“Scaling your business” is essentially implementing strategies to grow your business and increase revenues– without more of your time.
What I love most about scaling is that it frees up your time to live more of the values that keep you healthy and happy (more quality time with your family or friends, regular exercise, hobbies you enjoy, and so on.)
Every business is different and every business is scalable. To help you think about your business’
scalability, I am sharing five of the most effective strategies for scaling a small to medium size business:
1. Create an Operations Manual
Before you can truly function or expand in a manner that is efficient and effective, you need an “Operations Manual”- a manual of step-by-step systems and written documentation that explains all the procedures in your business. It depicts “this is how we do things here”.
I start with this strategy because it is the first common denominator of what every business needs in order to scale well.
An Operations Manual will improve efficiency and ease in your business while reducing stress. Additionally, it vastly increases your ability to sell your business when you are ready. Talk about making money with less of your time J
2. Develop your team
Work at least 80% in your “unique abilities”- that intersection of what you love to do and what you are great at doing- and hire others to work in their unique abilities. Develop the areas in your business that you dislike, that drain you or that you don’t do well- with other people who do it well.
Many of my clients discover that as they hit new levels in their business, some team members are no longer the right-fit for their advancing business. Letting go of some team members and hiring new ones might be important.
Team development is the second common denominator of what every business needs in order to scale. You will never be able to leverage your time if you are still trying to do too much or don’t have a high functioning team. You just won’t have the energy, focus, or time to scale.
3. Hire “mini-yous”
Lawyers can hire more lawyers. Consultants can hire consultants to follow their company’s procedures. Real estate agents who own their business can hire more real estate agents. And so on.
The way to leverage this well is to have clear systems and procedures in place, so the new “yous” can be as close to the “real you” as possible.
4. For service-based entrepreneurs- offer “done for you” information
What do you teach or deliver over and over to your customers?
How can you take that knowledge and develop audio, video, or written information that become part of your “signature system” of service?
As you do this, you will find that your business is saving enormous amounts of time, energy and money, by not “reinventing the wheel” each time.
5. Open more stores
If you own a brick and mortar business, once you have clear systems, documented in an Operations Manual, a high functioning team, and recurring profitability, then opening more stores may be a great option for scaling.
One caution here is that sometimes “enough is enough”. Think carefully before opening more stores to be sure that “more” is really what you want.
Your Assignment: What is YOUR next step to scale your business, make more money, and free up some of your time?
If you are feeling stuck or overwhelmed by this process, you are not alone. Most entrepreneurs are not wired to do all this on their own, nor do they have the time. I recommend working with an experienced business coach to help you get there. The short-term investment is well worth the long-term gain!