Even if you’re still in the stages of trying to grow your business, it’s important to have a plan in place for when your business does grow. If you’re scrambling to scale this growth already, then we don’t need to tell you twice! But remember, growth is a good problem to have.
There are many different ways to scale your business for growth, but below are some of the most effective and popular items that I have noticed that most businesses that do scale do:
1. Change your approach to pricing and income.
Changing the way you think about the pricing structure in your company is huge. You might have a solid system in place that is working for a small company, but this may need to change if you’re planning to grow. For example, if you’re charging your clients per hour, you may want to consider a new approach that doesn’t limit you to the number of hours in a day. Try something called “value pricing.” This will charge your clients based on the value you’re offering.
If you like charging by the hour, start setting up larger workshops or conferences so you can make more per hour. Also try looking at different outsourcing options so that you have more people helping you get the job done in less time. The sooner you can establish your new structure and/or get a system in place that allows you to grow, the better.
2. Create internal systems ASAP.
This is probably the biggest thing that entrepreneurs will tell you “saved” them. Bring in people who make up for your weaknesses and establish internal systems right off the bat. Prepare now so that you’re not scrambling in the future.
For example, right now you might be able to supervise all of your hiring decisions, but soon that may not be possible as your orders grow and you’re needed elsewhere. This means you should have people in charge already in place to help you hire, as you need it.
Most entrepreneurs absolutely suck at systems….(recognizing that is the first major thing to grow). Make sure you hire somebody asap that can create those internal systems right away.
3. Be Out There.
Having a presence on social media and making appearances on large publications in your industry (whether through interviews, guest articles, etc.) is key to growing your business in the first place; however, this also holds your team accountable.
Make sure everyone has a public profile so that as your business growing, those who have questions can easily find the right person to contact as opposed to having everyone contacting the CEO. According to a Forbes article, the CEO and/ or owner should be working on the business more than in it.
4. Have a CRM for tracking clients, sales and relationships.
Many small businesses can get away with tracking order and client information on spreadsheets, but this will only get you so far and quite honestly with all of the technology out there – sucks… You get buried and lose some of those relationships you once had. A CRM system can help you keep these relationships intact so you don’t miss a beat. Remember, your business is nothing without your clients, so you want to offer a high level of customer service no matter what phase of growth you’re dealing with at the time. We use Infusionsoft in our business – and that is our CRM, Email Autoresponder, Campaign builder and checkout solution….
5. Have a predictable system to generate new business
It always cracks me up when I hear a business say that they get all of their business through referrals. Referrals are a great way to bring in new business – but is that consistent? Hell no! So quite lying to yourself that referrals are the way to grow a sustainable business (cause its’ not).
Having a consistent set of leads coming in is the lifeblood of your business. Those leads you can nurture and ultimately buy from you and your company.
So how do you get consistent leads? Through a sales funnel and traffic (offline and online).
What is a sales funnel?
A sales funnel is the upside-down pyramid that represents the journey potential customers go through to become customers. Funnels are widest at the top and narrow down as a potential customer gets closer to the sale.
The top of the funnel is often referred to as the “awareness” stage. At this stage, your customers are becoming “aware” of your product or service. They are most likely only interacting with your marketing efforts, such as your blog or any paid advertising.
At some point, a percentage of these potential customers will express further interest in your offering and will move down the funnel. How and why this happens is largely dependent on your business model. These lower funnel stages—everything below the awareness line—represent your true sales process. Leads in the middle and lower part of the funnel are those that have the highest probability of purchasing, and they are the leads that you want your sales representatives working.
Everyone of us has a funnel (whether you cal it that or not) – so the next key is getting people into the funnel. You have organic traffic (social media, word of mouth), and then you have paid traffic (which is a lot more reliable). We are partial to Facebook when just starting out with paid advertising and then rolling out to other paid media channels like adwords, etc.
One Last Thing
In business and in life, it’s also important to consider scaling down what’s not working. This becomes increasingly important as you scale up, because small distractions have an annoying way of becoming huge problems if they’re not dealt with early on. What can you let go of? Have you made your to-stop-doing list yet?