Scale Your Business Better: 3-Stages You Need to Know
What does it mean to scale your business?
How is it different from growing your business?
Is scaling the same for all businesses?
These seemingly common questions have very different answers. Growth and scaling are often talked about as if they were one and the same. But they're not and it's important to know the difference.
Scaling is about increasing revenue without incurring significant costs. The intention is that as revenue grows, expenses only increase incrementally. When an organization is looking to scale, they have already achieved some level of success in the market, but the business has plateaued for some reason. Getting beyond this plateau could mean the difference between going out of business or exponential growth. Scaling is about internal operations and capabilities as well as increasing market share. Scaling your business requires generating consistent sales, so you can expand.
Growth is something that is usually thought about in linear terms—a company acquires new resources (people, technology, capital, or markets), and then as a result of the acquisition, its revenue increases. Growth is about adding to the total revenue while adding resources at the same time. It’s when you increase the number of clients and hire more people to serve them.
When asked, when is the right time to scale your business, the legend, Richard Branson said,
“You never know with these things when you’re trying something new what can happen—this is all experimental.”
There is no magical formula to knowing when to scale. There is also no checklist that will give you a guaranteed step-by-step solution on how to scale your business. There are indications as to when it’s time to take the next step and understanding the stages that a business goes through means less trial and error and fewer mistakes. After all, every mistake has already been made, why not learn from others where you can. Here are some signs that you may be ready for the next stage:
- Are you refining your product or service to appeal to a market large enough to succeed?
- Are you trying to build a repeatable and scalable sales process to increase sales?
- Are you adding new products or trying to expand into new markets?
- Are you having a hard time achieving your business goals?
- Is there enough demand for your product or service?
- Are your finances in order?
- Are you aware of your client's expectations?
- Do you have the right processes and tech stack in place?
- Do you have the right team in place?
There are also specific areas to focus on in each stage. That is, once we know what stage your business is in.
So, what are the stages, and which one are you in?
A better name for this stage would be “AHHH THERE’S ANOTHER FIRE”. You don’t know what you don’t know about your product, service, or market, yet. This stage is about identifying the actual problem that your product or service is intended to solve as well as finding the actual audience that is willing to pay for it. This is a reactive stage mainly focused on lead generation. All questions that need to be answered will fall into one of two categories: are you creating a solution that fits the market right now, or is the market you are targeting big enough for your solution?
You’re done chasing leads, finally. In this stage, your focus is on building a scalable infrastructure to improve your selling as well as how you deliver the products and services that you offer, aka customer experience. The goal of this stage is to be ready to scale and build a much bigger business. Marketing and Sales begin to work together. You'll target and sell to the relevant markets that are most likely to buy. Growth has become more efficient by attracting clients that are a better fit and offer a higher contract value. You'll be answering questions like: How can I make this more efficient? Is there an easier way to do this? How can I make fewer sacrifices (money, time, energy) to complete this task?
Your focus is now on long-term clients and long-term growth. This is all about continuing to improve your client experience and identifying where your next best opportunity lies. The challenge will be to balance rapid growth with increased spending all while managing the transition of the culture of your organization. Marketing, Sales, and Client Success should now be working together as a revenue-focused RevOps team to create efficient growth at scale. You'll be answering questions like: Should we go after a new market, a new vertical, or a new product or service? Can we expand our current offerings? Do we want to acquire another company?
Each of these stages will focus on the four Go-To-Market questions. The answers will be different based on the stage you are in, the dynamics of your industry, the market, or your offering. It’s also possible that as you grow and have different businesses or offerings each one could be in a different stage. It’s not wrong to be at any stage of business, nor should you focus on a stage you’re not actually in. The stages are there to offer guidance on the areas that will make you the most successful and profitable over the long term. Remember, just because you transition to a new stage doesn’t mean you abandon everything that came before. In fact, it’s actually better to think of these stages as a circle instead of a linear progression.
Omicle delivers brand clarity, marketing strategy, and operational efficiency to prepare leaders to scale their business. If you are ready to scale your business, contact us today to get started.
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