Published: Aug 02 2022
Last updated: Aug 02 2022
Read time: minutes
Once you determine your target for growth, you need to set your sights on how you will get there. Follow these six steps to scale your business to its maximum potential.
1. Make a plan
Before scaling your business, you need to make a plan. This should be used to guide your scaling efforts.
Key elements to consider are:
- Product and pricing - what are you going to sell to customers, for how much, and how will you differentiate from your competitors?
- Marketing - what channels will you use to acquire customers and at what scale?
- Operations and logistics - operationally, how are you going to execute #1 and #2, and what are the processes and people required to be able to deliver to your customers?
- Financials and cash flow planning - what quantities will you be able to achieve from the above, how much will it cost, and how do you ensure you have sufficient funding to deliver at this scale?
2. Focus on what has the potential to move the needle
If you’re looking to 5x the size of your business, then look for things that can actually do that and focus on them.
One of the common pitfalls for an ambitious owner is that they try to do too many things at once. As a small business, you’re likely both time and resource-constrained, so it’s vital that you spend time on the most important and impactful things. Effective prioritization is crucial to success.
Always challenge yourself and question how the project you’re working on will actually help you achieve your goal either directly (e.g. without cracking a new marketing channel you’re unable to scale) or indirectly (e.g. you can’t scale unless you have sufficient cash to pay for the increased marketing spend).
3. Test and learn quickly
One advantage you have over bigger businesses is your ability to be flexible and agile in both your business model and your tactics. Test things as quickly as possible, learn, and iterate.
Once you’ve determined your most impactful focus areas, lean into them. Hard. It’s great to have a plan, but in order to succeed you need to actually “do”. And often the reality of how things perform is very different from our expectations. But that’s ok - that’s all part of the process.
4. When a test works, lean in
Business advice books talk endlessly about “failing fast and forward” but perhaps less often mentioned is really leaning in when you find success.
If you have a test that works it’s important to act and actually lean into that tactic to scale it up. Without actually expanding on the things that are proven to work, you’re never going to have transformative impact.
5. Delegate and empower
As you scale, businesses become more complex and you will no longer be able to do everything yourself. Empowering people around you to step up and take ownership of areas of the business is crucial for success.
While it sounds like a no-brainer to get help with your business, letting go is hard for a lot of business owners. It is your baby, after all! Investing the time and effort to hire great people you can trust will make this process much easier.
6. Always think about cash
Scaling a business will typically soak up cash - as your marketing dollars typically leave the business before cash from the customers you acquire from that marketing comes in. Additionally, scaling will likely require capital expenditure and hiring up, which all use up cash.
Planning and managing your cash flow will ensure that you can continue to successfully operate as a business. You can look at a wide range of possible funding sources to improve your business’s liquidity - including the Capital on Tap Business Credit Card, issued by WebBank. This line of credit will give you unlimited free 1.5% cashback, $200 back if you spend $15,000 in your first three months, and credit limits of up to $50,000 - all of which should help to relieve pressure on your cash flows.
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