Supposing that you have already made some headways in your startup, a time will come when you will need to start thinking about scalability. Scalability refers to your startup’s capacity to grow and expand. Or, rather, scalable businesses are those that have the potential to adapt to bigger workloads without losing revenue or compromising their performance. Is it possible for your company to rely on the benefits provided by a pavement sign and manage to grow its revenue from zero to a million dollars?
If the business is scalable, then this is possible. However, not all startups are designed to grow and become large corporations. There are those that start without having the right mindset, people, and systems in place. Attempting to grow this type of company can be equated to trying to use a bicycle pump to inflate a tractor tire.
The following tips will help you prepare the startup for growth:
- Get All Your Basics in Place
Before you can even contemplate scaling up, you will need to confirm that all your nitty-gritty is foolproof. A StartupGenom survey of more than 3,200 startups’ established that 74% of all business failures can be traced back to impulsive scaling. You need to cover all of the following prior to scaling:
- Establish who is your biggest core client
II. Confirm that you have enough resources to start scaling
III. Determine which marketing avenues offer the best returns on investment. Test each avenue using a small budget before settling on the best
IV. Ensure that your product line has been able to achieve ‘market fitness’. Gradual enhancements can be made as you continue to receive feedback from users.
- Automate All Your Processes
If you have been spending a large chunk of your time attempting to set up the business, then good for you. But, make sure that you also spend enough time:
- Setting up bill pay for the automated withdrawals
• Setting up your cloud storage services
• Setting up payroll for faster processing
• Setting up automated marketing campaigns
• Setting up training procedures for all the new recruits
While these activities are bound to consume a lot of time in the beginning, you will soon start to reap their benefits. Once set up, it becomes easier for you to make payments, market your company in a more efficient manner, recruit personnel faster, and even gain faster access to data and information. Your operations will also become truly scalable.
- Enhance Your Marketing Efforts
How can you begin scaling up your business if there’s no one who knows about what you do or even what you offer?
Your primary focus should be on marketing the business brand. Once you have marketed the company, scalability will follow shortly afterward. You should, however, note that not all types of marketing channels are scalable. According to Forbes, “word-of-mouth” cannot scale. Additionally, “direct marketing” is by itself not scalable.
On the other hand, content marketing happens to be a very scalable growth method. It has viral potential and possesses evergreen value, which makes it the scalable method of choice for companies looking to scale up.
- Outsource Non-Essential Operations
When it comes to big companies, the name they refer to more often is “in-house.” Such companies can afford to hire their own janitors, graphic designers, lawyers, developers, CPAs, conversion optimizers, and even search engine optimization experts.
But as a startup, you clearly can’t afford to spend money on such luxuries. If the company is to grow and become a name to reckon with, in your industry, you will need to start outsourcing all the non-essential tasks and activities.
For instance, if you are running a graphic design startup, there’s no need for you to have a fully staffed legal department. If running an SEO consultancy company, you will not need to retain the services of a fulltime PowerPoint designer. The key here is to turn your focus and attention to what you do best.
Applying this type of lean approach is what will make it possible for your startup to break into the big leagues. You will begin scaling up immediately you start nailing your core responsibility areas.
- Fix Your Eyes on Social Media
All new startups tend to be in the public domain. Everything that is taking place on social media platforms will undergo critical analysis by current and potential clients.
As a startup, you have to be careful when it comes to posting on social media platforms and promoting your brand online. Unlike big corporations, your company cannot afford to take any negative PR hits during its initial days. While large companies can easily weather social media screw-ups, your company may not survive such a hit.
Scalability is by itself a business mindset. While you will need to ensure that you have the right processes, plans, systems, and people in place, you also need to be able to think big. When you have a scalable company, it implies that you are in a position to make lots of money, unleash your dreams, and have fun. Scalability becomes easier when your mind is in the game.