Updated: Dec 4, 2020
Here's 5 Tips For Scaling A Business: ‘tips for scaling a business’
As you reach capacity with client work, things start to slip (both, your business and in your personal life). Don’t let that happen. Here are 5 tips for scaling a business.
\A sign you’ve reached capacity is when you feel as though you don’t have a firm grip on your client work, nor on your business (accounts, compliance, emails, all the things).
Running a small business is a lot like having children, just when you think you have it all figured out new challenges crop up. In the beginning it’s all about the setup and getting clients through the door, however as your business grows the stressors change.
While having too much work might seem like a good problem to have (you may even feel a bit guilty for resenting it), it's still a very real challenge small business owner’s face.
What happens when you have too many clients and not enough hours to go around?
Growing pains can result in mistakes and overwhelm. As you reach capacity with client work, things start to slip (both, your business and in your personal life). When left unresolved it can go on to lead to bigger issues.
Whilst each business is unique and will require a personalized growth plan, the following five strategies will certainly make headway towards scaling your business.
5 Tips for Scaling Your Business
| Audit your business
When was the last time you reviewed all aspects of your business? The purpose of doing a business audit is to reflect on what’s working and more importantly what’s not. It’s also an opportunity to get more intentional on the direction of your business.
A business audit will:
Identify inefficiencies within your business.
When you're at capacity you need to look at your business to pinpoint where the business is operationally weak. Inefficiency in your business will cost money, time or both!
Uncover business weaknesses.
By taking some time to look at your business thoroughly, you may discover areas of your business not doing so well e.g. with the increased workload output quality has declined, turnaround times have increased, you’re not tracking client requests / enquiries, invoices are left outstanding or your responsiveness to email enquires are all over the place. These weaknesses will impact the long term growth of your business if left unresolved.
Clarify your Business Goals.
Auditing your business provides the opportune time to refocus your goals.
Revisit your Ideal Client Avatar (ICA).
When you start off you tend to work with all sorts of clients. It’s all revenue and experience. However, now that you have grown your business, you may want to define exactly who your dream client is. Because at the heart of every business is the customer and the specific problem they face.
Want some help with this – download my free Ideal Client Avatar Workbook here.
| Systemise your business
As part of your audit you will uncover inefficiencies in your systems and processes. In order to free up time, it’s essential to not only systemize repeatable tasks, but develop an operation model that allows for growth in your business.
There are many ways to systemise your business, here’s some tips to get you started:
Onboarding and offboarding clients:
Onboarding and offboarding clients tend to follow the same process. You can start off by creating a set of canned emails sent via an e-mail sequence through a tool Active Campaign or Mailchimp. This will allow for continuity from one client to the next, but also free up your time.
Workflows and automations:
Stop wasting time emailing client’s back and forth to arrange a time to meet. Instead use an appointment scheduler where you can simply input your availability and send the link to your client. Accuity does this, as does most of the online client management tools.
Managing your time is essential. To be the most efficient and productive with your time, I highly recommend time blocking your calendar. If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, I explain it all here.
In combination with time blocking, task batching is also a very useful productivity tip. Rather than writing one social media post at a time, use one of your time blocks to prepare four of them. The same can be said for accounts, administration and client responses.
You might be thinking, ‘I don’t have time to build systems for my business’. True, it takes time to build out your systems. But can you afford to keep wasting time month after month. Inefficiency is a sunk cost.
Remember short term thinking will give you short term results. Investing time and money into systems is essential if you want to scale your business!
If it’s too overwhelming, don’t avoid it - get help!
| Review your offer and prices
There's loads of options here. Before making any changes here you will first want to take time to look at your vision and overall business goals, as well as redefining your ICA (as above). You may discover that your offer and pricing needs to become a strategic priority for growth. Here are some things to consider:
There’s a lot to consider when it comes to your offer, more than what we can cover off here today. But here are some questions to consider:
Q: Does your offer solve the problem of your current ICA?
Q: Do you add in extras you’re not promoting / charging for?
Q: Is there a gap in your offer i.e. are you asked for things that you currently don’t sell?
Q: Are your offers in line with your vision and overall business goals?
There’s a lot more that goes into the process of revising your services. However by starting here and considering how your offer fits in with your overall business goal you’ll be well on your way.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Look at your offer in the context of scaling your team. It would be helpful to consider what part you will do yourself and what you will outsource.
When scaling your business, you will need to look at your revenue and pricing structure. As your business grows, so will your operation costs. This may mean your profit will decrease if you keep the same prices.
When increasing prices, it’s important to take the time and do this properly. If you jack up your price too much with no rationale or plan it will negatively impact customer attraction and retention.
When it comes to the money side, fear and mindset are the most common reasons for undervaluing your offer. If this is an area you struggle with, seek support.
One to many
If to this point you have only been offering 1:1 services, you might want to consider turning your service into a digital product or a group program. One to many is a great way to optimise your time and increase revenue. However, before you introduce any new offer into your business it’s important to ensure that it’s in alignment with your overall business goals.
| Build your team
As implied above, trading dollars for time is fine in the beginning. However once you reach capacity you have to get that time from somewhere. And it often comes from your personal quota (sleeps overrated right?? No!!).
If you are trading sleep for dollars, you need to consider building a team around you. There are many different ways to build a team. However it’s never been so easy and effective to build a remote team. If you want to know more about his, check out this post.
| Hire a business consultant or coach
Scaling from solopreneur to running a bigger business can be overwhelming. It will take strategy, work and a learning curve. With so many things to do, it’s important to enlist support to help you devise a clear growth plan, as well as stay accountable. This is something I can help you with through my 4 month Business Accelerator Program.
All five tips for scaling a business outlined here will provide you with an opportunity to scale beyond dollars for time. Whilst it may seem like a lot of extra work, think of it as an investment (in both money and time). Without it, burnout is inevitable.
Let me know in the comments… what do you think of these tips for scaling a business? Is scaling your business a priority for you?