Your business is growing fast, and your service or product is in high demand. In fact, your client base can’t stop raving about your company. Growth like this is a small business’s dream, and it comes with some excellent benefits. Your sales are up; brand awareness is spreading—you can already tell you have a promising future in a tough market.
Of course, we all want to grow fast. But real growth comes hand-in-hand with growing pains. Labor, materials, time—they all cost money. And rapid growth doesn’t always guarantee that you have that capital up front.
Everyone always says that you should prepare for the worst, but it’s important to prepare for the best, too! Fast growth might not be easy, but with a step-by-plan, you can take control of that growth and use it to build a healthy business.
Sustainable Scaling: A Step-by-Step Guide
The key to successful growth is active management. Without active management, you run the risk of having problems scaling—and that can lead a fast-growing company down the wrong path.
1. Adopt a scaling mindset and plan
As your business grows, you might find yourself attempting to add team members at the same rate as your growth. This may work in the short term, but it isn’t always a viable long-term solution. Scaling, on the other hand, is the capability to cope and perform under and increased or expanded workflow. It’s the ability to increase your workload and revenue without needing to add the same level of resources as you grow.
It’s important to avoid the “putting out fires” trap. The key to scaling is to commit to growth and to set measurable goals at the beginning. If your resources are working towards growth, you can put out fires before they begin.
What are your goals? Do you want to double your business by the end of the year? What about in five years?
Once you’ve set your goals, you can start planning how to get there.
Here are three things to keep in mind when developing a growth mindset:
- Bump up your customer relations: Your customers and clients don’t want to feel like numbers. By establishing standardized practices and using a CRM, you can easily create personalized, scalable interactions.
- Develop a culture of ongoing education: It takes more than a great idea and a good CEO to build a successful business. Scaling your business takes ongoing management growth and innovation.
- Focus on your specialties: A business that does many things adequately will never be as successful as one who does fewer things well. Identifying your business’ core competencies is key to growing successfully. Your growth should build off of the unique knowledge, skillset, or benefit that sets your business apart.
2. Place a higher value on horizontal, not vertical growth.
Who wouldn’t feel a thrill when a customer places a high-volume order? But relying on one or two customers who spend a lot with your business can be risky. If even one of them pulls their service, you’ll feel a real impact.
Horizontal growth is a more secure way to set yourself up for consistent long-term scaling. It’s important to achieve consistency. This means getting a secure base of customers, putting together a dedicated and faithful team of leaders and employees, and developing systems and procedures that will work as well with 2,000 customers as they do for two.
3. Control yourself before you control your business
It’s easy to get frantic and panic when faced with a sudden influx of clients, which is why it’s so important to avoid making any rash decisions. Give yourself time to think all your business decisions through and, most importantly, stay transparent with your client base. You don’t want to make a decision that isn’t true to your business’ values in a moment of panic.
Can’t get those orders out on time? Be honest! Send a heartfelt apology on social media and via email, and let them know their orders are coming. Your clients may be more sympathetic than you expect.
Growth is great—scalability is better. When you find yourself coming out of a period of fast growth, study what worked and what didn’t, and address those situations so that you’re better prepared for not just the next boom period, but the long-term maintainable increases you want for your company.
Gabe Arnold is the founder of Copywriter Today where you can get unlimited fresh content for all your marketing needs. If you want 250 free headline ideas for your next marketing campaign, use their free tool here.