As your business begins to draw more attention, it’s tempting to significantly ramp up production or take on numerous new clients. But doing so without looking at the long-term impact will only bring you grief. Taking on projects you don’t have the staff or resources to manage, or overestimating just how much the market can support the work you do, may lead you to overextend.
So, it’s a balancing act: You need to grow to take advantage of business opportunities without growing so fast that you damage, or destroy, a company you’ve put your heart into.
With this in mind, 15 members from YEC share their top tips for scaling a business without going too fast.
1. Look at Processes First
Your business is a set of repetitive processes — for sales, operations, marketing, and finance — refined over time and communicated clearly to your team. If you want to grow, your processes have to grow, too. Think about putting in the right processes now for a company three to 10 times your size. Sure, you can manually run payroll now, but you can’t for 100 employees.
2. Look at the Long-Term Results
Almost all growth looks appealing in the short run, but it’s long-term viability that actually matters. The difference between flash-in-the-pan businesses and those with viable long-term success is that they look at the big picture. Before looking at a growth opportunity, see if it makes sense one or even five years from now. Comparing the costs to long-term gains will ensure the right choice.
3. Launch Your Product Quietly
Any successful business will start to scale, and if you want to manage your growth without scaling quickly, you will need to throttle your marketing. By launching quietly by placing your product or service online, you will be able to manage the influx of customers and grow on your terms. If you have launched a strong marketing campaign, you won’t have the control offered by a soft launch.
4. Hire People Who Can Identify Inefficiencies
Bring people onto your team who can identify inefficiencies in your business while driving the business forward with out-of-the-box ideas. To scale, you need a team of people who aren’t afraid of failure, so look for that in the hiring process.
5. Say ‘No’ to Retail Before You’re Ready
One of the best decisions we made early on was delaying our retail launch. As an IoT product, it was really difficult to turn down offers from Best Buy, Amazon and others. We needed time to get everything prepared for a full retail launch, and waiting six months was a good decision. If you launch before you’re ready, you can wear yourself too thin. By ramping up, you’ll scale in a sustainable way.
6. Make Sure Every New Order is Supported
If you’re accepting more orders than you can satisfy, you’re growing too fast and something will break. Make sure that you have the resources to meet every order that comes in, and then bring on new resources to help you meet increasing demands. When you build a business model on supply and demand, you’ll have a firmer understanding of what you can achieve and where you need to build up.
7. Manage Your Cash Flow
One of the pitfalls of growing too fast is managing your cash flow. In fact, if you extend net terms (i.e. 30 days) to your customers and your growth picks up, it’s possible you can run out of money and be unable to meet your minimum cash needs, such as payroll and marketing. That’s why it is critical to evaluate financing options — such as an adequate line of credit — to manage and maximize growth.
8. Staff Aggressively
One fast way to break a business is by stretching key team members too thin. When you’re experiencing a growth spurt, hire more contractors or staff to ensure everyone has adequate resources to fulfill their jobs, rather than being forced to be reactive to everything that’s going on when they’re understaffed.
9. Set Goals and Timelines
You need to be able to set reasonable goals within reasonable timelines when it comes to your company’s growth rate. For example, at six months we want to have “x” amount of employees and “x” amount of clients. At one year we want this many… and so on. This will put your company’s growth in perspective for you and your entire team, and set expectations for all.
10. Know Your Numbers
Do extensive market research to make sure any horizontal growth is justified by quantifiable projected growth. The problem many businesses encounter is “over-investing.” When increased success encourages expansion, there’s a tendency to spend more on scaling than the market can handle.
– Nicholas Nadjarian, Industrial Motor Power Corp.
11. Focus on Retention, Not Superficial Growth
A lot of businesses that grow too fast (and end up folding) decide to scale because they want to absolve or justify their valuation. What ends up happening is that the business will bleed cash in order to create buzz and service those new customers. When you scale your business, you will definitely attract new customers, but you should focus on retention instead of superficial growth.
12. Outsource Projects
One thing that people often forget is that there are plenty of people out there who don’t want to work for someone, but would love a steady stream of work. Using this to everyone’s advantage has upsides for both parties. If your business has lots of project work and you’d like to be able to take more or less at times, then partnerships with like-minded people are the way to go.
13. Don’t Scale to Suit Investors
Venture capital investors and founders play on the same field, but they aren’t playing the same game. VCs will push lots of companies to grow very quickly with the knowledge that most will fail — they spread their bets. Founders, who are all in on one company, should be more cautious about rapid growth. Focus on establishing reliable revenue streams so you can support organic growth.
14. Grow With Your Projects
Resist the urge to staff up like crazy and get an office that doesn’t fit your needs. Grow with demand. Bring on the team you need in order to sign the clients you want to be signing. Continue to scale this up as demand and resources allow. A fancy office or large staff doesn’t mean anything without the client roster to back them up.
15. Be Ready to Pause (Briefly)
Scaling up a business is like trying to change the wheels on a race car while it’s zipping around the track. You will have to pull over for some — hopefully short — amount of time while you rip out or adjust old, unscalable processes and set yourself up for the next stage of growth in order to prevent disaster down the road. Don’t be afraid of this transition: It’s not a plateau, it’s a jumping-off point.
How to Scale Your Business with Content Marketing
We hope you enjoyed our latest YEC expert roundup series, which is focused on providing you with actionable tips on how to grow and scale your blog, brand, and business to new levels of growth. To learn more about how to reach new audiences and create a content marketing plan for your business, be sure to check out our how to start a blog guide and make money blogging guide. Each of these guides will prove useful in breaking down the various components for effectively creating original content for your audience, while also discovering how to use call-to-actions, viral marketing, and outreach to rank higher in the search results.
How to Ride out Traffic Swings
Traffic swings occur for every single blogger who ever blogged.
Literally, nobody is immune from seeing traffic stats swing high, low, back, medium and all over, in between. How do you ride out these swings? Blog for the love of blogging and see traffic as an extra, a bonus, or some add on to your blogging campaign. Make the blogging work, the reward. See all else as extra, or a bonus, and you become totally chill in response to inevitable traffic swings. Way too many bloggers become obsessed with traffic stats. Even more make the foolish mistake of obsessing over traffic stats on a daily basis. Guys; this is nuts. How can you focus on daily traffic swings when you know all good, lasting things take time, energy and a willingness to have a vision? Relax. Slow down. Calm down. Trust in yourself. Trust in the blogging process. Good things take time and generous service.
Imagine if Jeff Bezos panicked over day to day traffic and sales numbers on founding Amazon over 2 decades ago? Imagine how doing so would have crippled his campaign? Everybody experiences swings – usually, wild swings – as a newbie entrepreneur and blogger because no growth is perfectly linear. Over time, with generous effort and a blanket trusting in the blogging process, you traffic increases month over month. But day to day analysis is a silly way to assess how you are doing. How in the heck can you honestly make a blanket assessment of your blog over a 24 hour period? It’s only 24 hours! We measure success in thousands and tens of thousands of hours…..not 24 hours. Come back down to earth. Get your head out of the clouds. Nothing of meaning, of lasting value, unfolds in 24 hours. Please be gentle with yourself and be even more gentle with your silly mind because the mind wants fast results but your heart knows; successful blogging is a long term gig.
Check Stats Infrequently
Do you have an absolute blast checking stats? If so, check stats monthly. Allow momentum to gain by generously helping people daily, over a monthly period. Observe your traffic stats to iron out any kinks and to not be swayed by the day to day fluctuations leveling most bloggers, creating a roller coaster wave of emotions in mind. I barely check metrics because if I love what I do, trust in the process and trust myself, the more generous service I put into blogging, the more blogging generously serves me. Simple equation here. Why in the heck would I assess my success based on 24 hour increments? Blogging success hinges on thousands of hours of generous service, not 24 hour blogs of work, right?
Pump your breaks guys. Get uber busy helping your readers by creating as much quality content as humanly possible. Be generous. Focus heavily on giving, not getting, to allow your daily stat checking obsession to dissolve just a wee bit. Blogging become uncomfortable here and there but does get easier and easier the more often you give freely of your time and talents. The challenge is not to panic when you resist checking stats for a few weeks as most folks go bonkers mad, ready to explode, once they try to detach from frequent stat checking.
Do you want to make more money blogging by managing my energy?
Buy my eBook:
How Much Traffic Do You Need to Make Money Blogging?
But I do know this; if you ask this question you think like employees. Bad mindset for a blogger. Employees think putting in set amounts of work or reaching some specific goal results in receiving income. 100% of the time, this is NOT true as a professional or amateur blogger. Nobody has any idea how your traffic behaves. Is it targeted, or general? How did you attract your readers? Drilling deeper, it is impossible to surmise that a specific amount of traffic leads to some set amount of income.
Traffic and blogging income are only related in that, if you drive titanic amounts of targeted traffic to your blog, you will make some coin. But other than driving monstrous amounts of traffic – and any blogger asking this question is 10,000 to 20,000 hours away from this type of traffic – you need to understand that making money blogging is about generously helping people, building bonds, creating value, trusting in the process and developing your money mindset diligently, vibing abundance.
Do you want to make money blogging? Stop looking at traffic stats. Nobody pays you like an employer if you register 100 visitors daily to your blog. Stop thinking like an employee. Begin thinking like an entrepreneur. Help people generously. Make friends. Trust in the blogging process. Trust yourself. Think abundantly. Keep helping people. Develop your money mindset. Open multiple streams of income. Money will flow your way if you focus less on traffic stats and things, and more on generously helping human beings. Help people generously, patiently and persistently. Make money. This is the secret to successful blogging. But most bloggers fall lost in a world of stats and employee-level thinking, falsely believing generating a specific number of daily blog visitors results in some blogging employer paying them a set salary, a paycheck, for a goal achieved.
Do not fall prey to this common blogging mindset error in error. Money flows to you based on your generous service and based on your trust in the blogging process. Money can and will arrive but only after you relax, detach, help folks and give little or no thought to money, traffic and other blogging outcomes. The less you think about making money through your blog, the more you help people. The more you help people, the more money you eventually make. Successful blogging and making money is simply about helping tons of people for free to increase your blogging skills and exposure. Open multiple streams of income through which to prosper. Eventually, money flows to you.
Do not get distracted by ideas consistent with the blog post title question. Do not get caught up in blogging money and traffic outcomes. Stop looking for your blogging pay day and get busy helping people freely to learn the secret of effective blog monetizing. Money finds generous servants and money sprints away from bloggers routinely obsessed with making money. Sure you want to promote yourself at every turn. Goodness knows, I am always promoting my 100 plus eBooks and 2 blogging courses in all I do. Plus I promote my audio books and paperbacks, too. But my intent is mostly about helping as many bloggers as possible through guest posting, posting to my blog and via podcasting and broadcasting live. Prospering grows easier the more I help folks freely.
How to Develop Super Human Confidence in Your Blog
Baby steps, my Young Blogging Padawans.
New bloggers, baby step your way to being super human confident in your blog. Being wracked by doubt, with a little wild excitement mixed in, you cannot gain unreal confidence in your blog today. But slowly and steadily gaining clarity gives you the foundation upon which to become a highly successful blogger who feels bold, knowing your blog rocks.
I am about super human confident in my blog. I am developing the same level of confidence in my eBooks and courses, too. Why? Believing in my blog and premium offerings helps me to help more people and I also make more money too, which is neat, considering I live a worldly life.
Follow these tips.
1: Feel and Release Fears-Doubts Aligned with Your Blog
Before you become confident, you need to purge any lack of confidence. I know this feels bad but tis a necessary step to become super duper confident in your blog and in your premium offerings, too. Sit with doubts, those nasty traitors. Be with your fears about self, your writing ability and your blog presentation. Feel these unpleasant energies. Clear the energies. Proceed from a clearer, more confident, space. Confidence is borne of clearing a lack of confidence. Do messy energy work to become uber confident in your blog and in your blogging abilities.
2: Surround Yourself with Loving Bloggers
Loving, caring, compassionate bloggers see brilliance in you when you cannot seem to see it in yourself. Although all confidence issues flow inside-out, you need a network of supportive people around you who believe in you, versus being around haters or negative nellies. Never, ever, ever surround yourself with poverty conscious, failure conscious bloggers. Are you running a cyber charity? Are you a therapist? No! Negative people stuck in fear and failure throw negative cross currents into your being, shaking your already fragile confidence in your blog.
Hang with folks who believe in you and who believe in your blog. Pros share where and how you can improve but they always believe in someone who follows their dreams, and will instill that faith in you, and in your blog, too.
3: Write Your Butt Off and Publish Content Like the Dickens
Writing and publishing content is like breathing to me. I do not lose confidence in my ability to breathe because this is an automatic, auto-pilot, process. I just breathe without thinking about it. Ditto for writing and blogging. I wrote and blogged for 20,000 to 30,000 hours so now it is an automatic, easy process I have super human confidence in. I do not even think about it because I do it routinely, automatically, on a type of auto-pilot borne of making writing and blogging a habit.
If someone criticizes my blog, it is like someone criticizing my breathing; sounds weird, or funny, but it stirs me not, because I have equal confidence in each.
4: Do Energy Work
I do not play around; 3-4 hours of energy work daily allowed me to face, feel and release blog doubts, to become the clear, confident blogger I am today. Consider meditating, or doing yin yoga, or doing Kriya yoga, and power walking. Or do it all. I spend 3-4 hours doing each – collectively – daily, to expand my awareness so I can feel and clear doubts and so I can blog mainly from an abundant, generous, relaxed, detached vibe.
Be confident guys. Believe in your blog. Follow these 4 tips to succeed and to become super human confident in your blog.
Search Blogging Tips
Blogging3 years ago
6 Steps for How I Nabbed 6500 Comments on My Blog
Blogging1 year ago
113 Bloggers share their Favorite Email Marketing Tools
Reviews2 years ago
LeadNetwork Pays Big Bucks for Payday Loans
Blogging12 years ago
CoComment – The new way to track blog comments
Blogging3 years ago
6 Tools For Boosting Content Marketing Results Over The Holidays
Search Engine Optimisation3 years ago
7 SEO Analysis Tools Every Blogger Needs to Know
Blogging2 years ago
How to Start a Fashion Blog in 8 Simple Steps
Blogging3 years ago
How to Become a Nimble Blogger