Once your business is established and financially healthy, it’s likely that your next step will be to scale it successfully. During this process, you’ll quickly learn that no matter how many coaches you talk to or seminars you attend, your business is unique, and you’ll have to learn as you go. However, it’s wise to be as prepared as possible. That’s why we’ve identified these eleven tips to help you start the scaling process on the right foot.
It Starts with The Right People
Investing in the right employees is the first step in scaling your business. Why? Because when they genuinely believe in the company’s vision, they’ll be more willing to see it thrive. When employees feel valued, you’ll quickly see their emotional investment, resulting in a more productive and profitable business. Take care of your staff, so they take care of your customers.
Identify Your Biggest Hurdles
Once you’ve brought the right people on board, evaluate your weaknesses. Perhaps you haven’t attained any new customers in six months, or retention is at an all-time low. Taking time to uncover your weaknesses is critical to scaling. If you attempt to expand your company while ignoring these issues, they will only be amplified when you reach the next level.
Craft Your Scaling Plan
The age-old saying of “a dream is just a dream without a plan” is particularly true when it comes to scaling. Chamath Palihapitiya, an early executive at Facebook and venture capitalist, created this steal-worthy framework that put the social media giant on the path to one billion users:
Top of Funnel x Magic Moment x Core Product Value = Sustainable Growth
Let’s break down each of these components.
- Top of funnel: Can your product/service attract traffic and then convert it at a rate that continues to increase over time?
- Magic moment: How do prospects emotionally respond to your product or service?
- Core product value: How legitimately is your company solving a market’s problem?
Have a brainstorming session with your team to answer these questions to see how you line up with this framework for growth.
Prioritize Finances for Scaling
When you’re in the early stages of building your company, a small financial mishap may go unnoticed and can be quickly fixed. But as you grow, even the tiniest of errors can cause an explosive financial backlash.
That being said, you should continue to seize opportunities for raising money. Ventures almost always fail when the money runs out. Don’t ignore these openings because you’re sitting pretty at the bank. Take advantage of fundraising when the opportunities present themselves.
Automate Everything You Can
In today’s day and age, there’s an app or artificial intelligence to do just about everything. So why wouldn’t you bring that over into your business operations?
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The cost of delegating a task to an automated process is likely far less than hiring a person (or team) to complete it. Put simply, automating anything, and everything you can make scaling much more feasible and manageable.
(See #11 below about automating how you respond to leads and customers.)
Don’t Tune Out Completely
On a smaller level, business owners can have their hand in just about every operation. But as you scale, that’s not going to be possible. This is where hiring the right people comes in to play. You want to feel confident that what you’re handing off can be handled by well-qualified, trustworthy employees.
Nevertheless, delegating doesn’t mean stepping out of the picture entirely. While you keep a birds-eye view of the company, don’t forget to keep track of the details like your employees’ work-life balance, customer satisfaction, and retention.
Attend Tradeshows and Network
Tradeshows offer a plethora of opportunities to not only spread awareness about your company but also to network with prospects. It’s important to note that as a smaller company, you should focus on sales at your events, rather than acquiring investors.
The best way to gain stakeholders is by having a fantastic sales record, and tradeshows are where those sales begin. Your future investors will likely start as your top customers, to create and strengthen relationships with them at shows.
Gain Customers Through Social Media
Although social media was originally created for personal use, business is quickly jumping on this bandwagon to help their companies scale. Social proof (engagement, likes, and shares) is what leads to posts going “viral,” which in turn, brings more traffic to your website.
Consider purchasing social media ads, and send people to your e-commerce store if you have one. Even if the ads are for a low-dollar lead magnet (like a white paper or how-to guide), you can capture their email address and nurture them until they become a customer.
9. Reconsider Your Pricing Structure
As your company changes, have you thought about pricing changes? It only makes sense that the cost of your products rise as your company gains more overhead. Look at your pricing and see if there’s a way to optimize it for growth. Review sales data and the value your company offers, in addition to how willing your customers will be to pay more. Your pricing shouldn’t stay stagnate, so don’t be afraid to optimize it when it makes sense.
Ask for Support and Help
To truly take your company up a notch, it’s going to be difficult to navigate this journey alone.
Asking for help shows your humility and willingness to grow – literally. Even Steve Jobs knew the importance of asking for support. He once said,
“Most people never ask. And that’s what separates, sometimes, the people that do things from the people that just dream about them. You gotta act. And you’ve gotta be willing to fail; you gotta be ready to crash and burn, with people on the phone, with starting a company, with whatever. If you’re afraid of failing, you won’t get very far.”
If Jobs never asked the co-founder of Hewlett-Packard for spare parts to build his own computer, think how different our world would be today. Just remember tip #1 in this article: you want to ask the right people for help.
Respond to Leads as Quickly as Possible
In order for your company to grow, your sales will need to be flowing in. But with this influx comes the critical step of follow up. Do you have an efficient system in place to respond to prospects?
One of the easiest ways to do this is by setting up a virtual phone number or system. It allows owners, entrepreneurs, or sales reps to have automated reminders about following up with leads, ensuring no one falls through the cracks. This technology can also greet callers with a virtual, 24/7 assistant, which takes customer service to a new level.
If you’re looking to scale your business and want to get started with a virtual phone system, consider using Ninja Number. Let a virtual phone system do the work for you so that you can focus on continued growth. We help business owners as you stay on top of phone calls and voicemails, so you never miss a lead again.