When a business can scale it means that it is operating at a sustainable, efficient level and it is ready to support the next level of growth. Often businesses can grow too quickly, leaving a significant drain on cashflow and owners at the brink of burnout.
Done with care and a bit of preparation, scaling can set you up for the best chance of success. Doing your due diligence also allows you make the most of scaling from both a lifestyle and financial perspective. The two best ways to prepare for scaling include organising and understanding your current position and carefully considering your future position.
Use the numbers wisely
In this blog I spoke about identifying the five top numbers in your financial statements to help you understand the financial health of your business. Identifying these numbers can also help us to understand our ability to scale.
Profit: this can be reinvested back into your business to fund systems and processes needed to scale your business. This may include new email marketing software to help with automation, a course platform to write and promote your new course or new machinery to process your product more efficiently.
Loss: this doesn’t necessarily mean that you aren’t ready to scale, but it may mean that you need to keep an eye on a few more details. You need to create a plan to manage the loss over the next few years by finding ways to supplement your income, options for loans or cash injections such as an investor or tweaks to pricing and range of products or services provided to your target market.
Profit per hour: this will drive your outsourcing strategy, which often forms the basis of scaling. If it’s cheaper per hour to hand off a task to someone else to do versus doing it yourself, then you will be helping your business’s bottom line. Think of outsourcing as an investment, rather than an expense in this case.
How long does it take?
Write a list of every task you complete for your business. Yes, this will be a long list! It should include everything from answering queries, writing blog posts, creating and scheduling social media, making your product or providing your service.
Next time you perform each task, take note of how long it takes you and how often you do it.
Use this data to pinpoint which tasks may be prime candidates for outsourcing. What takes you the longest to complete? Where do you procrastinate? What is not the best use of your time? What do you loathe doing?
Will scaling make you happy?
In pursuit of the elusive six figure businesses we keep hearing about, have you thought about whether scaling your business will fulfil your personal vision and make you truly happy?
Will it take you away from time with your family? From your hobbies? From self-care?
Scaling your business should help you hone in on what you love and where you can add the most value in your business, and in your life. Plan around the tasks that need to be completed so that you are maximising your expertise and enjoyment. Your business needs to be a place that you love to be.
Plan out your time
Your time is limited so make the most of it for your sanity and the sake of your business. Step into your CEO shoes and determine exactly what you will be doing during and post scaling and what you can hand over to others. The time and task allocation data that you collected above will help drive this plan.
Scaling is an exciting part of your business growth. Done in a measured and strategic way it will ensure that you avoid overwhelm and burnout. It’s not something that you can do on your own so make sure you plan and prepare to enlist the services of experts to help you.
If you need help figuring out if the numbers will support your vision of scaling, contact me for a free 20 minute consult over a cuppa. I love supporting small businesses and how you can continue to build a business that allows you to live a life you love.