How to Take Control of Your Business Scalability

Chapter 01: How to Take Control of Your Business Scalability

How to take control of your business scalability

Today’s marketplace is moving faster than ever before and your business’ ability to respond quickly to changing demand and tech advancement is key to growth. Business scalability allows you to expand, grow and increase revenue with a minimal increase in operating cost. Below are some guidelines for how to take control of your business scalability and position your company for future growth.

Create a clear roadmap to your big future

In order to achieve scalability, you will need a clear plan. This is your roadmap to achieving goals that will position you for growth. Planning involves a range of ‘lenses’ through which to see your future. A strategic plan becomes a roadmap to guide your transformation to scalability. Consider a smaller, more tactical plan for each scalability project like implementing client management software, automation or integrating payments software into your marketing and sales process.

By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.
--Benjamin Franklin

While the big picture is key to your growth goal, attention to detail is required to put the plan to work. Once you have the strategic end-game clearly in focus, identify the steps needed to get there, who will own and actually take those actions and then hold the team accountable to make it happen.

  • Establish a 5-year growth picture to create your roadmap and destination goals.
  • Identify the major steps needed to get there in the form of milestones required to reach the destination.
  • Plot the steps on a timeline to see how the milestones occur over the course of a month or year.
  • Delegate where possible because you really can’t do everything by yourself and, big surprise, sometimes other people can actually do some things better than you.
  • Hold people accountable as a means of moving the team forward with your goals. When you identify owners of deliverables, you will have human sources to account for action. The ‘buck’ stops there.

Work today with tomorrow in mind

Scalability is really about making every decision with the future in mind. As you consider each major milestone in your roadmap, think about what you need to support your current business and what is needed to support growth. Scalable means if you can do something for one customer, you can do the same thing for 100 customers at about the same cost. When Bert and John Jacobs launched their $100 million company Life is Good, they were peddling feel-good slogan t-shirts to college students from their minivan. In order to share their brand with the world, distribution channels had to expand. Minivan distribution isn’t scalable but internet orders and drop shipping is.

Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes—but no plans.
--Peter F. Drucker

Having the human resources (people) and working capital (money) to invest in scalability is important. Fortunately, there is a range of scalability options when it comes to systems and processes. Make the best system and process decisions you can from the beginning. Document processes to make training new employees easier. Capture data from the beginning so you’ll have it on hand as you grow. As you expand your team, make the best hiring decisions you can for each role. Inspire employees to think of their roles as shaping future teams and departments. Train them to thrive as individual contributors with a vision toward future leadership.

  • Automate where possible and conserve your ‘human resources’ for personalized interactions that really ‘count.’
  • Document processes from the beginning so you don’t have to go back and recreate later.
  • Leverage data as a powerful tool to measure progress and support the accomplishments your company has achieved.
  • Hire an assistant as soon as you can because you can’t do everything yourself. This is part of a scalable model. Use your time to develop and implement strategy and hire someone to do the administrative activities.
  • Outsource activities that your team doesn’t have time or skill to do.
  • Hire the best employees for each job at every level of your organization. Don’t skimp on this one. If you need a data analyst, hire the best you can afford or hire a contractor until you can afford to hire one.
  • Train employees to be future leaders because people rise to your expectations of them.

Scalability is key to growth. As you take control of your business scalability, you will position yourself to manage today’s business and be ready for exponential growth tomorrow.