As a growing entrepreneur, you always focus on growing your business, looking for opportunities everywhere. However, as it grows, you must also accommodate the capacity to produce. Many people use “scalability” and “growth” interchangeably.
These two concepts are undoubtedly related but don’t mean the same thing. For example, business growth means increased capacity, operations, and revenue, whereas scalability means increased revenue without a substantial cost increase.
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Scalability is important because most enterprises grow very fast and then fall apart because they can’t sustain growth efficiently — they run out of resources. Scalability is planned and within your control. So how do you scale your business for the long term?
Develop a business map
Most companies have solid business plans, but they need a business map. Maps differ from plans, though they serve one ultimate goal — to be more productive. A map looks at the bigger picture taking a more holistic approach to achieve it. It is the company’s foundation, while the plan is your structure.
You should ask yourself: Why did you join your line of business? With a map, you can define the purpose of your enterprise. You will clearly understand where you started, where you are, and your company’s projected future. It gives you a helpful reference for when your business stagnates.
It also helps stakeholders and employees to understand the crucial steps to ensure growth and sustainability. In short, it creates a business culture.
Find the resources
Business scalability needs adequate resources. You need to increase your employees, use new technology, add equipment, and create new systems to track and manage growth. But can you find the money to sustain growth? Most experts are proponents of bootstrapping.
It refers to using only available resources such as personal savings, existing tech, or space to start and grow your company. But do you have sufficient funds to scale your enterprise? First, find the necessary funds and resources to scale your company.
Relying on existing resources is an excellent strategy, but sometimes you need outside investors to sustain your business. You can do this by partnering with your competitors, participating in contests, or seeking loans and grants. Also, work on expanding your network by finding the right partners, mentors, and colleagues.
Invest in your employees
Your employees should always be involved in your company. Business scalability relies on customer loyalty, and your employees are your first customers. It’s a plus if your employees resonate with your company’s purpose and values. Make them part of your scaling process by giving them the necessary resources to become more efficient. This way, your employees become your number-one fans and your brand ambassadors.
Remember always to delegate when you have your strong team in place. It may be challenging to let go of some of your duties, but as your company grows, you must trust your team. Don’t do what someone else can do. And if you can’t perform something internally, you can always outsource. Sometimes outsourcing saves you the time and money needed to train your employees.
Invest in new technology
As your business grows, you will need more employees. But technology can also help you scale your enterprise with less labor. Investing in new technology saves time and money. Strategic hiring and new technology can help you manage every aspect of your enterprise.
You must invest in technology like marketing automation, CRM, accounting, manufacturing, and delivery, among other areas. Technology can also help you perfect your products or services, another important aspect when scaling your business.
Listen to your customers
This may sound like an obvious tip, but most businesses forget why they are successful — customer loyalty. Your customers are part of your brand, and you must improve your products to satisfy their needs. Of course, acquiring new customers should be part of the business plan, but you should continue to delight loyal ones.
Maintain your company’s core values
Scaling your business means staying true to the purpose and values behind the growth of your enterprise. There’s a reason you’ve reached where you are, and you should not lose track of it. You will make tough calls to sustain your growth. It ultimately calls for planning, internal and external analysis, innovation, and adaptability.