What does scaling mean to you? Or does it have any meaning? For some of my mentees, scaling is a totally foreign concept, which is understandable if you've never built a business before.
Let's start with the basics. Scaling is setting the stage and base structure enabling growth in your company. Think of it as a house. You need the foundation first.
You may think clients and sales are essential to scaling, which would mean that marketing is key. You're partly right because you do need sales to have a successful business. But to your surprise, building and scaling a business isn't about marketing – it's about leadership, infrastructure and hiring.
Let's go back to that house – think of yourself as the builder. If you need to have a good house to sell then the essentials will be the builders, the blueprint, the process, the workflow and the house itself right? You need all of that before you can sell the house.
It's just like in your business, you must have:
- Strong leadership
- Strong team
- Efficient, repeatable processes
These will give you room to grow.
Have you ever worked for terrible management? I bet your answer is yes. Most of us have. And it sucks! You're not alone, almost every entrepreneur has had a terrible manager at some point.So be the manager and boss you always wanted. You have to give respect in order to get it. Although you started the business for you, you won't be able to do it alone. So build a team that shares your vision and lead them to success. Leading may be new for you, so here are a couple qualities you need to focus on:
- Enthusiasm – if you're not excited, your team won't be.
- Integrity – know your values and honor them.
- Communication – this one can be a toughy. Over communicate, especially in the beginning. Nobody is a mind-reader so be clear in your direction, goals and ideas. And be understanding if there's a miscommunication.
- Delegation – You've gotta do it. Just remember, you have a team for a reason. You can't build the house on your own, make sure to hand off some of the load.
Richard Branson says, "Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of your clients." That's the dang truth! As the CEO, Founder, #BossBabe you are building a business that you will eventually not be working in. Trust me, I worked myself straight out of my company in less than 15 years! Your team is essential to growth and scaling. Start small with one employee or contractor. You can learn how to communicate with them, create processes and grow together. From there you will have more employees, departments, teams, etc.
It's important to have a team that is passionate about your vision. Have a thorough vetting process to ensure you're choosing the right people to grow with. Have you heard the phrase "hire slow, fire fast". Be picky with who you bring into your mission but also put your foot down when you need to.
Now here's a broken record. I will forever push my mentees to build efficient, thorough and repeatable processes. You can work yourself into a hole if you don't create processes. Establish your onboarding for clients and staff and for your services. Here's an example of a process one of my mentees uses for her social media management client onboarding:
- Client consultation
- Send client proposal
- Receive signed proposal
- Send client contract and invoice
- Collect elements and logins from client
- Book client strategy session
- Service begins
This process is repeatable, she can use this with every single client who is interested in her service. Making it repeatable not only saves her time in the long run, but it also means that she can hand off this task to a team member and it will still be repeatable.
There are so many softwares out there that can make processes not only efficient but also automated. Automation will save you dozens of hours each week! I highly recommend HoneyBook, it's my favorite CRM that automates most of my processes.
Workflow is similar to your processes but it more heavily involves how your team functions. As your team grows a good workflow needs to be established. Who is in charge of what? Who reports to who? There are a lot of companies out there who don't have this established and it leaves them in a constant "he said, she said" game. An efficient and organized workflow will prevent miscommunication and maintain continuous productivity.
Your workflow should include:
- Task management- who is doing what
- Review processes
- Communication streams
Again, this is something a good CRM platform can assist with as well.
These are all steps to building the infrastructure for you business which will enhance your growth. All of these are essential and as I'm sure you've noticed, none of them are marketing. Marketing will be a huge part of your business, but be proactive. Have what's in your business in check before you start working on the business.
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