Is your business scalability challenged? If yes, then what it probably needs is a scalability strategy that ensures a growing business is able to make the most of the opportunities that come its way. When businesses fail, they spew a truck load of mumbo jumbo about why they failed. The truth can actually be summed up in one sentence:
“Failure to Capitalize on the Opportunities that Came their Way”
One big reason why this happens is – Lack of Scalability
What are the characteristics of a scalable business?
If you want to describe business scalability in a nutshell, two facets stand out (from the perspective of products based businesses):
- Scalability means the incremental costs of investing in new customers must come down over time.
- Scalability also means the ability of the business to grow, irrespective of the nature/quantity/quality of resources thrown at it.
Scalability is an integral part of a business’s growth strategy. A business that isn’t scalable cannot keep pace with the growing demands and challenges of the market.
In the event your business suffers from a lack of scalability, you need to start hammering out a strategy that is a right fit for your business. Here are a few tips that will help you on your way:
(1) Ask the Right Questions
You need answers to a few basic questions before you actually begin identifying the various solutions that will help you scale up your business and its operations.
Here are a few of them:
- Who are your competitors? How many small, medium and large scale businesses does your industry currently sustain? How many will it be able to sustain in the future?
- What are the factors that differentiate your business from your competitors? How will you market these factors? What shelf life does your business’s Unique Selling Point have?
- Will it be possible to add new products to your business? (aspects like inventory management etc. come into play here)
- What are your long term objectives? How big do you want your business to be?
- How much time are you giving your business to grow? What is the time frame for achieving your objectives?
The answers to these and many other questions will help you identify the strategy to put in place to scale up your business when needed.
(2) The Team Centric Strategy
The foundations of this strategy are based on the premise that if you hire the right team, you are priming up your business to be scaled as and when needed. The fact that you have hired the right people and will keep adding to your skilled workforce means you have better scope of running a scalable business. You can delegate operational responsibilities and focus on exploring and making the most of the various avenues for growth. This means the fear of losing operational focus doesn’t interfere with achieving business success.
The key to business scalability is to put the right people to work on the right job.
Identify a high quality outsourcing service provider to put them in charge of certain non-strategic activities. Do not outsource your core competency, but leveraging an outside entity to take care of certain business processes/activities is always a good idea. They’re three major benefits that outsourcing brings to the table:
- It is cost effective; you control your overheads.
- The process/activity is handled by experts.
And the most important benefit – It gives your business more room to grow. The in-house resources that otherwise would have been used to perform the outsourced activity can now be used to scale your business.
Think of outsourcing as one of the ways that helps your business become more scalable without increasing the technology infrastructure or adding new employees to your team. It facilitates strategic growth without major organizational changes and with tremendous cost benefit to your business.
(4) Leveraging the Cloud
The 2013 Future of Cloud Computing Survey conducted by North Bridge reveals 52% of organizations use Cloud Computing to advance business priorities. Scalability is one such priority.
With the cloud you can upscale or downscale your operational requirements, as and when needed. The fact that it subscribes to a pay-as-you-go model (you pay for what you use), makes this a very cost effective option as well. By pushing non-critical applications/services to the cloud you are giving your business more maneuverability to up its scalability.
The cloud also offers you unlimited data storage. You can store a wealth of sales/customer/operational data on the cloud rather than your business’s servers. This Big Data can be used to gather deeper market insights to ensure your business is being scaled in the right direction.
(5) Implementing the Right Tools
There are plenty of challenges that come in the way of your business and its scalability. The inability to align the right technology with the business’s goals is one of them. The failure to collate and make sense of critical information can be another. Not keeping on top of your business’s sales channels can also be a reason why you are unable to scale your business to generate more revenue.
A one stop answer to these challenges is using the right business management solution. Look for a software suite that seamlessly manages your sales channels, improves sales processes, enhances customer engagement and ensures you are in control of your most critical business processes. Picking the right tool will help you explore new avenues to grow your business. But what’s even more important is that it helps you take charge of this scalability.
A scalable business is a good idea, but how will you manage the ensuing growing needs of your business. The right tool helps you do just that. The idea is to integrate the use of such solutions right at the start. However in such cases the specter of affordability might play the spoilsport. Can you make a substantial investment in a comprehensive business management suite? Good question? The key is to choose business management software that offers a subscription based model, something that is based on SaaS, for example.
(6) The ‘Close Deal’ Focus
The whole point of scaling your business is to identify new revenue streams and generate more revenue. However, scalability won’t matter much if you aren’t able to close deals. This cheat sheet on closing big deals is a must read, if you want to optimize the advantage of a scalable business. The tips mentioned in this article are as good or bad as your ability to close deals. So, train your sales and marketing personnel accordingly. Make them a lean mean deal closing machine. This is an important part of what an ideal scalability strategy should be. It should lead to better deals for your business and must also ensure these deals are bagged and tagged.
If you want to pick the right scalability strategy, you can’t get anywhere without getting a holistic view of your business and knowing where you want to take it. You will need to peer closely at your crystal ball to predict the kind of challenges your business might face in its journey towards the kind of growth you wish to achieve. And find solutions that will address these challenges. Scale up, once you know your business is ready to meet every challenge it can encounter.Tags: Business Management, Cloud Computing, Outsourcing, SaaS, Sales Strategy