Scalability versus Growth
Scalability is really only about Capacity and Capability. Does your business have the capacity to grow? Will your business systems, infrastructure and internal team be able to accommodate growth? When growth causes your company to falter, even your loyal customers will be dissatisfied.
Every business owner loves growth because, for the most part, it implies an increase in revenue. The goal of most, if not all, small businesses is to see a huge increase in a little amount of time, because this means they would have turned a profit.
Does it mean this?
Most business owners often conflate growth with Scaling a business. And while scaling implies growth of some sort, the former doesn’t always mean scalability.
Scalability assesses the cogs in the machine that is your small business, to see if they are strong enough to bear the additional weight of an increase in operations. Do you have the resources to not only expand your operations but to be able to do so while delivering on the promise your brand made its customers? Scaling a business means setting the stage to enable and support growth in your company. It means having the ability to grow without being hampered. It requires planning, some funding and the right systems, staff, processes, technology and partners.
Every customer has experienced the growth/expansion of their favourite brand, leading to its inevitable downfall in the form of reduced quality, deteriorating customer service, long wait times, decrease in engagement. This is arguably one of the worst things to experience as a brand owner, As not only do you have to face the growing pains of an even bigger business, you face the possibility of losing your loyal customers.
Are you looking to scale your business, here are some steps to ensure your business growth does not come at the expense of your brand.
Identify Your Goal
Growth should not always mean the same for every business. For some, it can mean being able to take on more orders, and for others, it means increased engagement with customers. Either way identifying the kind of growth, your business needs is essential to scalability. To do this you need to conduct an in-depth analysis of your brand. Determine what works and what doesn’t, It is also important to examine strategies that worked for previous goals and how they can be adapted and in some cases completely changed to align with your new goal.
You also need to determine what can be achieved on a short and long term basis. Only when you have identified this would then be able to plan towards a growth that happens at a pace, which your business can handle. It is also important to note that at this stage you need to be realistic with your goals. While passion is needed to achieve any dream, you do not want to get carried away with ambition and push your business to grow faster than it can handle.
Plan For Resources
Now that you have your goals mapped out, you need to determine the kinds of resources needed to achieve this growth. Do you have enough money to drive digital campaigns for increased traffic, is your website built to handle increased traffic, do you have enough staff on hand to handle a larger volume of orders, Do you have enough materials to create products on a larger scale while maintaining integrity? These are the questions you need to ask yourself as a business owner considering an expansion. It is great to achieve growth, it is even better to be able to manage that growth without compromising the service you provide to your clients.
Before taking the first step in your growth plan, make sure you have enough resources on hand, make sure to have backup resources to handle contingencies as well or even better, scale your goals down to the resources you have. If you goal is to increase traffic to your website, instead of hiring expensive marketing firms with glossy banners and shiny case studies, look into hiring smaller firms that work with small businesses, freelancers on Fiverr simply learn to do the basics by taking an online course or reading marketing blogs, which would then shave off some of the work needed.
Define Your Strategy
If you are looking to scale your business, there would be a point where you won’t be able to go at it alone. This is the point where you need strategic advice. This can come in the form of the wealth of information available on the internet or a business coach. The right strategic advice will shortcut your learning curve and become a catalyst for growth.
This kind of advice can vary based on your goal for scalability so it is very important to not only seek strategic advice but to know what applies to your business. This is easily achieved with a business coach who has an in-depth understanding of your market and business and can give strategic advice on the allocation of resources and the capability of your business to scale based on the goals you have outlined. With Solv Advisors you are guaranteed business coaches that not only understand what it means to be a small business but a team that is dedicated to growing your business at a rate that it can handle.
Not sure what the next step is for your business? Reach out to Solv Advisors for a conversation on how best we can help out with scaling your business