Many business owners, whether they run small local businesses or thriving enterprises, constantly hear that scaling their businesses is important. Perhaps you can relate.
However, this advice gets shared so often that it’s easy to forget a critical fact: Business owners don’t always know what “scaling” a business actually means. More importantly, many don’t know how to start pursuing this goal.
This is certainly a topic worth researching in greater detail if you own a business. Learning how to scale yours will yield significant advantages. That said, this basic overview will introduce you to the idea and provide some tips you can apply to begin scaling your own business now.
Scaling a Business: What You Need to Know
Most entrepreneurs want their businesses to grow. However, at a certain point, a business may struggle to grow not because it isn’t attracting new customers or clients, but because factors such as lack of resources or inadequate preparation stop the business from growing as efficiently as possible.
Scaling your business simply involves taking steps to ensure that doesn’t happen. When you effectively scale your business, you can take on more work or expand into new markets with greater speed and agility.
The specific ways you scale your business to some degree depend on the exact nature of your business. The proper means of scaling a social media platform may not necessarily apply to a restaurant. In general, though, the following tips can help any entrepreneur improve their business’ scalability:
Limit Physical Inventory
Although this tip will be easier for some business owners to apply than others, whenever possible, you should limit the physical inventory your business relies on. For instance, many tech businesses are very scalable because they offer their services via apps instead of physical products. This allows them to easily serve more customers.
Obviously, this isn’t always an option for a business owner. To return to a previous example, if you own a restaurant, you need to serve actual food. That said, you can limit physical inventory by providing customers with digital menus instead of paper menus, not requiring that workers wear uniforms, and limiting the number of items on your menu.
That’s just one example. Regardless of what type of business you own, if you can reduce physical inventory without negatively impacting the quality of your products or services, you should.
Project Hiring Needs
When a business takes on new work, it typically needs new employees as well. Your current employees may not have the bandwidth to handle much additional work.
That’s why you need to regularly review past trends and future goals to determine when you will likely need to hire more employees in the future, and how many more employees you’ll have to add to your team when that time comes. This is a simple but effective way to ensure you’re prepared to hire more workers quickly as your business starts to grow.
Allow Employees to Work Remotely
While it’s sometimes critical that employees work in the same environment, in many instances, employees can work from home. Allow them to do so whenever this seems to be a reasonable decision. The fewer employees you have working from an office, the less office space you’ll need. This is another easy means of allowing growth to happen quickly.
Again, you’ll also need to consider the specific nature of your business when planning how to scale it. Discuss this topic with other managers and decision-makers regularly to leverage their insights. By applying these tips and coordinating with your team, you’ll fuel your business’ growth.