Entrepreneurs and executives, alike, need to design (or redesign) solutions that make business expansion lucrative and relatively painless. Successful work effort relies on tools, processes, and strategies that must accommodate additional growth or scalability. It is much more efficient to establish best practices on a small manageable scale, before the workload makes development and adjustments too burdensome and expensive.
Scalability: a characteristic of a system, model or function that describes its capability to cope and perform under an increased or expanding workload. ~Investopia
Scaling our work is like driving a car, there is a better gear for each speed and acceleration scenario. Before getting too far into your business acceleration, consider where you might need to shift gears:
- Business Model: Reducing or minimizing costs while growing revenue is clearly the best model. I know, “Thank you, Captain Obvious!” Seriously, think about the expenses you are incurring, will they remain constant or increase as your clientele increases? Are you providing a product or service that can be delivered to many people the same way?
- Technology Solutions: Very few businesses operate without a technology component. Using automation and tracking solutions make scalability much easier. It is best to choose a good foundation along with processes and documentation. Then test, test, test them before your experimentation foils a good client experience. What do you need to reconsider for automation? Are you tracking (and responding to) the correct metrics?
- Human Capacity: To Investopia’s list of “systems, models, and functions,” I would add the capacity of humans. People need to “cope and perform under an increased or expanding workload,” too! We know employees work better when they are cared for. You work better when you are cared for. It may not seem scalable, because different people respond to different things. Caring for employees reduces staff rework, rehiring, and reinvestment. How can you improve your work environment? How can you express more concern for or interest in your team? (Curious about improving Human Capacity? Read Appreciation Even in Failure? for a review of Dr. Chapman and Dr. White’s The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace.)
At each stage of a business, certain needs come to the forefront. When you consider your business model, technology solutions, and human capacity, where can you make long term expansion easier and less expensive? It may take more short term investment to shift gears, but it is best to have a sound foundation before your business grows exponentially!
Join a Synergy Group where we will discuss what the Bible says about making plans and using trusted advisers as it relates to Scalability.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Michelle Sugerman (PMP, PCC) is a speaker, author, and leadership coach with Leading Synergies. She hosts global masterminds, called Synergy Groups, for REALLY BUSY Christians leading with powerful confidence and humble hearts. She works with high-performing leaders focused on organizational effectiveness by refining strategy, inspiring teams, and delighting clients. Michelle specializes in the areas of information technology, project management, franchise management, and business as mission. Michelle lives in Colorado where she hikes fourteeners and enjoys gourmet meals with her loving husband of 21 years.