As a startup owner, you don't want to miss any chance to grow your business. But growth doesn't always come with "sustainability", which is why we will discuss business scaling—one of the ways to achieve sustainable growth.
Briefly, scaling a business means increasing revenues without spending huge costs or effort. According to Brian Rothenberg, Partner at Defy.vc, scaling is a measure of excellent leadership, effective operation, and fast growth over a long period. This is what founders and investors expect from a company, which is why scaling is very important.
If you're thinking of how to scale your business quickly, keep reading this blog post.
1. Set Realistic Growth Targets And Develop Plans
This is the first step to consider when planning to scale your business, and it’s very important that you get it right. Otherwise, you will set wrong targets, and develop poor plans that only lead to ill-informed decisions.
Below are some key signals that show the suitable time for scaling up:
Leads or orders are sharply increasing: It's good to see an increase in orders or leads. But what if you keep potential clients waiting for your slow response to their demands? They can leave your company and find better solutions for their issues. That's why you should consider scaling effectively.
Long-term goals are hard to achieve: Does your business have the right staff and systems to help with long-term success? If not, you should scale your business in terms of human resources and tools to build sustainable growth.
To help your business scale up fast, you should set smart growth goals based on past sales data and future expectations. These goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based. Then, develop profitable plans that stick to those goals and meet user demands.
From our point of view, one of the best way to make effective plans is to create a thorough sales growth forecast. This forecast breaks down the number of potential customers, orders, and sales you want to generate by month. The more specific your sales forecast is, the more viable your plans are.
For example, say you recognize a scaling chance after seeing a triple rise in leads at the moment. Then analyze past growth data and expect a 150% sales increase per month. The forecast allows you to plan proper actions to reach the target.
Apart from the sales forecast, you should build an expense estimate as well. This estimate specifies how much you’ll spend on staff, technology, or facilities to meet your estimated sales while scaling your business. As a result you’re able to watch your expenditure and reallocate resources to the areas that require it.
2. Invest Wisely In Technology
Technology saves you much time and money to scale your business. By investing in the right technology, you can obtain huge benefits like:
Automation: Automate manual tasks and workflows, hence allowing your business to run at a lower cost.
Increased communication: Enhance interactions between team members and stakeholders.
Marketing tools: Invest in tools that aid your marketing efforts. For example, if one of your primary growth channels is SEO, you might use a tool like Surfer SEO to optimize content.
Security: Secure file sharing and process higher data volumes when your company grows.
Improved systems integration: Companies now work with different systems, such as cash flow systems or sales systems. But if one system doesn't work well with another, management and communication problems can arise. This can lead to wrong decisions or delays in business activities. So tools like Mulesoft or Cleo can help manage all systems and data in one place.
Staff and task management: Look deeper into each member's performance and assess whether you conduct business plans properly. If you want to manage tasks and track your progress easily, you might want to use a project management tool (this guide compares Asana Vs Jira, two popular project management tools).
For effective scaling, choose a data system or software that allows you to integrate various tools on one platform. Such software or systems make it easy to conduct various functions which reduces your spending on technology solutions while reducing costs to manage manual work, improves productivity, and even boosts revenues.
Besides software, consider investing in better networks and high-quality hardware (e.g., computers or servers).
3. Identify Potential Funds
Scaling isn't free. It always requires capital to hire employees, install new systems, or develop reporting tools to evaluate outcomes.
Each growth stage of your company comes with certain capital amounts. Failure to raise new capital is the first reason why startups fail, according to CBInsights. So whether you're at the idea or MVP phase, looking for potential funds is imperative before you run out of cash.
There are many capital resources you can reach out like family, banks, or crowdfunding websites (e.g., GoFundMe or Kickstarter). Alternatively, you can use software like Slidebean to connect investors worldwide and build professional pitch desks for fundraising.
The software asks some questions about your company's location, current stage, business models, and kinds of fundraising. Based on your answers, it'll link you to potential investors who have an interest in your industry. Take a brief look at how Sparkcharge succeeds in raising $7M with the help of Slidebean.
In particular, Slidebean's experts help Sparkcharge redesign a pitch desk that serves as a vital conversation starter with investors. The captivative, cinematic slide presentation makes information easier to approach. This helps Sparkcharge draw investors' attention and speed through fundraising.
However, before reaching out to any fundraising resource, you should identify how much is needed for each phase. Talk to your board management or investors to determine the venture capital needed to achieve your business's goals within a certain timeline.
4. Have A Clear Sales Structure
A sales structure is the design of your sales team. It refers to which members you should include in a sales team. Sales staff is essential because they help connect with prospects and understand what prospects want from your company. So having a clear sales structure is vital if you want to scale your business successfully.
Apart from sales agents, a core sales team should have a sales manager and a sales development rep (SDR). These roles help reps to sell better and grow more leads through strategic guidelines and processes they build for a team.
We advise against hiring sales staff too early, for example, in the idea stage. Instead, you should hire sales employees before your business is ready to introduce products or scale up.
Also, remember that more sales reps don't always translate to more revenues. So you should pay attention to hiring sales reps with unique skill sets. They need to understand offerings well and be able to move more potential clients down a sales funnel.
But you may ask: how many sales reps are considered sufficient? It depends on your company size and industry. According to Zippia, technology has the highest demand for sales reps in the US (30%).
Looking at your industry benchmark and business demands, you can decide on a sufficient number of sales reps. Some startups can include marketers or other departments in a sales team. But just like sales staff, they should have the right mindset and possess the key communication and persuasion skills.
For instance, if your company mainly offers Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions, you shouldn't just care about marketing and sales members. Focus on strong customer service staff and IT personnel as well. These employees can promptly support clients with technical issues. Also, their expertise and data collected from customer complaints help improve your SaaS marketing strategy. Hence, you can improve user experience and boost your ROI.
5. Outsource Non-Crucial Business Tasks
When scaling up, your business should leave non-crucial tasks to outsourced experts who work more effectively than you.
Remember that there's a lot to do for scaling. It ranges from planning to looking for the right systems and people. Working on tasks that may not be your strength can eat up your time.
The story ofSuperpeer shows you the importance of outsourcing for efficiency. Superpeer is a community building platform where people can livestream, make one-to-one calls, or build online courses. Superpeer plans to build a 10-slide deck that makes potential users understand the platform. This presentation deck should be easy to read. Also, the company expects to merge all key guidelines and website design into one slide.
Pitch deck design isn't a strength of Superpeer. So the company goes to Slidebean. The final result succeeds in matching prospects with Superpeer’s brand guidelines. Deck design can be considered a non-crucial task for company. But a well-designed deck proves invaluable to attract and retain potential customers.
Like Superpeer, you should also outsource unvital tasks while scaling. Stop saving every little cent and look at bigger pictures instead. When it comes to the long term, outsourcing proves more money-saving.
Also, 65% of companies say outsourcing helps them focus more on core values. It frees you from wasting time on the non-crucial tasks, hence letting you streamline your business process and ultimately helping you scale your business quickly. For instance, your in-house employees get more time to focus on tasks that give their customers the best value and improve user experience.
6. Connect With Your Customers
Connecting with your customers is a good way to bring you more long-term customers. These customers play a crucial role in helping your company scale faster amid the increasing competition and ever-changing consumer demands. So don't ignore every little chance of building long-term rapport with your customers while scaling.
One key way to contact your customers often is through communication channels. You can send them newsletters, organize webinars, or build educational blog posts that keep them interested in your offerings. Even build a robust customer community on social media sites or hold offline events to keep customers in a close contact with your brand. Or, of course, call them one-to-one from your business phone number.
Use CRM software like Hubspot or Keap when scaling your business. These tools gather all client data in one place that all departments can access. They track all user interactions and manage client relationships better. Using such software gives you a chance to develop customer-driven practices as your business scales.
Scaling a business isn't easy. It requires your company to have the right systems and people to handle increased workloads without incurring huge costs.
To scale your business faster and easier, ponder the six key tips we mentioned in this blog post.
First, set feasible scaling goals and develop profitable strategies. Then it's important to focus on technology and human resources that suit your business demands. Also, you should look for potential venture capital and third parties to outsource non-crucial tasks by using pitch platforms like Slidebean. And don't forget to build a long-term relationship with clients while scaling.
Applying these tips well in all business aspects, your company can scale up effectively and stand out in the industry.
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