WAYS TO SCALE YOUR BUSINESS
The word ‘scale’ can be used to refer to many things. It can be described as ‘to reach the highest point of something , or ’to climb up by a means of ladder’, It can also be referred to as ‘a measuring instrument’.
However, scale in business can be referred to as creating an environment that supports growth in the business, it is possessing the ability to grow without being trammeled. After making the decision to grow your business, the next step to think about is , how to scale your business for growth.
Most business owners often confuse ‘growing a business’ and ‘scaling a business’ to mean the same thing, but in the real sense, they are actually different. To run a successful business is not just about growing the business but by scaling it. A business might grow but not scale but a business cannot scale without growing so a business owner should pursue scalability much more than growth because in the process of scaling, it also grows.
Growth, in a business simply mean, creating or adding resources at the same pace revenue is being created. It means increasing revenue and costs at the same rate. For example, a business may gain 5 million naira in revenue, but have to hire a new Chief Executive officer (C.E.O) or a new managing director (MD) whose salary is also 5 million naira. As a result of this, the business gains and losses are evened out which implies that the business is growing due to an increase in revenue and an additional employee. But the business is just growing and not scaling because it hasn’t gained much value.
Scaling, on the other hand, implies that the business is increasing revenue at a faster rate than they take on new costs. It means increasing revenue at a quicker or faster rate and increasing costs or resources at an incremental rate. For example, if a business gain 5 million naira for which they spend only 1 million naira, it is obvious that the company gains outpaced its losses, hence the business is not only growing but it is also scaling.
WAYS TO SCALE YOUR BUSINESS
There are several ways in which a business owner can scale his or her business. Some of them are listed below;
- 1. Think big and act accordingly : Thinking big is not daydreaming. As a business owner, it is senseless of you to wake up one day and start imagining yourself as the next Steve Jobs without strategic thinking, you need to think strategically on how your business can increase its revenue faster than the costs. It is even more senseless of you to think strategically without taking steps to act accordingly. After strategic thinking on how you can scale your business, you do the needful as a business owner. You have to take bold steps, surround yourself with the right people, build connections.
- Building a public profile: Another way to scale a business is to build a public profile, that is, to make yourself and your business know or visible to the public. Increasing your visibility leads to growth in your business. Nadira Lawrence Selan, a public relations consultant with Hathleigh Consulting in Woodbridge quoted “the more visible you are in the public’s eye, the greater your chances of being viewed as an expert with whom clients and prospects are proud to be associated”. It simply means that a business with a public profile stands a better chance of attracting clients. There are different ways in which a business can build a public profile;
- Writing articles and blogs : This is a very good way to build public profile, writing articles for publications and website is a quick way to get noticed. All you have to do is to select an area or field that you are very good at, you may also want to create your own blog. After writing, use social media to share what you have written, also, you can use search engine optimization to make it easier for people to locate you online.
- Get quoted in the media : To be quoted in news items and articles on topics or issues related to your field as a business owner can increase your visibility. You can do that by contacting journalists from your local television or radio service to inform them of your availability to provide professional advice to people in your field or area and that you are available for interviews. You can even refer them to the articles or blogs you have written in the past.
- Another good way a business owner can build public profile is to volunteer to speak at public events e.g seminars, trainings, institutions e.t.c. A business owner should note it that when speaking at these places, the interest of the followers must come first, he or she should give reasonable advice that can profit the listeners and not be in a rush to advertise nor or promote his or her good.
- You can also build public profile by participating and getting involved in your local community, for instance, joining associations or organizations that you share the same value together, the main aim is to let people know you and what you do.
- Evaluate, plan and work on your business: Another way to scale your business is for you to evaluate your business. Take stock of where your business started from, where it is now to see if you are indeed ready for growth. Then you plan and strategize on what to do to improve sales and increase revenue. Scaling your business requires you to research on new technology you can appropriate in your business. Plan everything and work on it. No one is responsible for your business than yourself.
- 4. Focus on making your customers happy : Your customers are your main clients, a business owner should always try his or her to make customers happy by providing quality products or services because customers perceptions about a product or service can make or mar a business.
- Invest in your employees : As a business owner, you should value your employees and invest in them because they are the backbone behind your business success. You can invest in them by making them go through training that will make them do better in their various offices. You can also invest in resources that will help them to grow the business. Another good way is to invest into the welfare of employees like perks, benefits, free medical services, bonus payments, pension, leave allowance e.t.c. All these help the employees to work harder and be more committed and loyal to your vision for the business.
- Be involved in your business : As a business owner, you can’t be involved in everything at once and you can handle everything, hence the need to delegate duties to hired employees. But most employers and business owners often relax after delegating duties to their employees .For your business to scale through, you have to be actively involved in your business and have a knowledge of everything happening in your business and its environs so you will be aware if there is a need for change and adjustment concerning anything in the business.
- Do not take shortcuts : As you progress and your business begins to grow, you may be tempted to take shortcuts in order to achieve yours goals .
The very best way to destroy and bring down your business is to cut corners and try to take the easier route to success because there is a repercussion later for each and every action taken today. Know for sure that ‘there is no short cut to success’. When you go through shortcuts as a business owner, you compromise a lot of things, your compromise your integrity, standard, ethics , values at the expense of your customers and your employees. Go through the normal way, think, work, strategize. There are no shortcuts anywhere.
- Ask for Help : As a business owner, anytime you need help as regards your business, never feel ashamed or inferior or weak to ask for help. Most business owners see asking for help as a sign of weakness. As a business owner, you are not expected to know everything, but you can always seek for help. Also, a business owner who is afraid of failure has not started at all because when you ask for help, you might likely be disappointed, rejected .But you’ve got to act. Action is the difference between a person who is just dreaming and a person that actually get it done.
- Time Management : To scale your business, you have to value time as a business owner. You have to manage and prioritize time to make sure each second is effectively used. Procrastination is a deadly spirit that must not be found in the life of every business owner that wants to succeed. Do not do tomorrow what should be done today, you must effectively, efficiently and judiciously utilize your time.
- Learn to say ‘No’ : Most business owners usually find it difficult to say no to every idea and opportunity presented to them. Every idea presented should first be weighed and analyzed, then you can now approve the one you know will be profitable to you and reject others no matter who and where the idea is coming from as long as it is not profitable to your business.
- Protect your business values : To scale your business, you must protect your business values because that is what keeps your business going. Never compromise your values as a business owner.
- Have laid down rules for your employees: It is not good enough that the employer and employee are going towards different direction, the business will not scale that way. Everybody in the organization or business environment, though working on different assignments are working to achieve one goal and there must be some rules binding them to make them hardworking and ambitious to achieve the organization set goals.
- Identify your barriers to growth : As a business owner , you have to be honest enough with yourself to point out some factors that might constrain you from scaling your business and work on them. Factors like inadequate fund, lack of leadership skills, wrong location of business, e.t.c might stand as an hindrance to your business scaling through, so it is better if it is quickly identified and worked upon.
- Secure the sales : Since scaling involves revenue growing at a faster rate than costs incurred, for the revenue to be generated, sales has to be made.
- Invest in Technology : A business owner who wants to scale his or business must be ready to invest in technology.
- Source for funds : An old proverb states that “ money creates money”. You have to spend for additional money to come in. A business owner should know from his or her research that scaling is not for free, you have to source for funds to do relevant things. For example, fund is needed to invest in technology , to improve the quality of the product or service, to invest in employees welfare, to build a public profile and so on. Scaling requires a whole lot of money, though it is really profitable in the long run that is why the first point is that the business owner should sit down, think, evaluate and strategize.
- Network : One of the way to scale up a business is for the business owner to network with other employers in the same line, that has scaled up their business . You should connect with them and learn from them how they did it, the challenges they conquered and other relevant information you will need. You can also connect with a mentor or advisor that would guide you on how to go about it.
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