5 Tips For Quickly Scaling Your Business And Achieving Repeatable Growth
No matter the stage you’re at in your business, smart growth is vital for guaranteeing a solid future for your company. After all, while increasing revenue streams can add to your income, it also requires internal expansion within the company itself.
Unfortunately, too many entrepreneurs fail to adequately address the various challenges (and opportunities) associated with building a foundation for repeatable growth, which can eventually cause total failure of the business itself.
I recently had the opportunity to interview Josh Strebel, CEO of Pagely, along with fellow guest Christian Brink Frederiksen, co-founder and CEO of LEAPWORK, and the subject of finding a sustainable growth model came up multiple times during our conversations.
While it’s true that any type of business has a lot of work to do to scale successfully, it became clear during our conversations that a few key strategies can significantly help entrepreneurs unlock repeatable growth channels. Here are those approaches.
1. Solidify Your Unique Positioning
As Strebel sharing in our interview, Pagely’s success didn’t happen overnight. The company had been in existence for five years before it took off, and Strebel associated this growth with one key factor—positioning.
“Once we solidified our positioning and where we fit in the market, it resonated. We weren’t trying to compete with all the fast followers out there. We stacked our position and found our blue ocean and realised that this is what we do, and we do it the best—showing us how we’re uniquely positioned. And then, boom, 100 per cent growth came month over month for quite a while.”
It may sound simple, but you need to demonstrate your unique value proposition to potential customers if you want to scale.
It’s the only way you can lure them away from competitors and establish yourself as the go-to resource in a new service area. Don’t be afraid to fine-tune your positioning if something needs to change.
2. Let Automation Share, The Load
Many startups fail because the current staff gets spread too thin trying to keep up with customer growth.
While hiring new personnel is essential during this phase, business owners should also consider using automation to reduce their burden.
“A lot of computer work is tedious, repetitive and boring—but it’s also unavoidable in today’s workplace,” Frederiksen shared. “This can cause you and your staff to lose focus, increasing your risk of committing costly errors. You’ll also end up wasting time you could otherwise use to focus on other, more important tasks.
This is part of the reason LEAPWORK exists. Building automation flows can help with everything from releasing software patches to supporting sales tasks.”
Even something as basic as automating data input can save your team several hours each week, giving them more time to focus on the significant picture aspects of scaling your business.
3. Get Your Existing Customers To Market Your Business
For an eight-figure company, Pagely is surprisingly minimalist in terms of its advertising efforts.
“It’s still word of mouth, personal recommendations, organic search, things like that,” Strebel explained. “We don’t do any pay-per-click advertising. If we ever experiment, it’s less than $500 a month.”
A lot of this ability to keep advertising costs low comes from having strong positioning that helps them earn referrals from agencies and other companies that recognise when Pagely will be the right solution for their client brands. Thanks to consistent positive experiences in the past, they are more than willing to refer Pagely’s services to people they know.
Of course, you can always incentivise your current customers to share your brand with special discounts, free service offers or even an affiliate program.
These referrals can bring in new customers who closely match your existing target audience. Better still, it costs far less than an expensive ad campaign, ensuring that growth-related activities don’t crunch your budget.
4. Maintain Quality And Consistency
“One of the biggest problems I see with businesses trying to scale is that they allow their product quality or customer service to deteriorate to gain new customers,” Frederiksen explained. “You can’t slack on the attributes that helped you land your initial customers. Product and service quality should always be your number one priority, even if it means enlisting outside help to maintain this focus. I’ve maintained this mentality at LEAPWORK, and it’s led to tremendous success.”
Company culture is vital for avoiding this scaling pitfall.
Ensuring that everyone on your team remains committed to the goals and ideals you started with—and that new hires are buying into this culture—will reduce scaling mistakes so that you don’t alienate your customers.
5. Don’t Forget The Long-Term
As much as you might want to experience significant growth in the short term, keeping a long-term view is essential as you scale.
“The number one piece of advice I would have for someone looking to start an online business today is don’t quit,” Strebel said. “That sounds so simple, but I’ve seen so many people try different things, and they only give it three months before quitting. Business isn’t an overnight success thing… sometimes it takes longer than you think it will before finally clicking.”
It took years for Pagely to grow and achieve the success they’ve found recently.
As Strebel explained, there was a lot of trial and error involved in getting their growth channels nailed down. But by sticking with a core concept and brand identity, they eventually achieved the results they wanted.
By accounting for these factors, you, too, will be able to lay the foundations for fast, repeatable growth.
Moreover, as you drive customer growth and fine-tune your company’s internal structures, you can scale successfully and plan for lasting success.
What small businesses need to know about scaling and growth
When you’re running a small business, you can often feel like you’re maintaining a tricky balancing act between staying inside your comfort zone and pursuing the growth you need to fulfil your dreams. It’s a tough balance, absolutely – but one that can be found if you structure your business accordingly. Here’s Nancy Youssef’s take on what you need to know about scaling and growing your small business…
Get outsourcing – now.
You should spend most of your time focusing on high-value tasks that give you a good return on hours spent.
By assigning lower-value tasks to employees or contractors, you’re freeing up more of your working hours, enabling you to take on more high-value work or grow the business in other ways, such as networking.
If you’re not ready to hire permanent employees, an excellent way to dip your feet in the scaling pool is to start with contractors.
This way, you’re not committed to long-term employment contracts, PAYG tax and all the other administrative headaches that can come with putting on staff, but you still get to outsource some of your tasks and see how scaling the business could work for you.
Strategise your next 90 days
Getting clear, actionable goals down on paper is so important. Still, you need to do it in a way that propels you forward, rather than giving yourself an enormous unachievable mountain to climb.
A great way to do this is reverse engineering: break goals down into smaller chunks that you’ll be able to tick off and gain a sense of accomplishment. By focusing on what you hope to achieve in the next thirty, sixty or ninety days, it’s also easier to see what isn’t working, allowing you to swap it out for a better strategy as soon as possible.
This will help keep you on track when those three or five-year plans seem so far away.
Create a supportive culture
An important thing to consider when branching out and adding to your team is the importance of creating a good company culture. This helps grow your business by attracting the right people with the correct values, so you can grow in the direction you want.
And when people are happy, they’re generally more productive, which means there’s a more effective and efficient workforce for you to depend on.
When it comes to scaling and growing your small business, it’s not just about the people. You also need to have appropriate systems in place to keep everything streamlined and seamless – there’s no room for over-complicating things here!
That means automating your systems, processes and documentation as much as possible, reducing costly labour hours and human errors that can cost loads of time and money to fix.
Manage ‘money stuff.’
You also need to have a firm understanding of the financial health of your business, whether it’s working with your CFO or accountant or finding a great bookkeeper. Forecasting is critical here because it enables you to predict financial challenges, hurdles or downturns coming up and plan accordingly.
Ensure you’re well equipped with understanding what financial products are out there if you need a capital injection. You should have access to your financial reserves, an overdraft, or something else you can lean on that won’t suffocate your business but instead give you the financial oxygen to keep breathing so you can stay on your goals and keep growing.
Another key priority is protecting your business (and yourself) with appropriate and adequate insurance cover. This is not an area you should be scrimping on – I could tell you so many stories of businesses going bust because they haven’t taken insurance and compliance seriously.
Seek solid advice
From legal eagles to excellent mentors, I can’t stress enough how important it is to surround yourself with the best and brightest brains in your industry. I’m a big believer in the power of mentoring relationships, and I’ve personally mentored countless brokers, so I know it’s rewarding both for the mentor and the mentee.
Every industry and business is different, so that the growth process will be different. Still, ultimately it all starts with a vision and a purpose and relies on staying true to your why – why did you get into business in the first place, what are you trying to achieve?
It’s so important not to lose sight of that along the way, as you’re juggling all the balls and feeling dizzy from all the new ideas spinning around in your head. If you can hold onto that original desire and belief, the thing that drives you to get out of bed every day and keep working towards your goals, then you’re already halfway there.
5 top tips for scaling your business
If you own or manage a successful business and are looking for growth opportunities, you might be considering scaling the business.
Scalability is only possible if you have a proven concept and reliable infrastructure. But once you are sure you tick those boxes, you can start planning to scale!
Benefits of scaling a business
Think about your business and ask yourself this: “Are we just meeting expectations and comfortably reaching goals, or could we challenge some bigger thinking?”
The main attraction for scaling a business is the opportunity to increase sales with little extra effort. But there is more to the story than easy sales…
When done right, scaling your business enables you to:
- Handle growth in the industry without too much risk (such as inability to meet demand, employee turnover, or financial risks).
- Quickly train new staff or launch new products as the capabilities and systems are already in place.
- Run the business without the input of a founder or senior management.
- Leverage existing assets whenever there is a need to expand services or move into new markets.
- Provide a consistent client experience, meaning clients know what to expect and can be kept satisfied.
Before we go into our top five tips for scaling a business, it’s important to note that scaling a business differs from growing a business.
Growing a business looks at increasing revenue, staff numbers, product base, and market share. Growth can often use up a lot of resources.
Scaling a business is more about increasing revenue without a substantial increase in resources.
Therefore, the key to successful business scaling is to look at streamlining systems and adapting processes so that your business can seamlessly transition from small to large.
Five tips for scaling your business
- Evaluate your current position
Be honest about where your business is at and be realistic about your future goals. Then look at whether your business can grow?
Will your business systems, infrastructure and team be able to accommodate growth?
Being clear on your goals and capacities is key to getting scalability right.
- Strategise what you need to do to increase sales
List all the ways you could make more sales. Look at which of these strategies can be standardised because these standard systems will allow you to launch a new product quickly or onboard new team members efficiently.
- Find ways to automate your processes.
So, as we touched on above, standard processes that can be automated are the golden ticket to successfully scaling your business. You aim to have systems that can run with a bit effort as possible.
- Make technology your friend.
Scaling just won’t happen without you embracing the tremendous benefits that technology brings. Why? Because it’s much easier and cheaper to rise when you have the right technology to assist you.
Integrating systems, automating tasks, and streamline procedures allows the business to increase sales without too much effort – aka scale your business!
- Show me the money
Yes, you need to spend a little money to make a lot of money. Investing in your growth plan is essential. You may need to hire staff, invest in new technology, or buy equipment.