by Lina Martinez
To reach the level of business when you’re able to scale is an affirmation of great business idea and a service that is more than capable of delivering it. However, that capability is going to need to continue to grow with the demands of a bigger business. Even the process itself can be dangerous for a business, being one of the main causes of business failure. You need to prepare the ship for deeper waters, and here’s how you do that.
One of the ways that most businesses scale is by employing a slew people to add more talent to the existing sections of the business. One of the most common mistakes, however, is hiring too many people and hiring them when they’re not needed. For instance, you might very well need a larger social media team, but a larger marketing planning team could get cumbersome and bloated, meaning it’s less equipped to do its job. Make sure you identify your demand for new people accurately.
With more employees and more customers comes the need to increase the number of workstations and your capabilities of using customer data accurately. If you don’t have one yet, it’s time to invest in a proper linked IT system that allows faster communication and sharing of resources. More important, still, is that your security grows stronger and your business becomes more well-known and more of a target.
With more customers also comes more orders for any ecommerce business. Transport needs to be rethought. Would it be more economically sensible to start doing your own logistics rather than relying on delivery services? If so, you might consider rental trucks before you make the full commitment to buy your own fleet.
Efficiency in handling a workload is always important. As the business grows, however, there are more opportunities for productivity lulls and a stop in the workflow of the business. To get around that, you need to make it a company policy to streamline the workload. From teaching your team how to prioritise tasks and manage their time to getting the software and tools that can help everyone handle their necessary busywork a lot more effectively and a lot more quickly.
To keep the scaling operation healthy, you need to start bringing in more customers. Whether you’re using a new product or targeting a new market, you have to rethink marketing. Look to options that you perhaps weren’t able to afford before, like video marketing on the internet. Or look into reaching audiences that you haven’t considered yet, by using influencer marketing through things like blogs and podcasts. A great marketing strategy starts off deep, targeting only the most likely customers. As the business grows, however, you need to take that depth and add scope to it.
Efficiency must always be the name of the game, even as you grow. Get your needs and your resources wrong and it’s an easy to lose your ability to scale and get caught with costs you can’t handle going forward. So, take a moment to plan before you launch into the next phase of the business.
Lina Martinez has her B.S. in Journalism and a regular contributor to our Politics, Life and Money sections. She once admitted over drinks to singing "Careless Whisper" in the shower. We are still trying to get her to sing it at karaoke.