It’s only when you’re clear on your destination that you can plan a scaling strategy to get there.
While growth refers to adding resources at the same rate that you’re adding revenue, scaling up a business means setting the stage to enable and support growth without being hampered.
It is about creating business models and designing your organisation/processes in a manner which generates revenue growth while avoiding stall points that require a ton of extra resources along the way.
Doing this requires planning, implementing the right systems, technology, staff, partners and funding.
The difference between a small startup and a successful profitable company typically boils down to time, experience and planning. Let’s discuss certain factors that play a big part in how companies grow to become successful.
Scaling Up A Business Quickly – What Is Your Ultimate Goal?
Always have clarity on what your endgame is.
Only by knowing where you want to go can you plan a strategy to get there.
By asking yourself tough questions, you’ll unlock new trains of thought. They will help identify challenges and inspire your creativity to solve them.
What type of company do you want to have? Are you planning to sell your company? If you do, you will have to grow a business that will be attractive to would be buyers.
Once you know where you want to go, you can start looking into market penetration, product development, diversification and market expansion.
1. Work On Your Business, Not In It
Most struggling business owners suffer from this. They get obsessed with the details. They get stuck in a routine rut and lose sight of the big picture Don’t let this happen to you. Strive always to be looking at the horizon for new opportunities, challenges and changes in direction which will make a huge difference to your business.
Focus activities that will move your company progress in the direction you want to go.
You must have laser-like focus when you are leading a high-performance team. The leaders role is to set the direction, provide clarity, and remove all obstacles so the team can achieve its goals.
2. Define Your Strategy Clearly
Strategy is crucial for success. Without it, you cannot have predictable top-line revenue growth, create raving fans for your product or service, get your team on the same page, or stay ahead of the competition.
Constant work is necessary. This step isn’t easy, but it is worth it.
You’ll need to determine your company’s strategy, create a detailed roadmap and fill out each department’s individual plan. This strategic planning process will give you the foundation you need to execute your vision.
It will also help you identify the resources you need to make your plan a reality. You can use this strategic planning process to springboard your success.
Define your strategy. A clear and concise description of what you are trying to accomplish is the most important element of any marketing campaign.
It should be an accurate reflection of your company’s goals and objectives. Most companies create their mission statement as part of their corporate identity package.
3. Understand Your Niche And Its Competitive Advantage
Dominance is the key to rapid growth. If you aim to be just another player in your market, your chances of success will be quite limited. You need to aim to be the dominant player.
You need to understand your niche very well if you want to grow your business quickly. Your business should have a deep understanding of what makes it unique and different from its competitors, as well as a clear understanding of what gives it an advantage over its competitors.
You need to be able to explain your business concept in a manner that is so compelling, your prospects can’t help but buy into it. In other words, you need to be able to “own” your space.
Aim to dominate your market. You must understand your niche extremely well if you want to grow your business quickly. You need to have an in depth knowledge of what makes it unique and different from its competitors, as well as a clear understanding of what gives it an advantage over its competitors.
4. Expand Business By Getting Strategic Advice
Scaling up a business takes a lot of energy, knowledge and time. Every fast-growing business will soon hit a plateau.
This is due to the limited experience and knowledge of the founders.
You would have hit this point even if you have owned businesses before.
You will want to seek out strategic advisors to help you scale your business or get to your next destination.
They could provide
- financial expertise
- growth acceleration
- market understanding
- business experience
- logistics structural experience
The right advice will be a catalyst for growth.
The boost they provide your company by fast-tracking your growth would be well worth the fees charged.
Once advisors have fuelled initial growth, you can consider strategic partners to scale your business if you want to.
You might look at internet marketing firms, logistics firms or other partners who might complement your business.
They will provide leverage that you didn’t have previously to make a major leap forward.
5. Attract And Keep The Right Talent
Senior leaders know they have built an organization that can scale when they have a strong core team.
They know their job is to create an environment that allows that core team to thrive and then, they step back and allow the team to do the job of building a huge company.
It’s true that at scale, the true value of people becomes more apparent. If you don’t have the right people in your organization, you won’t reach your full potential.
Your senior management needs to understand that everyone is important, and must fit into your overall strategic direction. Develop a strategy to attract and retain the right people. Such that everyone in your organisation is valuable.
6. Learn To Manage Your Team Well
If you want to be a great leader, you must learn to delegate. You’ll never get anywhere by trying to do everything yourself. You have to be a true servant leader.
As your company grows, the toughest decisions involve people and their changing roles in the organization, especially within the leadership team.
To make sure your company stays on course, spend time and energy learning how to manage your team effectively, so you aren’t getting bogged down with menial tasks that should be handled by others.
Your role as a business owner is to:
- Motivate your team
- Play to individual team member strengths
- Define a clear vision
- Show Appreciation
Funding your Business Growth
Regardless of your industry or scale strategy, you will need cash to fund your growth.
Cash liquidity will help you implement the actions necessary for progress.
Below are a few creative options you can explore to overcome the common business hurdle of being cash tight.
When you know your endgame, start planning your strategy that will get you there.
Many small businesses see investments from venture capitalists and angel investors as a obvious way of injecting funds to scale their businesses.
Such investors expect a 10-fold return on investment. You’d be hard pressed for results for the cash you secure.
You’ll also have to give up equity and therefore control over your business. It is better to only consider these later on instead of at the start of your entrepreneurial journey.
Consider exploring alternatives so you can grow your business the way you want first.
7. Bootstrapping & Crowdfunding
Bootstrapping is where most of us begin our journey. Even Bill Gates started Microsoft from his garage!
Tight on cash flow, yet wanting to test an idea’s potential by bringing it to market. What should you do?
It is best to be financially conservative at this stage. Consider crowdfunding. It is the perfect scale strategy because it allows you to prove an idea rapidly without taking a big financial risk.
Crowdfunding is a method of raising capital through the collective effort of friends, family, customers, and individual investors.
This approach taps into the collective efforts of a large pool of individuals and leverages their networks for greater reach and exposure. It is done primarily online via social media and crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter.
By tapping into a wider investor pool, you’ll enjoy more flexible fundraising options.
8. Create A Subscription Model
Introducing a monthly subscription model is a great way for getting an additional regular income stream.
Many companies are shifting from a sales model to a subscription model. For example, some wine companies focus on selling subscriptions, where customers receive a fixed number of bottles of wine monthly.
Older strategies concentrate on promoting specific wines.
This model can help you secure a higher multiple should you wish to sell in the future.
9. Joint Ventures
Joint ventures may or may not help scale your business quickly or profitably.
You may want to consider working with complementary businesses who already serve your ideal client.
This is a quick and effective way to build your audience, increase your brand awareness, grow your market share and reach a greater pool of customers.
For example, Hershey’s chocolate partnered with McDonald’s.
By offering Hershey’s chocolate sundaes, Hershey’s increased its sales by capturing McDonald’s clientele.
10. Bank Loans Or Government Support
Traditional bank loans are enjoying relatively low interest rates currently. This means you can secure cash without taking a big risk of having to pay high interest.
Also, governments often support SMEs by providing funding incentives. Remember to explore these as you could benefit greatly if you find a suitable program.
Scaling Up A Business – It’s A Wrap
Too often, entrepreneurs view asking for help as a sign of weakness.
They think that asking for help means exposing their vulnerable underbelly to predators lurking to harm them.
The most successful entrepreneurs didn’t become effective leaders by having all of the answers all of the time.
They knew to ask for help in order to turn their visions into reality.
At Blazing Conversions, we understand the challenges of scaling your business. Planning and executing a scaling strategy can be hard work.
Contact us and let our team of professionals help plan and scale your business.