How do you determine when it’s time to scale your business? The answer will differ from business to business (i.e., if you’re super specialized vs. mass production), but here are some important decision criteria to consider along with actions to take when you’re ready to go.
Are You Ready to Scale Your Business?
Business growth looks different for everyone, and the decision on when and how to scale is important to consider. Examine each following criterion as they relate to your business to help determine what’s right for you.
Your client list is not only growing, but people are seeking you out.
Your minimum viable product (MVP) is clear, and your research shows high potential of a successful venture with some TLC.
People are engaged and interested, but you want to stay lean from the get-go; investing in processes and automation up front will help you scale with ease.
Future projections look positive – your pipeline is full of high quality prospects with a steady revenue stream.
You’re clear on your offers – linked into the MVP, you have a clear vision of your ideal customers, have clarified and simplified your product/service offerings and have a strong pricing model.
Time is scarce and you’re ready for help – planning your hiring needs right provides the time you need to hire the right people.
You’ve confirmed your passion and dedication – you’ve been through some ups and downs and don’t mind riding the waves.
Simply Hudson Wants to Help
If you’re ready – or need – to scale, it’s time to take action, and Simply Hudson wants to help create your action plan. Strategic planning is one of our specialties: we’ll help you develop your vision and plan to scale. We’ll start with a free consultation and go from there.
In preparation for our appointment, get a jump start on these actions and we’ll help you get things organized!
Actions to Scale Your Business
1. Go for the gold
Transition your mode of thinking from one of scarcity to that of abundance. How far do you want your business to go? Without risk or restriction, where could it go beyond your initial vision? Reach for the stars, the world is your oyster, the sky is the limit…take your pick of metaphors on striving for the best to imagine the possibilities. Over time, you’ll narrow that down to develop your vision, strategy, and game plan.
Current state evaluation: Metrics are an important part of business no matter the stage of growth. Check in regularly on your relevant numbers: sales, number of customers, revenue, expenses, projections, etc. Consistently analyze your metrics to determine if you have high-quality customers, if your pricing model is right, what expenses you can trim. Maintain a clear view on the current health of your business.
Future business evaluation: Now, determine what your business looks like at scale. What is your sales target? Who is your ideal customer and what’s the numerical sweet spot? What are your revenue streams and how do they align to one another? How do you see your role, time commitment, take-home pay, and overall engagement changing over time?
Future expense evaluation: Scaling ultimately means making some changes to your operations. You may need new technology or automation, more staff and support, or a broader build of infrastructure, processes, and systems. Maybe there is a new need for continuing education, payroll services, or your first true marketing budget. Work out your expense forecast for the future expenses you foresee, as well as a contingency bucket for the unexpected.
Answer our 6 Questions to Evaluate Your Business Idea: We offer you some guiding questions to be proactive in your ever-evolving business so you don’t get complacent or miss good opportunities. Answer these questions both for your current reality and future-state vision.
3. Establish, expand, and/or improve your online presence and networks, if appropriate
There are slew of benefits for having a well-developed website and consistent social media presence. However, it can be time consuming and extra effort. We suggest evaluating if you have the time and dedication or taking a look at the ROI if you hire out this task.
Website: Consider this your round-the-clock sales and marketing department. Visitors to your website should be able to learn about your offerings, expand their knowledge on your specialty/product, know who you are and why you’re in business, and contact you for orders (bonus for using ecommerce for booking sales/appointments online). Providing a good user experience and thorough (yet concise) information keeps customers happy and sales smooth.
Blogging: Blogging is a way to share your knowledge asynchronously with customers and prospects. It may not be appropriate for all industries, but the majority will find that customers enjoy reading what you have to say while staying informed and connected to your brand.
Content marketing: Posting on sites other than your own will help spread the word about your business. Research which channels are right for your audience: it may be a specialized market, partnering with an affiliate, or submitting an article to a publication.
Social media: Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, and/or the like is another way to stay connected. Being active on these platforms keeps you modern and present in your customers’ lives. You don’t have to have them all—determine which are most relevant to your customers and business.
Email marketing: Email marketing can give you insight on audience and industry trends which you can use to your advantage. Which subjects get the most clicks or content gets the most opens? Use email marketing to test your market and engagement.
Time to edit (or maybe even create) your first strategic plan to accommodate your future-state business. We know it sounds formal and corporate, but a strong plan is your roadmap for success. You’ve already done a lot of the work to get here, so now it’s time to focus on pulling it all together. Perhaps that’s outsourcing to a strategic business coach (like us!) or tackling this yourself.
5. Get the funds
Scaling isn’t free, so you’ll need to consider your funding options. Do you have the funds to reinvest? Does it make sense to bring on a partner who can help with funding and a particular area(s) of expertise? Is a loan or other funding source, such as venture capital, more aligned to your needs? Get the financial advice you need to make an informed decision on the best course of action for your future success.
You know where you are and where you want to be. You’ve got a solid client base and money to invest in your business. Now it’s time to take the leap and put it all into action. Set SMART goals and check your progress regularly. Stay accountable to your targets and readjust when needed.
Any ongoing business should continuously evaluate business performance, staff performance, process performance, etc. A continual re-evaluation will keep you a step ahead of any challenges and identify the shifts you need to stay aligned to your vision. We’ve got a great article on how to evaluate your team’s strengths.
What’s Your Status on Scaling?
Are you ready to scale your business and take action? We’ve just touched the surface but have offered you a great launch point. If you want to learn more, reach out for your free consultation to see if Simply Hudson is the right partner to help you scale.