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.
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.
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.
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.
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.