The word scaling gets thrown around a lot in the entrepreneur world and I feel it is not always clear what it actually means.
Outlined below is what I asses when women come to me as they start thinking about scaling.
If you’re wondering whether it’s time to make the next big leap, you can easily use this guideline to assess where you’re at.
Healthy, profitable & viable
First of all, I want to see that you have a healthy, viable and profitable business.
What does that mean exactly?
A viable and profitable business to me (and there’s plenty of opinions on this) is a business you have grown so much, you are bursting at the seams. You’re literally filled to the brim with opportunity, clients and money.
You basically have way more clients than you can actually work with. It’s not something you have thought up or forecasted on a point in the future, these people are actually there ready to work with you and unless you start working more hours and give up more of your free time there is absolutely no way you can serve them.
It’s not an idea, a wish, a mere strategy of hope. You can actually prove this black on white.
Your business also has to have financial reserves built up because scaling costs money. I like to see that the revenue you have coming in by far exceeds your expenditure (in other words you run a lean business).
Revenue = All the money that flows into your business.
When you don’t have the financial resources you’ll grow overwhelmed, stressed and ultimately grow broke.
Take the time to prepare an honest forecast of what you can earn, want to earn and anticipate to earn in the next 12 months knowing you have the clients in line who want to throw their money at you.
The money will be spent on scaling whether you bring in the $$ or not.
Now, I do want to add a little side note here, sometimes after analysing this part of the business, we are able to plug a lot of holes where money is spent on certain things that are not absolutely necessary. So, take stock of everything you have as outgoing expenses. You might find you are paying for a lot of things you barely use or double up on subscriptions for separate things that ultimately promise to deliver the same result.
Only hire someone if you are literally turning money away because you are performing tasks you can hire someone for who you will pay a certain amount per hour while you make far more in that same hour working with clients.
Hire support only on an hour to hour basis. Especially when you are first working with a team member. You do not want to be committed to 10, 15 or 30 hours per month when you are not quite sure as yet how much work you can hand over. Which leads me straight into…
Systems & Processes
Make sure everything behind the scenes is ticking along smoothly and has the right steps in place which are also documented. I can’t stress this enough but this will make scaling so much easier.
A smooth running engine underneath that bonnet gives you even more freedom to concentrate on what you do best and the space for you to grow bigger.
Onboarding a team member is 100 times easier when you know exactly what you’re handing over, how you do it & where to find it.
For both parties, this sets the tone of the relationship from the get-go.
Small children, small problems
Don’t be dazzled by the perceived thoughts of the dollars you’ll be bringing in. Sometimes it pays off big time to take a step back before you step forward.
Look at all areas of your business and really check whether there’s anything that needs fixing up. Finding the solution now will save you a lot of time & energy in the near future.
Don’t be dazzled by the perceived thoughts of the dollars you’ll be bringing in. It pays off big time to take a step back before you jump forward.
Grow at a pace that has you slightly outside of your comfort zone but never so far out of your reach you lose control.
You are always in control, even when the demand is high. Don’t risk anything you have built up because you get stars in your eyes or you just want to get there faster.
Prepare, check, predict and plan and always, always, remain the captain of your ship. This journey you are about to embark on is life changing (yet again). Enjoy the ride!
Have questions? Other opinions or things that really worked for you? I’d love to hear them. Send me a note via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have a strategy in place, have done an assessment of your business or simply want to look into this further, I offer 90-minute pulse check sessions to help you out! Find out more here.