What does scaling up in business mean? It is setting the stage to allow your business to grow. It creates a strong foundation that minimises any vulnerability that could occur from that development of your business. At this stage you are looking to increase revenues without a substantial increase in costs and create a framework that will underpin your growth plans. Put simply, it is a positive, change in your business that has a measurable outcome. Going beyond yourself means taking a holistic look at your business and making changes in your processes and procedures to have a positive impact on your operations and activities.
Here, I bullet point some key considerations to make when scaling up in business.
Have a vision with clarity
- Know and include your why, values and purpose
- From where you are now, what do you desire?
- If you can’t see your vision with clarity, then you will find it difficult to share it with prospects, customers, suppliers, partners, stakeholders, and your team as you build it
- Critique, sensitise and crystalise that vision to help you evaluate the potential, and prepare for any obstacles
- Communicate and share it with those that need to know or who can help keep you accountable to it
- To fuel your goals, connect with your emotions when achieving or missing this vision.
Create the foundations for your planned growth
- Develop your processes and systems to capture your knowledge and create the blueprint to share how something’s done best, and consistently
- Know your value proposition and protect any Intellectual Property included
- Analyse your market and have clarity on your ideal customer/s
- Develop and create your marketing assets that speak to your ideal market
- Establish your revenue streams, confirm your pricing strategy, and have your finance system in order
- Know your numbers (a) those in your financial accounts (b) the real numbers – those activities that drive the outcomes you desire (c) what does your forecast tell you?
- Build a level of reserves
- Mitigate your risk, analysing any likelihood and consequences
- Be operationally efficient and effective by creating good, daily habits
- Protect your time and use it wisely
- Get good people around you. Your network, your supporters, your key partners, your advisers, your board, your family and friends and any collaborators.
Have confidence in consistent lead generation
- Build brand awareness (personal and business brands)
- Establish the marketing tactic/s that best pull people towards you with interest during their ‘need recognition’ stage
- Have clear messages that spark an emotion and converts those that want to know more to leads.
Understand your customer’s journey to maximise your sales conversion (Awareness, Consideration, Purchase, Retention, Loyalty, Advocacy)
- What are your customers’ expectations, engagement, pain and emotion at each step?
- What do you need to offer to proactively move them forward on the journey?
- Know, understand and be ready to handle the most common objections.
Know the ‘success drivers’ that form your dashboard for measuring Key Performance Indicators
- An easy to view snapshot giving you confidence or early warning signs
- Provides clarity on the activities for execution that deliver your desired outcomes
- The detail is in your data.
Decide on your role, the team you need, and the initial hire required
- From day one, understand the roles you are doing, which hat you are wearing at what time. This helps you identify what you enjoy, what you are good at and where you add most value for your business
- What organisation structure are you working towards that has the right people in the right seats and presents the most effective structure? Ideally not reliant on you!
- Know what is important in terms of skills, qualifications, capability, attitude and personality.
Know the trigger points that give you confidence to scale up your business and reduce your procrastination
- Working capital and cash reserves
- Work in progress and debtors
- Pipeline value and consistency.
Implement your plan, execute your activities well and learn from your outcomes
- Where does the business need to be in a years’ time to keep you on a trajectory towards your ultimate vision?
- What are the activities you need to execute in the next 30 / 90 days?
Establish how you will level up your marketing to generate more business than you can potentially manage now
- Know what works and do more of it
- Test and measure other tactics.
- Keep an eye on your market and consider any reaction needed
- Stay true to your personal and business values, and brand
- Make scenario planning part of your regular considerations as it’s unlikely you will have just one future
- Create an adaptable business with different plans for different futures
- What’s your next pathway? To Pivot, Sustain, Expand?
I know there’s a lot to take in from all this information. But I hope you can keep it in mind and refer to the different sections when you need them. Some of the points raised have their own blogs for greater detail, but if you need support or guidance with any of these considerations, please do give me a call for a free business mentoring session or informal conversation about scaling up.
My free e-book, 21 Tips for Entrepreneurial Success may also be of interest to you and can be downloaded now. In the meantime, I wish you the best of luck with your journey.