Growing From the Ground Up
July 22, 2020
Scaling a business is tough, but it gives you the opportunity to support growth in your company. Without the proper training and know-how, growing a business can be extremely difficult, but with the proper training and knowledge, any entrepreneur can take their business to the next level. Taking classes at the Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship such as Managing Entrepreneurial Growth and Building Entrepreneurial Teams can help tie in all the essential skills and knowledge required to grow a venture from the ground up. Managing Entrepreneurial Growth will give you an overview of all the important aspects of building your business while helping you to develop the best plan of action to scale and grow. While most people think scaling and growth are two sides of the same coin, there is one key difference. Scaling refers to an increase in revenue without increasing the company's production cost, while growth is equatable to an increase in revenue - but also an increase in spending to get there.
“For instance, let’s say you’re a service-based agency that has partnered with a new client. Now, with an increased production requirement, you might have to hire another resource as the new client will bring in more revenue for your business – that’s growth. However, if your current team is able to deliver all the production requirements of your new client without the need of an additional resource, that’s called scaling a business.”
With proper planning, due process, and the right systems in place, any company can overcome growing pains and come out on top!
Understanding The Customer
A few of the first things you need to know when scaling a business are what your customers want and what they need. Creating a buyer persona to help answer these questions will be very beneficial and informative in understanding your audience. A buyer persona is a cumulative combination of demographics and traits that your buyers share. Some questions to answer when making a buyer persona could include:
What are your customer’s demographics?
Why are they buying?
Why will your product or service be beneficial to them?
What’s their income?
What do they think about you?
Asking questions like the ones above will help your team understand your customers on a deeper level. They will help you have a point of focus when acquiring new customers and guide your business as you develop and scale.
Building The Right Team
Scaling a business is tough, but putting together a skilled team that not only does great work but collaborates well together can be even tougher. It’s imperative when it comes to growing a business to make sure your team is on the same page as you, after all, backpedaling and disagreements will not push you forward. Taking courses such as Building Entrepreneurial Teams will help give you the right approach to building the best team for your endeavor. It’s important to recognize when it’s time to bring on new team members and when to outsource tasks to a third party or freelancer as new business projects arise. Taking skills from the classroom will help you effectively compare and contrast different models to determine the best outcome of hiring new team members. Initially, you’ll want a small team that works harmoniously together to effectively take your business to a new level. But as the business begins to grow, hiring an expert or a manager to oversee the team and fill in missing knowledge gaps will help to streamline your business growth so that the core team can continue to excel at their jobs. Having a highly qualified team that works well together will not only make the work more satisfying and easier to accomplish but will also help grow your business in ways unfathomable to most freelancers and startup owners.
Automating When You Can
If any portion of your business is labor-intensive, effectively scaling will be much more difficult. Finding ways to streamline your business including payroll, training, marketing, and AI technology are just some examples of the processes that can help free up your schedule. By automating tasks like these you clear up valuable time for your team to focus on the core aspects of your business.
Never Compromise On Quality
Quality and consistency are vital when it comes to growth. There’s no point in scaling your business if your product or solution changes or reduces in quality. Customers are looking for the best and if you aren’t offering the quality they expect, they’ll go somewhere else - even if you have gotten bigger. As you scale, ensure yourself the time needed for quality assurance and social listening to have your ear to the ground in case any unintended changes happen due to scaling or growth. A streamlined process and understanding of your customer will help ensure that you won’t have to compromise on quality or consistency when scaling your business.
Collaboration is key. You should always be building your network, whether it’s through channel partners, suppliers, or even customers. Creating a partnership that benefits both parties while working with different companies and suppliers is a great way to create long-lasting relationships and gain valuable information while growing your business. The Business Performance Innovation Network even states that “57% of organizations confirm they use partnerships to acquire new customers”. While partnering with other organizations is key, partnering with customers is another amazing way to market your business or product. Having a customer base that wants to share your product or service will help build trust for your business!
Be Ready For Change
With growth comes change. It’s inevitable. Be prepared to make quick and necessary fixes to your business as you scale and grow. It includes operations, product, staffing, and maybe even your office space. You must be ready to make changes within your business at a moment’s notice. Make sure you and your team are ready to put in some extra time, work hard, and overcome all of these upcoming challenges that will arise.
Overall, growing and scaling a business can be a challenge, but implementing the tips and tricks we’ve provided and gaining knowledge from those who have built companies from the ground up by taking courses at the Charles D. Close School can help any startup or entrepreneur keep important basics in mind as they move through the next phase of their growth strategy.