No matter if your organization is just starting out or has been around for decades and no matter how large or small it is, having the ability to scale is critical. If your sales suddenly skyrocket and your business doesn’t have scalability, how are you going to deliver all of those orders to the customers?
Think capacity and capability. Do you have the capacity to grow? When necessary, will your business systems, infrastructure, and employees have the ability to accommodate that growth?
What worked when the company was smaller may not let you adapt quickly enough in times of need. If that growth causes hiccups because you don’t have enough staffing or sufficient manufacturing/delivery capacity, your customers aren’t going to be very happy at all.
Making sure that you are able to scale as needed means that you’re prepared to support growth and have the ability to do so without roadblocks that could be costly to the company. Scalability requires planning, a detailed budget, and the right technology, staff, systems, and processes in place.
While we can’t guarantee that you’ll be 100% prepared to scale after reading this article, we’re confident that some of the tips may be of use to you.
1. Evaluation & Planning
Take a moment to pretend that your delivery orders doubled overnight. Can your employees and processes handle it? You need to take a deep look inside your business from top to bottom and determine whether you’re prepared for growth.
After the evaluation, it’s essential that you start planning to make the necessary upgrades/changes. To have a successful plan, you need to prioritize and research cost estimates and while this will take some time and effort, it can help make your scalability efforts have a lot better chance of success.
2. Free Up Some Money
First off, where can you trim unnecessary spending? Scaling doesn’t come free and you’re going to need a “war chest” in order to accomplish what you need. Whether that’s for adding equipment and facilities, investing in new technology, hiring more employees, or forging new partnerships, how will you fund possible growth?
Crafting a budget is nothing new to most business owners but one place that you may not have considered is your technical debt. According to Assemble Inc., this debt is caused by “using technology to complete a function that another tool is doing, could also do, or should be doing. It’s caused by solving one problem but creating three more. Tech debt consumes resources by duplicating efforts and costs.”
Managing retail tech debt allows brands to scale by freeing up funds and resources used by redundant systems and tools that you’ve probably been paying for for several years. Many business owners accumulate a lot of this debt when needing a speedy solution to a specific problem in front of them and they end up with a random set of tools that have the same capabilities or are actually no longer relevant or useful.
3. Invest in the RIGHT Technology
Once you’ve reduced your technical debt and evaluated your needs and funding, it’s time to start updating your tech. Investing in the right tech means that you can use less labor while gaining more throughput and better economies of scale.
Evaluate the newest time/money-saving tech offerings on the market that also can adapt for higher volumes in every part of your business. The options that you’ll want to consider first and foremost, are:
- Marketing Automation
- Inventory Management
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
- Sales Management
When it comes to being able to scale your business, the right technology makes it a lot easier and less expensive to do so. However, you have to evaluate and plan, free up some money and craft a budget, and then take a look at the technologies that can help you accomplish your goals.
Being prepared to scale seriously is critical and could be the difference between success and failure in the long run. As we said, no matter how big or small your company currently is, you should really consider the above tips and take advantage of them ASAP.