In order to scale your business, you must first have a solid process in place. If you have questions about a process, be sure to check out our previous post on creating a process.
SCALING A PRODUCT BASED BUSINESS
Once you have your products in place and are ready to consider scaling, you must make sure that you are speaking to the correct audience. Buying habits are different in each location. If you are based in Southern California and are hoping to start selling in Texas, you must understand that you are speaking to a very different audience and they must be approached from a different angle.
SCALING A SERVICE BASED BUSINESS
People are the biggest variable to any business. When you are running a service based business, culture is foundational. In order to keep the culture that you’ve worked hard to establish you must make sure that hire the correct people. It’s important to not only hire competent people, but also hire people that fit into your culture.
Consider expanding locally first. While it may be tempting to expand to the “perfect” market. There is wisdom to expanding locally, first. This will allow you to deal with any unforeseen problems and understand the growing pains of expansion. You can continue to take a hands on approach without too much difficulty. This will also allow you to train people to implement your culture and processes at other locations.
Once you’ve expanded locally, it’s time to spread your wings a little bit. Find one or two markets that make sense for you dive in. This process will be scary and no doubt have some unforeseen difficulties – and that’s okay. Be ready for them and address them as they come. This will allow your implementation teams to continue in their growth and understand the challenges of each unique market. This will also allow you to continue tweaking your process and make it an art. This process may take a year or more, so don’t be afraid to invest the upfront time – it will pay off in the next step.
Once you have invested the time needed to nail down your processes within your initial expansions, you can begin scaling exponentially. Take those processes and implementation teams and begin multiplying. By investing the needed time in the previous step it will have answered most of your questions and alleviated a lot of headaches.
While every business is different and each will have it’s unique nuances and challenges, there are two key components that are universal and will be difference makers.
Protect your culture – define who you are as a business and defend it at all costs. This will begin with writing down and missions statement and will continue by making sure you have the right team members.
Train people to train people – this concept will allow your business to grow exponentially. Rather than simple addition of you (or one or two others) training everyone all of a sudden you have the opportunity to multiply because you have effectively trained people to train others.