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Your Ability To Scale

Scalable growth involves balancing the increase of your profits against the increasing costs of manufacturing your products or delivering your service.

If you can ensure the most efficient systems and processes for what you’re selling, the more profits you’ll see and the more scalable your business will be.

CAN YOU SCALE WHAT YOU ALREADY HAVE? 

If you can improve your business’s ability to do more internally, such as speeding up production and increasing the efficiency of your systems and processes, you’re going to reap the rewards in terms of manageable growth.

Conduct a review of your current operation and decide how you’re going to improve it. Think about:

  • Contractors – will getting a third party on board increase your capacity in the short term?
  • Equipment – can you extend the operational hours of existing equipment by running double shifts?
  • Staff – are your employees working efficiently and do they have the necessary skills for upcoming growth, or will they need training?
  • Pricing – if you’re seeing an increased demand for what you’re selling, can you scale profits by increasing prices where appropriate?

Increasing your capacity, while improving the efficiencies of your systems and processes, means you’re successfully scaling your business for growth – and you’re going to notice it in your profit margins.

HOW CAN YOU INCREASE CAPACITY? 

While it’s important to maximize your internal resources, scaling your business for growth almost always involves adding to your operations in terms of staff, equipment, facilities and finance.

  • THE RIGHT STAFF.  Making sure you have the right staff is critical for the growth of any business. If there are vital skills missing amongst your staff, look at upskilling them through training, or hiring someone with the knowledge and experience you need.

It’s also crucial to have the staff you need to meet increased demand. If you’re manufacturing coffee tables and your orders are increasing to the point where your current staff can’t keep up, then it’s definitely worth hiring another staff member.

  • EQUIPMENT AND FACILITIES.  You don’t want your business growth to be hampered by not having the right equipment on hand to do the job, or the facilities to do it in.

If you’re looking to increase production of fifty coffee tables per week to five hundred, it’s likely that the location you’re in and the facilities you’re using won’t be adequate to meet the new demand.

Take into account:

    • Moving to a new, larger location, or opening another branch of your business.
    • More equipment to increase production on a scalable level, you’ll need the equipment. It’s worth investing in newer machinery to increase output.
    • If you’re going to need more raw materials to produce what you’re selling, make sure suppliers can meet the increased demand. If not, find one that can.
    • Adopting the latest technology to automate as much as you can.
    • Implementing quality control systems to reduce errors or returns.
    • Access to additional resources at short notice.
  • TRACKING CUSTOMERS, BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS.  Your customer experience must also be able to scale. Doubling sales will double customer queries, complaints, calls, web traffic, and demands on your time.

Review your customer relationship system, possibly upgrading so you can track buying behaviors and preferences, maintain contact, and develop customer loyalty programs.

Remember, your customers are the most vital component of your business and to its growth, so engaging with them, listening to them and rewarding them is essential, no matter how large your business grows.

  • FUNDING FOR SCALABLE GROWTH.  To increase capacity for scalable business growth you may need additional capital. Even if your business is enjoying a healthy cash flow, expansion is often more cash hungry than you think. Go through all the usual capital raising steps you did on starting up (friends, family, loans, bootstrapping, external investors, crowdsourcing) and find out how much you are short. Then determine where the best place is to access the money you need.  Even if your business is enjoying a healthy cash flow, financing options for expansion are worthwhile to explore if you don’t want to use up all your working capital on long-term assets.  A smart idea is to get advice from a financial expert – one who’s had a lot of experience in business growth and expansion and will help you decide what funding options would suit your business best.  It comes down to two main points:
    • What you can do with what you already have.
    • What you’ll need to add in order to achieve scalable business growth.

    Don’t forget that ‘scalable’ means increasing all parts of your business to cope with extra demand, and ideally, it’s ‘manageable’ growth.

    Reviewing your internal system and processes to ensure maximum efficiency is important, but even more so is making sure you have what you need in terms of staff, facilities, equipment and capital to achieve that growth.

    If you’re planning to increase output or offer expanded services, then making sure you have the capacity to actually deliver is essential.

     


Note: This article is for information purposes only and is not accounting or investment advice or an offer to lend.

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