There are several key metrics to being a good businessperson, but scalability may be the most underrated as far as importance, especially when it comes to entrepreneurs looking to give themselves an easier life.
First, entrepreneurs must understand the difference between growth and scale. A business can grow, and grow, and grow, but never technically scale. For instance: a tennis coach decides to start a private lesson business and clients are aplenty. They decide to hire another instructor to meet the demand, but paying that instructor and providing the space they need winds up costing the same as what the new clientele is paying. The business has, indeed, grown, but the bottom line is pretty much the same and the coach is left with the same income and more moving parts to worry about.
A prime example of a successfully scalable business model would be that same tennis coach offering online lessons that anyone can join. If said coach has 5 subscribers for the first lesson and has 10 for the second, she or he has successfully scaled their business up by virtually 100%, as the coach is still giving the same lesson in the same amount of time. There may be literal minutes added to labor (filing a waiver or something of the like), but in short, that business model has potential to increase income without increasing expenses, and that is scalability in a nutshell.
Here are 3 scalable goals to try to implement in your business plan in 2021.
Strategize with Scalability in Mind Over Growth
When deciding what direction to take your startup, you need to decide if your goal is to have a million employees and be a CEO in charge of major growth decisions on a weekly basis, or if your goal is to make more and more money each year without really changing what kind of work you do, or how much you put in.
The latter is a scalability mindset, and setting goals that focus as much on maintaining or decreasing expenses as much as it does on increasing customer base and revenue is key for those individuals not looking to be in charge of a bunch of brick-and-mortar branches of a given business.
Recognize Opportunities in Scalability
- Personnel – When hiring leadership, scalability comes into play regarding how many people a given leader can manage. If you see an individual who shows traits of someone who can continue to take on more and more responsibility without demanding more and more pay, you have made a scalable hire.
- Niche – In order to maintain scalability, it is almost a must to be the leader in a given niche. If you’re unable to define a niche for your product or service, scalability is difficult to come by, as most decisions revolve around how to beat the competition (rightfully so).
- Economics – If your business requires materials, it’s important to look into whether or not those materials’ price tags are going to go up or down. Generally, getting into tech-related fields early means that your materials will most likely get cheaper with no work of your own… a scalable plan.
Streamline Your Online Presence
In a “click for pay” world, increasing an online presence is a virtual no-brainer, even if your business isn’t something that particularly screams “go to my website.” You also don’t have to be running a remote business to reap the benefits of an online presence.
Saving labor hours is also a means of increasing your scalability, and technology aplenty exists to do just that. With things like social media allowing for business to reach their customer base directly with the click of a button, utilizing technology that allows you to take one action and implement it on multiple online outlets (think: make a Facebook post and have it also post on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.). What may have previously taken an hour, can now take minutes, and as your engagement online begins to rise, the amount of people you reach with those minutes of work will continue to rise, without a need to put in more time or hire anyone else to reach these customers.
There are always new ways to grow your business with the help of a one-time purchase (generally technology-related), and keeping a forward-thinking mind regarding ways to increase your output without increasing your workload is scalability 101.