This is one of the most exciting things to implement in any business, but it might make you a little nervous. Those feelings are normal as you are entering new territory. The fact that you are considering scaling up should always mean that you have found a market or method that is working in your business. The reason why is because when you have a new idea to attract customers, you must carry out a full project plan including detailed costings and proposed income. You never scale up until you have a proven model that fulfils your key performance indicators.
First, you must carry out comprehensive research to back up your proposal. Is there any competition? Remember, competition is good, not bad. What is the market size? Are there any proven statistics to back it up? What are the risks? How can you minimise them? What resources do you need? Plan out the workflow and timetable. Crunch the numbers based on as much factual information as possible.
When you’re ready, start testing with small amounts of investment. I cannot emphasise how important management information is, especially the detail, so drill down as far as possible.
If say, for example, you are doing internet advertising using two methods, ensure that you can identify without a doubt the stats coming from each method. These might include the number of leads by URL, qualified leads, sales made, income generated, cost of adverts, and return on investment.
Once you have proven stats only then should you scale up, doing everything in bite-size chunks while ensuring each process is scaled accordingly. You often find you have to scale some resource areas, but others will have the capability to grow or be reorganised.
Remember to be consistent. Don’t get complacent and think you have made it because you had a few good months, as there are always threats out there. Do the simple things right every time without fail, just in case.
Remain focused, measure everything in detail, and as soon as a key performance indicator falls out of line, do something about it. The odd blip is fine, but anything more than that and you need to act.
Having built and sold my SME, I now work with SMEs. I understand their model by embedding myself in the senior management team so I feel the heartbeat of the business. All areas are covered, but the four questions that we work on solving are: How do I grow my business?, How do I achieve client excellence?, How do I make more profit?, and Does my business model deliver?
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