Your business is doing great and it is growing—fast! Your efforts seem to be working and your top-line revenue is increasing. However, this growth is coming with more costs, so what you need to do now is figure out how to scale. Unlike growing a business, the concept of scaling a business entails increasing your revenue and overall profit margin with minimal increase to your costs and outflow of cash.
Scaling can be done easily and efficiently if you have the right operations and financial processes in place. When done correctly, scaling is a critical component in sustainable long-term success because it essentially allows you to bring in more revenue with less effort.
Here, we outline seven strategies you can implement to accomplish scale your business smartly and effectively.
Plan and forecast
Before you start scaling your business, make sure you know your ‘why’ and really hone in on your business’s competitive strengths. Figure out your goals and then, put together a sales growth forecast to help you figure out how you are going to achieve them. This will take some strategic thinking and research as you will need to break down your numbers—both sales and expenses—month over month to get a clear picture of how your finances are tracking and what your next steps should be. Look at all areas of your business and devise a plan for steady growth instead of rapid growth to ensure you hit long-term goals.
Access strategic financing
Now that you have a plan in place, you know how much additional capital you might need to take the next steps towards scaling your business. Again, the benefit of scaling is that it enables more cost-effective growth—but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t still require a bit of investment. You may need to hire new staff, order equipment, invest into new technologies, and so forth. The idea is that the things you’re investing in will help put continued growth on autopilot so that your business continues reaping the benefits long after you’ve invested.
Working with investors, launching a crowdfunding campaign, or diversifying revenue streams to bring in more revenue could all help towards an initial investment towards scaling your investment. Another great option is to secure a revolving business line of credit that allows you to draw only what you need when you need it. The key is to understand how much it is you actually need and how to allocate it.
Build the right team
An important part of scaling successfully is hiring people to fill in the gaps on your team. Understand where it is that you could benefit from greater efficiency and hire the right people for those roles. Hire employees that offer not only the skills you need to strengthen your team, but who are also eager to grow with your company. You should also be sure that everyone joining the team is a good fit with the values and goals of your growing business.
When it comes to onboarding and leading a growing team, make sure to lead by example and delegate tasks appropriately so that workflows are optimized. Create a positive and trustworthy environment and ensure that employees are equipped with the tools and resources they need to help take your business to the next level.
Choose the right banking stack
A key component of smart growth is finding the right banking product or stack that will meet your needs as your business evolves — and sometimes that means making a switch when the time is right. It’s important, as you scale, to take a step back and reassessing your current bank or banking service and understanding if it’s serving you as well as possible. For example, you might find that while a traditional bank was the right fit when you were first starting out because of the confidence it instilled or the availability of physical branches, it’s possible that your priorities will have shifted as your business has grown. As a result, you might prefer a digital-first banking provider with more specialized services and features built for small businesses. You might also want a business bank account that facilitates smoother business operations, whether it’s helping you streamline your accounts payable processes or allowing you to increase profit through the strategic use of sub-accounts.
Did you know?
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Outsource business processes
While you may want to keep everything in-house, it could be expensive (and potentially counterproductive to scaling) in the long run. That said, it sometimes makes sense to identify strong partners that can help perform certain tasks and duties. What is outsourced depends from company to company but accounting, customer service, marketing, IT, and HR are all areas that you can lean on external support for. Outsourcing will in turn help your business scale more quickly because it gives you and your employees time to focus on your business and core competencies. When you outsource, you are essentially taking a portion of the work off your own plate and handing it off to a team that specializes in that type of work, which usually means that things are getting done more efficiently and cost-effectively.
Make the right technology investments
There are so many tech platforms and software services out there that can help make your business more efficient and less expensive to operate. These can include technologies in marketing, sales management, HR, shipping, data analytics, and even virtual assistants. Take a look at your business and team to see where there is opportunity for automation. This can help save time and money by reducing the amount of people and hours it takes to run key parts of your business, which in turn paves the way for smarter scaling.