With the economy roaring ahead at a full speed, many entrepreneurs view the present moment as being an ideal time to expand their business and scale their operations upwards to an unprecedented extent. Despite the alluring promise associated with scaling your business upwards, however, you must exercise caution when expanding lest you grow too big, too quickly, and collapse because your momentum got out of control. Knowing which critical steps to take when your business hits the big leagues is the only surefire way to scale with success.
Here are the 5 critical steps you must take to scale your business successfully, and what errors to avoid along the way.
1. Ensure your team is prepared
The most important step when it comes to scaling your business is ensuring your team is ready. If your workforce isn’t capable of sustaining your company’s momentum, you’ll never be able to maintain the robust growth you’re currently enjoying. Furthermore, you’ll need a team of savvy managers who are ready to take on additional responsibilities and branch outwards so that you and your core team can focus on the most important elements of running the business.
For business owners and senior managers, this may mean delegating authority in some places when they’d rather remain involved. Knowing that it’s time to surrender something to a lower team member so you can move on to bigger things is thus an important part of helping your business scale.
Ask yourself how much you’re investing in company training policies, and whether you’re confident your workers can manage their responsibilities if you or other managers are moved elsewhere to facilitate your business’ further growth. All the while, however, you should also take caution not to confuse growth with scaling, as failing to recognize the differences between the two can render mute whatever changes you make to your workforce.
2. Change the company culture
Another crucial step towards scaling your business upwards is changing the company’s culture so that it’s ready to enter a new era of commerce. “Hypergrowth” companies, or those which are developing and scaling upwards so quickly they’re struggling to maintain their own momentum, are particularly susceptible to collapsing on themselves because their early company culture never evolved over time. This is where your business leaders must step in to foster changes, as they’ll need to make it clear that the company is heading into a new, brighter direction and that changes must accompany this journey.
Knowing how to scale your company culture begins with knowing how to define it and instill its prevailing principles within the ranks of your workforce. Don’t make the mistake of ignoring company culture as you grow if you want to remain prosperous for long.
3. Adjust your business plan
In the earliest days of your company’s life, you were likely highly dependent on a sound business plan which helped you steer towards success. These days, however, the environment your company is operating in is likely radically different from its original marketplace. Knowing that you’ll have to adjust your business plan if you want your business to scale successfully is an important responsibility of the owner, as this isn’t something a rank and file worker or senior manager can do.
Consider hiring a business plan writer to help you in your reevaluation of your company’s direction, and ensure that you spend plenty of time thinking about your future regardless of whether you hire an expert. Walking into a new marketplace blind is a surefire way to spoil your previous successes and ensure that your scaling efforts are for naught.
4. Get ready for a digital transformation
One of the most tumultuous aspects of any company’s scaling efforts is the digital transformation that it must undergo to evolve from a small fish into a big fish. The marketplace is more crowded than ever before, so you can’t possibly hope to become bigger and more efficient without embracing technological change that enables you to do more with less. Familiarizing yourself with new innovations and ensuring your workforce is tech-savvy enough to handle the latest developments is easier said than done, however, and entrepreneurs shouldn’t fool themselves into thinking it will be easy to handle the digital transformation.
Be prepared to spend more when it comes to your IT department, as every budding business needs a robust web presence if it wants its prosperity to endure for long. Don’t be afraid to hire new tech specialists, either, as sometimes you’ll need to bring on talented new workers if your business is to grow in a meaningful way. Brushing up on a guide to tech talent could help you in the interview process if it’s been some time since your company thought it was necessary to hire a new employee.
5. Don’t forget your roots
Finally, it’s imperative not to forget your commercial roots as you undergo tumultuous changes and scale your business to a hitherto undreamt-of scale. As your company grows wildly more successful than you could possibly have imagined when you started out, don’t let that success get to your head. Remember the core tenants of your business that made you stand apart from others in the marketplace, and don’t forget to reward the key employees who have been instrumental towards your company’s growth thus far.
While company goals and vision change over time, it’s important to stay true to your brand identity. Always reflect back to your mission and vision statements, which make up the foundation of your identity. All future actions and communications should reflect these statements.
Scaling with success means rewarding talented workers, as they’re often a huge engine of growth for your business. Keep your most talented employees satisfied and thoroughly invest in training new workers who will help you achieve further growth, and your company will handle scaling with grace.