Here's How to Scale a Business Successfully
It’s one thing to start a business and another to scale it. Here are some top tips – fueled by thousands of hours of sales team training experience – for effectively scaling yours.
- There are key differences between growth and scaling, and understanding both allows you to scale effectively.
- Scalability is crucial for your business’s success and long-term plans.
- There are proven steps to scale a business successfully.
- Who and how you hire impacts your company’s scalability.
- A few tips and reminders can help leaders of companies of all sizes get on the path to scalability.
- MetaGrowth Ventures has a tried and true methodology when it comes to hiring, training, and maintaining sales teams.
Many people use the terms "growth" and "scaling" interchangeably in business, but these concepts are not the same. There are significant differences between growth and scaling. Businesses can't just grow if they want to be successful, for example. They need to focus on scalability if they want their growth to be sustainable.
Keep reading to learn more about the differences between these two concepts and what scaling a business requires. Then, check out the links for more detailed discussions on how to scale yours, and how to hire the right talent to help you.
Growth vs. Scaling Up
First, let's sketch out the basic difference between growth and scaling. Both concepts refer to expanding revenue, but they have different relationships with your company's resources.
Growth is typically a linear process. A company earns more revenue, but must expand its resources – its capital, people, or technology, for example – to do so. Imagine a consulting firm with five clients. The company provides very hands-on services to those clients, so it must double its number of employees if it wants to double its client load and provide the same experience. This company has grown, but it has not scaled.
In contrast, scaling is when a company increases its revenue without substantially increasing its resources. Think of a software company that can increase its sales without investing in new equipment or hiring new people. Software solutions and automations take care of most of the work, meaning fewer representatives and man hours are needed to provide the same level of service.
In short, businesses need processes that scale if they, themselves, want to be scalable. Sending a marketing email is an easily scalable process, for example. It takes the same amount of resources to write and send the email whether you send 10 or 1 million.
Check out this blog post for more details on the differences between growing and scaling a business.
Why scalability is crucial for your business
Owners that want to scale a company must focus on sustainable growth. They must ensure that their enterprises do not grow faster than they can handle.
Say a manufacturing company sells 1 million widgets per year. It then receives a surprise order for another 1 million widgets, potentially doubling its profits – but it turns out the company would need to invest in new (and very expensive) manufacturing equipment to accept it.
This model of business is not scalable.
In contrast, imagine a manufacturing company that outsources its manufacturing. Its contractors have the ability to easily take an order for an extra 1 million widgets. Outsourcing this process means the company has embraced a scalable business model because it can easily accept new orders without straining its resources. It may incur some additional costs by taking on the new order, but the costs don't prohibit growth.
Scalability is critical because it prevents your business from hitting roadblocks that might force you to turn away new customers or contracts. Building scalability into your business creates a flexible and agile enterprise that can increase capacity without straining your resources or budget.
Scalability also helps to reduce employee turnover, promote employee growth, improve your efficiency, and make your business more adaptable. These benefits ultimately make your business more competitive and successful in the long run.
Benefits of scaling your business
Businesses that are scalable are ready for growth. They have the capacity and the processes to accommodate growth, and become much more likely to survive. Scalability helps your business make it through periods of short-term growth and, even more importantly, positions your business for sustainable long-term growth.
There are many benefits to scaling your company rather than just growing it, including:
Efficiency refers to the amount of work performed in relation to the amount of total work or costs incurred. When you scale a business, you improve its efficiency. You should ideally identify roadblocks to growth as soon as possible and create a plan that allows you to address those obstacles for more efficient growth.
A business that runs its software in-house is restricted by the capacity of its hard drivers and on-site servers, for example. To expand its technological footprint, it must spend a lot of money on new equipment. In contrast, a business set up to scale runs its software in the cloud. It doesn't have to invest in new equipment when it needs more capacity. It can simply scale up by contacting the IT company that oversees its technology.
Factoring in scalability increases a business’s consistency. It won’t have to turn away new customers or revenue sources due to a lack of resources, and can instead provide consistent products and services because it's prepared for anything.
Imagine a business that brings on a lot of new customers all at once. It outsources its customer service call center so it can easily scale up when more personnel are needed. As a result, new customers can easily get answers to their questions or other support. They have consistent access to the same services that have always been provided by the company.
If the company was not set up to easily scale its customer service division, however, new customers would not have been able to access consistent services. They would have a subpar, inconsistent customer experience and might look to offboard soon.
Scalable businesses are very adaptable. They have the flexibility to adjust to economic changes and pressures from both internal and external sources. These businesses know when to scale up or down as required.
Adaptability is key if you want your business to be able to scale. A manager who focuses on improving their skills in a linear way learns the skills they need to survive right now, for example, but that means they might not have the right skill set when changes occur.
A manager focused on adaptability might focus on developing an open mindset so they can rise to the challenge when presented with new problems. Their adaptability helps the business grow.
Businesses that carefully consider scalability are much more likely to survive long into the future. They have thought about their plans for growth, and they have made provisions for obstacles. They don't hyperfocus on growth, though. Instead, they focus on sustainable growth through scaling. Every aspect of scalability underscores the longevity of a company. Companies with the ability to grow without hindrance can last longer than those whose growth leads to collapse.
When you have a scalable business, you become more competitive. You have the tools to grow and become a stronger contender in your field. If you have to turn away business because your resources and infrastructure can't handle the growth, the competition will take those opportunities.
Proven steps to scale a sales
You need the right sales team in place to grow your business. Many businesses struggle to scale their sales teams, but doing so is critical for sustainable growth. To scale yours, start by looking at your team’s strengths and weaknesses. What's working and should be replicated? What needs to be improved?
Then, when you start hiring, don't just look at the skill set of potential employees. Make sure you use the sales interview process to assess cultural fit as well. Once you've created a team, you’ll need to put a comprehensive and continual training program into place. Your sales team is the face of your company for new leads and prospects, so its members need to be well informed.
Finally, you want to create a sales environment that keeps your team interested and engaged. They should collaborate and help each other improve. Make sure you provide your team with a steady stream of prospects so they can always be focused on closing the deal. If you don’t, you may lose opportunities.
How hiring impacts
Hiring the right employees is one of the most challenging aspects of running a business. It directly affects scalability, and can even create roadblocks to scaling if done incorrectly. That’s why you also need to ensure you hire talent that can help you scale when recruiting, hiring, and training new employees.
Hiring the right talent is critical when you're trying to close gaps between current and future capabilities. Focus on ensuring you select talent that has the skills and capacities you need. Simply asking the right questions during the interview process can make a significant difference.
Tips and reminders for leaders scaling a startup
Companies that want to thrive in the long run need to focus on scalability. This can be a daunting concept for founders of newer enterprises, but it’s important not to get overwhelmed by thinking of everything at once. Instead, break the project of scaling your business into bite-size elements:
Choose a clear goal and stick to it
Your goal should be very short, to the point, and reflect the core values of your company. At the same time, make sure that you build flexibility into your processes. Your goal should always be clear, but the path you take toward it may change.
Understand what’s important to your stakeholders
As a CEO, founder or owner, you often have to make tough decisions. Work to find a balance between their needs and where your company is headed.
Don't ignore feedback
Listen to what people inside and outside your organization have to say. Find people you trust and let their feedback guide your growth.
MetaGrowth´s methodology for sales team growth and success
MetaGrowth Ventures is in business to help your company experience the scalable growth it needs to succeed. Our team has a proven methodology designed to help businesses like yours scale their sales team, and it starts with effective recruiting at the applicant stage:
- We help you improve sales through better recruiting by reviewing resumes to ensure applicants will meet your expectations.
- We leverage artificial intelligence to find the best fits for your business.
- Then, we screen and interview those candidates to see if the applicant moves forward.
- Once hired, your new sales team members go through a thorough onboarding process to get them up to speed on your company, goals, and more.
Contact MetaGrowth Ventures for help
scaling your sales team
At MetaGrowth Ventures, we want to help your company grow its sales team as sustainably as possible. We don't just add more people and hope for the best. Instead, we help you create a sales team that positions your company for long-lasting, highly efficient growth.
To learn more about how we can help you scale your sales team, contact us today.