12 Sep 2023
Scaling up is an important step for growing start-ups. Usually, it’s the next step for small and medium-sized companies that have had an impressive head start and are ready to take it to the next stage.
In business, people often use “growth” and “scale” interchangeably. But they are not quite the same. Growth means a company is seeing an increase in revenue but has likely added more resources or capital. Whereas, in scaling, the revenue increases without substantially increasing operations costs or capitalisation.
Many SMEs manage to scale up by taking advantage of smart technologies, solutions and software, allowing them to expand without spending additional expenses on personnel and benefits, office space, and supplies, among other things.
There are four main things to consider when scaling up. One of these is physical and digital infrastructure, the backbone of any business.
If you are running an SME, scaling up would mean having a solid infrastructure to handle the increased demand. And what might this be? You can begin by assessing your company’s technology systems, network bandwidth, and physical resources such as servers or storage.
You would need to ensure that your infrastructure could handle an increased workload and also consider implementing scalable solutions like cloud computing.
Another thing to consider when scaling up is the proper allocation of your resources, like money, a workforce, and machinery or equipment. This is so because you would need to put a finger on what you have vis-à-vis what you need to augment it and support the growing demand. And so, this could entail putting more people on board for new roles or putting more hands on deck.
Any additional funding used in scaling up is negligible if you consider its many benefits in the long run.
Now that you have covered infrastructure and resources, your next step would be a thorough review of your business processes and workflows to ensure that these are not disrupted when you begin scaling up.
Keep in mind that scaling up requires implementing changes in your company’s current set-up, thereby creating a domino effect in the entire system. You would need to consider how the other moving parts would react and how this would ripple through.
So, sit back and review your current processes to find any potential bottlenecks and resulting weak points that might prevent scaling. Also, keep in mind that you should streamline your workload so that you have the necessary room for growth in the coming days to come.
The last and most important thing to consider is customer experience. This is so because you wouldn’t be scaling up if not for them in the first place.
So, make sure that you maintain an outstanding customer or client service experience as you scale things up. It’s crucial to your existence. One way to do this is by making it clear that your increased capacity does not have a negative bearing on or impact on your products or services.
How do you do this? Be consistent in your efforts to monitor customer satisfaction rates as well as feedback and make the necessary adjustments to address their needs, even complaints, if any.
There are many ways to do this, and a quick poll is one of them. In line with this, try to set up customer service methods that can handle the increased volume of inquiries or issues. This will help you keep improving the process. So, there you go. A sustainable way to grow in the digital world.
Also, make sure that your staff are knowledgeable about the product and can answer queries from customers with authority for better engagement and to develop a following. Remember that a customer who steps out the door happy will always be coming back for more.
Nothing sounds better than the “ka-ching” of the cash register - music to your ears.