Is there a secret sauce to scaling your business?
Scaling a business is as challenging as starting a business. As the leader, you have to ensure it grows steady and supports the infrastructure in place. If you grow too fast you might not be prepared. Pace is important so that there are no pains in the medium to long term.
With cloud based technologies, it is now only costs €3,200 to launch a successful start-up tech company. In 2000 to launch a comparable company cost in the region of €3,200. In 2000 to launch a comparable company cost in the region of 3.3M.
However, start-ups are of little economic wealth to the country or indeed to the founder. It is only when they scale that they create jobs and wealth.
When considering scaling, different strategic options must be considered. All require investments in strategic planning, new methodologies, technology, marketing and people. Passionate people are the number one ingredient to success.
So what is the secret sauce to scaling a business?
Only 1% of start-ups move to the scale phase of growth creating jobs and wealth. It is important to decisively move from the start-up phase of a business to the “scale & grow” phase. This is a mind-set as well as a strategic move.
Selling beyond the domestic market is critical. Exporting for Irish companies is key to scale due to the limited population and product demand. Managing your companies export agenda is your key to growth.
Exporting however does not come without risks. Therefore it is highly recommend engaging an exporting specialist to guide you through the process. There are no quick wins. Between planning and a feasibility test in the market allow a year.
Scalability needs to be at the heart of your business and revenue model. Not every company has a business model that can scale. Economies of scale need to be at the heart of a scalable solution. Another key consideration is the cost of acquiring new customers allied with the costs associated with servicing new customers in an overseas market.
As the CEO, focus on working on your business rather than in your business.
- Planning is critical including your new marketing and new structure
- Conduct scenario planning
- Focus on pricing and income as you grow
- Audit your resources and empower those around you
- Build a dynamic management team
- Brand your business for international expansion
- Create internal processes and systems
- Be accountable
- Have a presence on-line and on social media no matter what your business is
- Develop a profile for the business and the key contributors
- Track customers, clients and relationships
- Engage in Innovation and R&D
- Focus on Marketing & Engagement
- Cost of Customer acquisition and life time customer value aligned to customer profitability analysis
- Local country presence and cultural and sectoral knowledge
- Set KPI’s and develop a strategic and tactical scorecard
- Test and review your product and don’t forget to test your market proposition
Exporting will be all consuming. Don’t forget not to leave your current domestic customers behind. You are excited at the new journey so be sure to bring your customers on this journey with you maintaining and even exceeding current service levels. They must still feel special and not neglected due to your new focus!
I personally wish you the very best in scaling your business. If you wish to contact me at any stage please do on Caitlín@acceleratingperformance.ie or on 086 836 4042. I am always interested in hearing individual scaling stories in to new territories. Remember your challenges are not unique.
A little reminder, always remember your customer whether in domestic or overseas markets are more important than your product!