7 Tips to Make Your Business Scalable
What is business scalability? It’s the flexibility of all aspects of your operation to grow with the business — this includes things like accounting and marketing provisions, as well as production and even your telephone system.
We set out some of the advantages in having a scalable business and some practical ideas to get your SMB on track to capitalize on the success you work so hard to achieve. Find out more in our 7 Tips to Make Your Business Scalable.
Growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together.
James Cash Penney, Founder of JCPenney
Whether you already own a company or just making first steps towards a startup of your dream, you most likely imagine a bright future of success. Ambitious persons reach for the stars. Almost any small business idea can grow into a big enterprise.
But let’s be honest, certain concepts have more capacity for scalability and expansion. Estimate your chances of real growth while considering the following points.
- Is the business scalable?Look at your current business. If the business is based on the owner’s particular skill or talent, then a scale is harder. It can only grow within the limits of the person’s capability and stamina.
Services provided by experts is almost non-scalable field. The skill can be taught, but training and quality improvement take time and resources.
Truly scalable business is the one that keeps low marginal costs while increasing revenue. And it works efficiently with less involvement from the business owner.
Here are some examples:
- Software — classic and obvious sample of a scalable business. Once the product is ready, additional copies are released with much lower costs.
- E-commerce — any product or service provided via the internet is scalable. Information business, webinars, some kinds of consulting services can be delivered to the mass of people using only a Skype camera and microphone.
- Replicated products — it’s aligned with the previous bullet. Today online stores compete favorably with shopping malls. Extension of delivery regions, products variety — these are just two points to consider for scaling opportunity.
- Social media — Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. It seems like any new platform for sharing photos and impressions is welcomed. As recently as 2015 Periscope (worldwide video-sharing source) and The League (dating application for the “elite”) appeared.
- Downloads — music, books, games, applications have similar to a software’s scalability. The once launched app can be downloaded thousands of times a day.
- Line production and franchising — most processes of line commodities production are automated. The net cost is relatively low. But always keep an eye on the quality. Never let down clients’ expectations, it forms loyalty. When a person comes to McDonald’s he wants almost the identical Big Mac as he had the previous time. Ray Kroc set a standard of the smallest specifications, including weight, sauce amount and fat content in every burger.
- Investors acquisitionFor investors, the best small business ideas are scalable. Startups that have a high potential for growth obtain sponsors. The power players don’t trust mere talk. They believe in a valid business plan and financial model. High profits, minimum employees, and low support — these are crucial criteria of gaining investors’ attention.
Which location can you embrace with a product? Investors bankroll startups that can go worldwide.
Match your business concept so it can be attractive for sponsorship. And we can advise you How to fund small business and find your investor.
- PartnershipTry to build trusted business relationships with other market players. Starting together as green implementers of small business ideas, you may share experience, discussing relevant issues. Collaboration and outsourcing reduce costs and make time for the business development.
Even titans of the market chose cooperation. In 2006, Nike and Apple announced a partnership. Products of this union are fitness devices that connect to each other.
Making partners with existing market players is a forward-looking approach. It’s more advantageous than trying to outdistance them. In addition, franchising is one of the proven ways to scaling.
- MarketingDon’t delay an efficient marketing strategy if you want your small business to become a market leader. The startup needs to be noticed at once. It’s not about local promos and advertising campaigns, which are useful to attract clients here and now. It is about joining a global market. Get access to business conferences, participate in workshops. These are places to make business networking and make proper acquaintances in different fields. Visit Meetup.com for relevant events near your place. And LinkedIn is a rich platform of information, communities and events agenda.
Invest in your business brand. It is a valuable asset that demonstrates who you are, what your defining feature is. It should be simple but remarkable.
Marketing is a continual process. Keep updating your product line, so you can attract new clients, innovate. Apply to customers for the feedbacks and work on remarks. People buy from the one they trust. Remember, “Without customers, you don’t have a business. You have a hobby.” (Don Peppers & Martha Rogers, Return on Customer).
- Automate solutionsAppraise your business processes. There are always repeated steps and circular activities that can be automated. This frees time for focusing on business growth.
Minimize staff work-hours. For example, instead of depending on manual data entry and appointments setting, invest in a system that simplifies work process for employees. Newcomers can then be trained quickly and easily and join the workflow without delay.
Carla Martinez, former PM at HICKIES (sneakers store), shared a success story of scaling due to “automating everything”. HICKIES used Zapier’s software for workflows automation. Zapier transfers data between web apps automatically without additional coding. All processes become many times faster.
A business that provides services is built on a number of experts, their workload, and efficiency. While considering scaling of such kind of business, the entrepreneur should particularly focus on automation. It can result in additional revenue with fewer labor hours.
- Stable baseWhen a business is just launched it is the best time to invest in a solid foundation. Avoid cheap and quick software solutions; it’s not powerful enough for a growing entity. The best software is the one that can suit a small business idea, support it while growing, and maintain huge enterprise while using regular updates.
Effective ERP system, e-commerce software, or communications platform provide automation of most business processes. This is core for a business scalability.
As an example, MightyCall offers a customized communications solution for any size and type of business. A cloud-based unified platform provides reliable management of calls, e-mails, social media, and to-do lists, while many useful features (conference calls, activity queue) can be used and added.
Another example is Xero accounting system. The vendor offers free trial for small businesses. Cashflow, invoicing, payments, pay runs — up-to-date financial data that’s easy to compare, maintain and review is what’s essential for each growing company.
Outsourcing of the business support services to professionals is worthwhile. You can concentrate on the core business.
- The teamNo doubt you’ve put your heart in the realization of your small business idea. But the truth is that a large business can be overwhelming for an owner. You can’t control everything and be everywhere. Scalable business means you are less involved in its processes; your role transforms more and more into a high-level supervision.
Build a strong team to do what they do best. Hire the right people so you can manage scaled business without making every slightest decision. The best company structure is streamlined so that trusted people have leading positions. As head of a company, a business owner needs to focus on his main strengths and landmark issues.
On the path to growth don’t let failures break you down. Instead, make it work for you, learn the lesson. Dream big and let no one unsettle you on your way.