Processing

If you hire a VA, he can process orders, help update inventory and even manage online store’s backend systems. They can help coordinate and track your orders and resources, which come from your suppliers, so that you have all needed products available when necessary.

  1. Research and Data Analysis

Since you are trying to scale your business, VAs can provide detailed data analysis, gather market research, and give reports, so you can be informed in detail and stay ahead of your competitors.

  1. Social Media Management

Constructive social media platforms are important in almost every type of business. Virtual Assistant can work on developing your social media accounts, posting content, interacting with followers and subscribers, as well as running your advertising campaigns.

  1. Content Creation

Just like managing social media, creating content is significant as well, since the content you put out will represent you and your product, and bring new leads and potential customers. If you decide to hire a VA, he can create SEO-optimized and engaging content, which can attract new customers while also retaining your regular customers. 

  1. Email Marketing

One of the greatest ways to maintain leads and boost your sales is through email marketing. VAs are capable of contributing to this part of your business in various ways, such as designing newsletters, analyzing campaign performance and segmenting your email list.

Scaling requires dealing with unfortunate amounts of small tasks, which could be time-consuming. By hiring a Virtual Assistant, you could easily fix all those smaller but necessary requirements and allow yourself, as a business owner, to focus on bigger tasks and core growth strategies. 

Get matched with a highly qualified virtual assistant and offload your time-consuming tasks today.

3. Develop a concrete plan

Even in everyday life, if we want to reach some kind of  goal, if we want to succeed, we have to make a good plan. 

This strategic approach needs to be applied in business scaling as well. When you’re working on expanding, you should dedicate enough time to focus on thorough development of your expansion plan. 

What is your goal? Do you have a strong enough base to achieve it? Is your foundation good? How about your resources and your team? 

These are all questions you should have an answer to, if you want to scale successfully.

Also, don’t forget to commit to both outcome and process goals, since they are equally important. Outcome goals being your final results that you want to accomplish, and process goals being a detailed plan of all the steps that are necessary to take in order for the outcome goals to be achieved. 

 If you spend enough time on detailed development of your business objectives, you will have a bigger chance of a favorable outcome for your company.

4. Work on updating your  tools and technology

Even if you’re one of the best and professional businessmen in your field, you need to have tools which can keep up with your creativity and help you and your company be up to date. 

We’ve listed potential technological investments that can contribute to your overall scaling progress.

Quality communications platform

If you’re planning on expanding your business in other countries, or if you want the communication between your employees to run smoothly, we recommend that you invest in a good communications platform. This way, your team will have easier access to one another,even if they are far away.

Also, this will guarantee better relationships with your customers, since they will be able to stay in contact without having to worry about technical problems or miscommunication.

While there are multiple types of communication platforms which use different mediums for communication, such as video or phone systems, it’s better to have a communications platform which unifies all possible mediums, so that they are all available in the same place.

Dialpad is an example of a communications platform which allows this feature, thus making your scaling journey easier. 

A CRM

If you want all of your customers’ information to be stored in one place, then a customer relationship management system is something we highly recommend you take into account. 

By using a CRM and connecting it to your communications platform or phone system, you will automatically make jobs of your employees easier, since tasks like logging activities and data entry will be integrated into the system and they won’t have to do this manually.

For example, HubSpot is a CRM system which integrates with the Dialpad communications platform and automatically logs the information. Additionally, HubSpot allows a free content management system, which connects a CRM to your site. This means that you can easily trace and gather information about customers who check out your business profile or the product that you have to offer. 

5. Evaluate and update your company’s offers

One thing that can deceive you when you’ve decided to scale is thinking that you need to aim toward the rapid increase in revenue by trying to reach various kinds of customers and by providing different types of company offers. 

This is a common feature of business growth. While sudden revenue increase can be good at the beginning, it isn’t something that’s shown to be successful in the long run if scaling is your priority.

If you don’t target a specific type of customer, you’re potentially risking reaching customers that don’t fit in with your company’s plans and products that you offer. Moreover, there is a possibility of losing your core customers, since you’ve focused all of your energy on targeting new ones.

Instead, try creating a concrete plan of your company’s offerings, while also aiming for one particular type of customer which has shown as the best fit for your company so far.

This way, you’ll ensure that all of your original customers will stay interested, while the inflow of new customers will increase, since they’ll be more than satisfied with the solutions your company has to offer. 

Naturally, this is a process which has to be constantly analyzed and updated, if you want your business to stay on top and beat other competitors in the field.

               6. Constantly adapt and innovate

Last but not least, you should continuously work on adapting and innovating your business. As your company becomes bigger and bigger, the conditions you’re working in will change as well. 

Pay attention to different options available. Maybe some link in your chain needs to be fixed, or maybe there’s some new technology available that will prove more efficient in your future business endeavors. All in all, the more you focus on innovation- the better.

Additional helpful tips

Here are some supplementary tips which can help navigate you through the scaling process:

  1. Don’t go into scaling too fast– although there’ll be times that you’ll think your business is ready to take a step forward towards scaling, don’t rush into making such an important decision. Once you start with the process, it will be that much more difficult to fix the situation if something goes downhill. Always make sure all the signs are there, and then finally, when you’ve double checked all the steps- you can start scaling.
  1. Don’t prioritize quantity over quality– if you have more possibilities to offer, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll be more effective. It’s far better to have well-organized but smaller amounts of solutions available, which will have their targeted purpose, thus showing better results in the long run.
  1. Don’t lose focus– if you allow yourself to get distracted by all the things that need to be done, you may end up forgetting where you started, and why, which can negatively affect your business. That’s why you should always keep your goals clear, so that you never go off the track.

Conclusion

Scaling is a process which allows you to expand your business at the lowest cost, while spending as little of your resources as possible. However, it isn’t something that can be done overnight. If that were the case, then the percentage of companies that successfully scaled would be much bigger.  

Even so, it is far from impossible, if you organize your business accordingly. By following our tips and staying focused on your goal, there’s no doubt that you’ll master the process of scaling in no time. 

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