How to Scale A Business For Growth [Viral Method]

Leadership

Ever think about how to scale a business for growth? Most people associate growth with more revenue and cost reduction to improve profit margins. If this is your line of thinking, you’re in for a rude awakening. If you want to build a great business and scale it sustainably, there is SO much more to it.

 

What does it mean to scale a business?

Traditionally, business growth has been tied to sales numbers — a reflection of market reach and customer acquisition. However, sustainably scaling a business looks beyond just revenue; it’s about enhancing the bottom line. This means optimizing all areas of the business, from the people and culture to operations and finance.  Only by looking at the business as a whole will scaling become sustainable.  

Imagine you’re a manufacturer of consumer packaged goods and you get a deal with Costco that will grow revenue 3x over the next 5 years.  Such growth could be catastrophic for your operations and supply chain.  Maybe you won’t be able to find the right people, or worse, your company’s culture becomes toxic due to the fast growth.  Or the margins are so low that you have to compromise on quality and lose the customers. 

 

Why scaling a business is hard? Top challenges

For most businesses, organic growth is pretty straight forward.  When you want to scale, adding 25%, 50% or even more in a year comes with a unique set of challenges. 

 

No Organizational Clarity

Scaling without clarity is like navigating without a map. 

A business needs to have a clearly defined structure, roles, and responsibilities that can be scaled up. Organizational clarity ensures that as your business grows, every team member knows their role and how it contributes to the company’s goals.

Here is a great article on how to scale a business for growth and the questions you should be asking yourself to create clarity.

 

Organically Developed Culture as Opposed to Intentionally Built

Most company cultures develop organically. While this might work (we disagree) when you’re growing slowly, when you start to scale the business big cracks show up.  Your culture becomes what you tolerate, and this is a recipe for failure. 

As a company leader, you MUST embed and nurture your values early on. Your job as company leader is to be the chief storytelling officer.  Tell stories about your values and how the team has lived them. Talk about your vision.  Connect people with your purpose and impact you make.  Get them onboard for the journey you will be taking together.  

That’s the only way you can build a culture that lives your company’s brand and vision.

 

Not Focusing on People First

Leaders and CEO’s often make the mistake of focusing on profits over people.  It’s easy to forget that it’s the team—the people on the front lines—that propels the business forward. As Jim Collins famously said, “If we get the right people on the bus, the right people in the right seats, and the wrong people off the bus, then we’ll figure out how to take it someplace great.”

In this case, we’re going a little backwards.  We KNOW we want to scale, so it’s vital that we have the right people in the right seats on the bus. That starts with the leadership team.  We need a leadership team of A-Players who can handle all the excitement (and challenge) of fast growth. 

We recommend some of those leaders, or at least your advisors, have experience in the size business you’re targeting and have been through the growing pains.  That experience is priceless. 

 

Not Systematizing the Business

If you’re looking to scale, you need to think ahead. You want to make sure you can handle the load in the future. This means developing a plan that your operations match the revenue growth. If you’re in manufacturing, this doesn’t mean you need to make the investment today. You just need to know what to do when that day comes.

Business growth can also shed light into operational vulnerabilities. When revenue begins to grow, these bottlenecks in your business can end up costing a fortune. You’ve got to find those bottlenecks that’ll slow you down and deal with them. It’s about making sure your business can handle the extra miles without breaking down.

 

Not Being Systematic About Sales

If you want to achieve scale (fast), you need to be systematic about your sales process.  For most of our clients, sales is one of the main bottlenecks in growth.  

While some would say sales is an art, there’s a science to it.  Developing your sales strategy, then systematizing the tactics is vital to increase your close rates and revenue growth. 

 

What are the steps to scaling a business?

 

What is a scaling strategy?

A scaling strategy is a comprehensive plan that guides your growth. It balances the need to expand while maintaining the essence of what made your company successful. And while focusing on sales strategy is important there are many other aspects to scaling. Building the emotional connection with your team and your clients. Building a community. Everyone needs to feel that what your business provides actually means something.

Create your long term vision

Creating a long-term vision is crucial. Picture where you want your business to be in the future: what you’re known for, the impact you have, and the legacy you’re building. This vision guides every step you take, ensuring you and your team are always moving in the right direction. It’s about seeing beyond today’s successes to the bigger picture of tomorrow.

 

Hire People that LIVE Your Company Values

Employees are the backbone of any scaling strategy. Hiring people who embody your values ensures that as your company grows, your culture remains intact. These individuals become your culture carriers, ensuring that every new member of the team is inducted into a cohesive, value-driven organization.

 

What does “Winning” Look like

Winning in the context of scaling is about achieving strategic objectives that align with your long-term vision. It’s not just about hitting a revenue target; it’s about reaching milestones that signify growth in your capacity, capabilities, and market influence.

 

Define where you will play

If you’re going to win, you need to know where you’re playing.  Defining the playing field, also known as your niche, is the next step.  

Who is the customer you’re designing the strategy for?  Where are they located? What’s important to them? How do they make buying decisions? 

 

How will you win?

To scale successfully, you must define and dominate your niche. That means defining a unique value proposition that your consumers value and being the best in that space.  

A manufacturing company, for instance, might carve out a niche in producing eco-friendly materials, distinguishing itself from competitors.

 

Turn Customers into Raving Fans

The final and perhaps most crucial step in scaling your business is to turn your customers into advocates. It’s about creating an exceptional customer experience that leaves them so satisfied that they can’t help but share their experience with others. You have to find ways to include customers into your culture. Make them more than just shoppers. Make them family. A family that has the same values, believes in the same things, and are united around a vision.

 

How to Scale a Business for Growth – Tracking the RIGHT KPI’s

When we’re scaling a business, we’re often bombarded with data, numbers swirling around, promising insights. While it can be overwhelming, it’s essential to focus on the key performance indicators (KPIs) that truly matter, those that offer clear guidance on where to invest your resources and efforts to stimulate growth.

Revenue: Tracking revenue growth is essential as it directly reflects the market’s response to your product or service. It helps you gauge whether your business is on an upward trajectory or if you need to pivot your strategies to boost sales.

Profitability: While revenue is about the top line, profitability zeroes in on what’s left after expenses. It’s crucial for understanding how efficiently you’re converting revenue into profit, indicating the financial health and sustainability of your business.

Operational Efficiency: This KPI is about finding those 3-5 key levers unique to your industry that let you tweak and turn your operations for the better. It’s all about agility, being able to make quick adjustments to stay lean and competitive.

Employee Net Promoter Score: This score reveals how likely your staff are to recommend your company as a place to work. It’s a direct line to understanding your team’s engagement and satisfaction levels, which are critical for fostering a productive and loyal workforce.

Customer Net Promoter Score: Measuring how likely customers are to recommend your product or service is golden. It’s not just about satisfaction; it’s about gauging the depth of your customers’ loyalty and identifying potential advocates for your brand.

 

Cost of Acquisition

The Cost of Acquisition is a vital KPI, acting as a beacon to inform us of the efficiency of our marketing and sales strategies. 

It’s simple math: divide the total costs associated with acquisition by the number of new customers within a specific period. But the implications are vast. If your cost is too high, it’s time to revamp your approach. 

 

Lifetime Value of a Customer

The Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) is the projected revenue a customer will bring during their lifetime of doing business with you. This KPI helps forecast long-term business viability and informs strategic decisions about investment in customer service and product development. 

When a customer buys from you multiple times, it generally has a much lower cost of acquisition, significantly increasing profitability. 

An engineering firm, for example, by increasing its LTV, can justify upfront investments in customer service and innovative design, knowing that this will pay off over the customers’ extended engagement.

 

How do I make my business scalable?

At the end of the day, to make your business scalable, you need to start with a foundation built on great people, solid systems and processes. 

 

It’s about creating an environment where tasks and responsibilities can be replicated efficiently as the business grows. Automation is your ally here, reducing the need for additional resources for each new customer added. 

Additionally, your business model must be able to accommodate growth without sacrificing quality or customer satisfaction. Think about diversifying your offerings or exploring new markets, but do so in a way that keeps your core proposition strong.

As the founder or CEO, you’re not just running a company; you’re building a community that shares your dream. It’s really about sparking that excitement in everyone involved, from your team to your customers. That’s the kind of growth that feels good because it’s built on real connections and genuine passion. That’s real scaling.

Mike Knapp

STRATEGIC PLANNING & EXECUTION

Mike has been helping businesses achieve their goals for more than 20 years. He believes there is a better way for business owners and leaders to build their businesses and achieve their big goals. As a Gravitas Impact Premium coach, he leverages the 7 Attributes of Agile Growth™ to simplify the art of strategy and discipline of execution.

Related posts

VIEW ALL
https://www.incrementa.ca/wp-content/uploads/2024/04/how-to-scale-a-consulting-business-600x343.jpg

How to Scale a Consulting Business to 7 Figures

Leadership
Bob looked around the room at his leadership team.  Here they were, 3 years into their EOS journey.  They have an
https://www.incrementa.ca/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/chief-storytelling-officer-min-600x343.jpg

How to Become a Legendary Chief Storytelling Officer

Leadership
For thousands of years, people have gathered to tell, and hear, stories.

Let’s talk

The incrementa insider

Subscribe to our mailing list for practical ideas to improve your business.
  • We promise to never share your private information! Privacy Policy.