It’s important to be as intentional as possible with your business model, growth patterns, and goals. You can’t leave the future up to fate. Otherwise, your organization will become characterized by inefficiencies and bottlenecks. And one of the best intentional choices you can make is to prioritize scalability from the ground up.
Why Scalability Matters
Most business owners assume that scaling a business is about growing a business. And while this is certainly one aspect, true scalability is much more strategic.
You can grow your business, but that doesn’t always mean you have the capacity for efficiently handling increased output. In some cases, growth can actually have a detrimental impact on your team, finances, and internal resources.
“To scale means you are able to take on the increased workload in a cost-effective manner and meet the demands of your business without suffering or overstretching,” one small business explains. “It’s about getting a comfortable handle on the increased workload, customers or users and then delivering.”
A business that’s scalable is able to grow without busting at the seams. In fact, as the business grows, it becomes more profitable and simpler to manage. That’s because capacity increases in tandem with the growth.
4 Tips For Building A Scalable Business
Whether explicitly stated or not, every small business ultimately wants to become a scalable business. The challenge is figuring out how to become more scalable without unintentionally straying from your mission and/or stifling growth. Here are a few tips for success:
1. Systematize The Mundane
The key to building a scalable business is to put in the hard work up front in order to save time down the line. In other words, you systematize anything that’s repeatable — even if it requires more energy or money on the front end.
Let’s say, for example, that you’re developing content for your blog. While you can personally sit down and crank out a blog post and have it published to WordPress within 90 minutes, this sort of process is only repeatable if you’re willing to do it over and over again. What you need is a system that you can hand off so that you can hire other people to write content for you at scale. It might take you an extra three hours to develop this system — which seems foolish at first — but if it saves you 90 minutes per week for the next two years, it’s worth it.
The key to systemization is to be meticulous in your documentation of the steps. By creating standard operating procedures (SOPs), it becomes easy to plug in the right people and have them take control of different parts of the business as you scale.
2. Collect And Interpret Data
The marketplace is going to change. Customer preferences will evolve. Technology will improve. Your goals will shift. Nothing is static for too long. So how do scalable businesses respond in an efficient and effective manner? By collecting as much data as possible.
Spend time implementing robust data collection methods. Then make it a point to review this data on an ongoing basis so that your team can interpret and iterate in real-time. This ensures you never fall too far behind.
3. Outsource Where Possible
Hiring employees is expensive. And while there’s a time and place for increasing the size of your team, it’s an inefficient way to tackle growth.
Hire full-time employees anytime you have critical tasks that you want to keep in house. But when it comes to non-critical tasks and responsibilities, outsourcing is a much more efficient option.
Take marketing as an example. If your business is based out of Long Island, you might contract with a Long Island digital marketing company to handle all of your graphic design, copy, social media, and SEO work for you. And because you’re outsourcing the relationship, you can scale your marketing over time without having to commit to a large upfront investment.
4. Build A Cooperative Tech Stack
As your business grows, so does your need for software and applications. The key is to build a tech stack with tools that communicate and cooperate with one another. This helps future proof your business and establishes a scalable, flexible, and adaptable infrastructure for growth.
As part of building a tech stack, you may need to use custom software to bridge the gaps between various tools. In this case, an IT professional and/or team of developers can assist.
Looking To The Future
Scalability is about efficiency. It’s about being cost-effective and resourceful. It’s about putting systems and processes in place that allow your business to grow without commanding more time, energy, or stress from you (personally). So what are you waiting for? It’s time to prioritize scalability and give your business a brighter future.