How to Create a Scalable Business Model
Building a scalable business is what every startup should work towards no matter how big or small you start because it will help you in the long run. Many do not know how to build a scalable business model which is why I’ll be using an illustration by Bridget Global to make things clearer before we dive further
“Assume that you are passionate about stitching and have started a small home sewing business. You start getting random orders sufficient enough to cover your costs. As you have taken it as a hobby, you haven’t made real business plans for futuristic growth. Your reputation as a good dressmaker spreads in the neighborhood. On one fine day, you get an order from a local celebrity to do an embroidered attire. You do it well, specifically tailored to her personal needs, and she goes gaga over your skills. The celebrity mentions your name in one of the interviews that get published in a popular fashion magazine and there it goes! You suddenly get a strong inflow of orders and you are not able to handle it. As you can’t say ‘no’ to lots of customers, you shut down the business and lose a regular revenue. A real scary situation, isn’t it? But it became a scary deal as you did not strategize for scalability. You didn’t make any plans to hire expert tailors, buy high-end machines, and rent a new airy and boutique-like space.”
Many are uncertain about ways to build a scalable business which is why we have compiled some tips for you in this article. Explore them
- Hire strategically: most small businesses and new startups always fill their businesses with family members, it’s a good thing because you are sure you can trust them considering the familiarity you all have together. Asides hiring family members, you might need to hire other people, be strategic about this because you do not want to hire people that will be keep pulling down the development of your business. Be strategic and watchful while hiring. Hire the right set of people that will help you build the dream you envision for your business. As having the right people as employees helps you to fix your eyes on a scalable goal. Also empower your employees with leadership and decision making abilities as this will not only be for their good, but also for the good of your business. Furthermore, it might be essential you build a second line of team / business leaders as the whole responsibility cannot depend on you, the employer (you might not find it easy). Having a set of leaders helps in the smooth running of the business and also aids decision making.
- Build partnership: for a scalable business, building partnership is advisable. Partnership with the right set of people. You could build a partnership with another business whose customers’ base is similar to yours. You could engage in mutually beneficial goals, blogging, hosting and the likes. Building partnership with existing players of your market will help scale your business. But as I mentioned earlier, build the right partnerships. You don’t want to build partnership with someone you will regret eventually or with someone who will end up snatching your customers from you. So while building partnership, be strategic and watchful about it.
- Tactically outsource: tactically outsource, even in your startups. Quoting Bridge Global ” It’s advisable to keep your core competency in-house, but not everything. If you want to scale your business, it’s imperative to outsource some resources which are slow and expensive to do it in-house. Third parties are equipped to serve you better results as they have the relevant staff and systems to handle a function efficiently. Seek a dependable outsourcing partner to scale better and faster.”
- Give importance to marketing: give significant importance to the marketing of your product. Don’t restrict yourself. You ventured into business in the first place so that people can learn of your product, then you shouldn’t restrict yourself. Market the product so that people can know about it and so that you can also earn profits. Rapid and sustainable profit happens only if your product reaches the right set of people. Don’t ignore marketing strategies. Use local advertisement strategies like the newspaper, media houses etc. But do not restrict yourself to them. Don’t restrict yourself to advertising through local channels. Step up your game by also including digital marketing. Spread the word about your business by attending various conferences and workshops. Relate with business experts and investors. Make acquaintance and network.
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- 5. Invest in technology: manually keeping track of record when you grow might be one difficult task which is why you should start investing in technology now. Start investing in CRMs and other helpful technologies that can help handle growth and expansion. You should also master the art of using some basic technological tools like Excel, Spreadsheet, MS Words. All of these will be essential for you when your business finally grows.
- Define an open-ended business: if your startup is not open-ended and continuously improving, it won’t be perceived as scalable. In building your startup, don’t try to solve every body’s problems because you definitely cannot solve all problems, rather leverage yourself to solving a particular problem or some set of problems. This will make it easier for your own customers to find you. Build a strategy that shows continuous innovation , leading to follow on complementary solution into the future. If your business startup is open ended, scalability will be easier and realistic for you. So put this into consideration while building a startup.
Scalability shows achievement in a business and it is the dream of every entrepreneur. I will leave you with the words of Martin Zwilling “Let me make one thing clear – not everyone needs or wants investors, or a highly scalable business. Ninety percent of small businesses today are family businesses, which can be very successful, satisfying, and small by design. It’s a strategic decision. If your passion is to change the world, or even dominate an industry, scalability is the only way to multiply your arms and legs, and the hours in your day. Are you feeling the need yet in your own startup?”
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