Scalability is a term often bandied about by small business owners, but it isn’t always contextually clear what this term means precisely. When you hear a business owner talk about scalability in common speech, what they’re really talking about is growing their business.
And what business owner doesn’t want to experience growth?
Larger businesses typically make more profits, have a greater impact, change more lives, and experience more success than smaller businesses. Believe it or not, many business owners in capitalist societies have the mindset of “expand or die,” meaning that if their business doesn’t continually expand, it’s likely to go under.
But simply saying that you want to scale your business is far from actionable, so today we’re going to take a look at specific ways you can effectively scale your business.
Apply the 80/20 Rule
The 80/20 rule has been applied to a vast number of scenarios. However, with regards to marketing, the 80/20 rule means that four-fifths of outcomes stem from only one-fifth inputs and efforts. To say it a different way, only a small fraction of endeavors produce the most results.
Scaling a business requires laser-like focus on the most effective and profitable efforts. At first, it may seem like pursuing every opportunity is the best way to grow your business. But there is such a thing as opportunity cost, and applying the 80/20 rule is a lesson in valuing your time and choosing the correct path.
For example, if an especially cantankerous, demanding, and unruly customer or contract eats up most of your time but doesn’t produce the same level of growth as another client, you may well be wasting your time. I’m not saying you should flinch and flee the moment things get hairy with any of your clients though; rather, you should evaluate the amount of time you’re spending on a project, separate the wheat from the chaff, and strive for constant improvement.
Put more plainly, you simply can’t please everyone, but trying to do so could mean that you’re missing opportunities for growth. Always strive to analyze and reevaluate the way you spend your time, and focus on what produces the greatest results.
Leverage Social Media
It’s not great secret that social media has been the boon of growth for many modern businesses. We live in an era of infinite leverage. You can reach, and thereby affect, the lives of millions and millions of people through social media platforms and the Internet. Even fifty years ago when print media was king, it wasn’t possible to reach as many people as quickly as you can today.
Failing to structure a strong social media marketing strategy is a massive oversight.
Even with a minimal marketing budget, you can find creative ways to leverage Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms to cultivate, build, and reach an audience.
BONUS: Need to get on social media, but don't have the time? Check out our social media posting plan specifically for window treatment companies.
Take Incremental Steps to Facilitate Managed Growth
Ambition is an admirable trait, but unless you control it, you might find that you have too much of a good thing. It’s easy to set high bars for ourselves and lofty goals, especially if you’re an aggressive and determined small business owner. But, as the saying goes, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Before you can expect to scale your business, you need to understand your core competencies and execute a business plan that works on the micro-level. Only then can you tweak your business plan for the macro-level. Instead of trying to skip steps in the process, chart out the scalability of your business with small incremental growth strategies.
Though unending floods of opportunities and customers may seem like a good thing, you don’t want to fall into the trap of too much, too young, too fast. Instead, focus your thoughts like a laser beam on the here and now, and only after you achieve success in the present should you focus on the next steps towards managed growth.
Consider Third-Party Services as Your Business Grows
A lot of small business owners who are go-getters think that they can do everything on their own. But there are only so many hours in the day, and no one single person can bear the burden of an entire business – at least, not if you’re trying to scale it.
As your business grows, internal business systems need to scale as well.
When you started your business, you may have been using Excel for accounting, that solution may no longer feasible. And when your internal processes need to grow, you have two options: hire an in-house team of professionals or use an external third-party service. Most of the big brands and businesses have so much power and money that they can afford to hire internal teams to take of business processes.
But if your business is in awkward stage of growth where you can’t take care of everything on your own nor hire teams of professionals, a competent third-party service is ideal.
For instance, services like Gusto and IPS will help offload the burden of payroll. As another example, if you aren’t technologically inclined, you may find massive benefits in using cloud-hosted services as opposed to purchasing and installing I.T. hardware on your own.
Automate as Much as Possible
If there’s a process, be it a sales process, payroll tedium, or calculation, always seek ways to automate it. We live in an era when machines and computers can drastically decrease our workload and both reliably and efficiently work to free our time. Automation not only helps scale your business by eliminating the need for human oversight of repetitive tasks, but it also helps cut costs and free up your time so you can better focus on growth strategies.
For example, implementing a chatbot system will reduce costs in a customer service department and reduce the amount of time spent answering repetitive questions.
Scaling your window treatment business is no easy feat, but applying these techniques, along with a consistent dose of marketing can help fuel revenues by attracting qualified leads. If you don’t have time to focus on your marketing strategy, schedule a free strategy session with us today.