Andrei Petrik is the CEO and Co-founder of NetHunt CRM. His sole mission is to bring more productivity to your working day.
Once your company is through the startup phase and has gained its footing, the next natural step is scaling your business. This means reaching higher echelons of development and increasing profits. However, leaders of small and medium-sized businesses tend to make the same mistakes when attempting to scale their businesses.
You can’t see into the future, but you can be aware of what’s likely to come. For this article, I want to share several business rules I learned while scaling my own company. These rules might not be entirely nouvelle or unique, but they absolutely do work. They’ve been tested over time, with real-life experience.
1. Quantity And Quality
At some point during business growth, your leads, customers and orders will exceed your business’s capacity. Demand can outstrip supply without proper planning, so the first step in scaling your company is scaling your team.
You need to attract enough employees to satisfy business demand, but this is only half the job. To scale successfully, your business also needs to focus on the quality and training of new recruits. Finding a large number of talented new employees to fit your business can be tricky, as there are a lot of potential quirks in the process that will need to be followed up. But there are ways to ease the process.
First, all new employees should experience the same, extensive company onboarding period. This is their training, where they learn about processes within the company and come to understand their new responsibilities and expected results. Furthermore, it’s important to ensure that communication between departments and individuals is as smooth and seamless as possible. Make sure there isn’t a vacuum around new employees; they should be able to confidently start their new job with all the tools, information and support they need for success. Proper organization and distribution of information is essential to making sure new recruits can hit the ground running.
2. Delegation Over Control
At the start of our business journeys, we spend time putting out all sorts of fires ourselves. But as we progress, the growing number of fires becomes too much for one person. This is why it’s important to learn and master the skill of delegation.
I often hear the question, “How do I control the work of my team?” This is the wrong approach to take. As a company leader, I believe leaders should focus on achieving their company’s goals—the bigger picture. Manual control and micromanagement are incompatible with the bigger picture. It’s proven that employees are not more productive when you watch their every move. In fact, employees tend to find their manager’s excessive attention stressful and demotivating.
Let go of the reins—delegate tasks. You hired these people for a reason, so trust them to do the job correctly and in as much time as it takes. Managers should only need to get involved in individual processes when goals are not being met.
3. Understanding Reasons For Growth And Focusing On Profitable Areas
It’s essential to understand the driving factors behind business growth so you can know what does and doesn’t bring revenue to your business. Managers at the start of their scaling business can be under the illusion that they’re doing everything right. So long as they’re making more money, everything’s hunky-dory!
The problem is when they start to reinvest some of that money back into the business without knowing the ROI of the channel or market. If you haven’t experienced balanced growth before, then it’s hard to understand which sides of your business to scale. Reinvest new revenue into the right areas and channels that are profitable for your business. Make notes and reports of what works and what doesn’t, and refer back to these notes when reinvesting in the future.
4. Database Management Tools
You’re ready to scale, so it’s time to get rid of that spreadsheet and chuck your notebook in the bin. Business loves order, regardless of its size. During the active growth of a company, having a dedicated system for collecting, saving and organizing client data becomes a necessity.
Implementation of a customer relationship management (CRM) system significantly improves the quality of customer data, prevents lost opportunities and helps scale much faster. By introducing CRM to your business processes, your data becomes cleaner, more complete and better organized. This is beneficial both for the sales team and for the owner, as it gives a clear picture of what works and what needs to be improved. It’s also a transparent way to see overall business health.
5. Automation Of Processes
Nobody likes manual work—I don’t, you don’t and your employees definitely don’t. Too much leads to burnout, especially when that work multiplies as you scale your business. That’s why it’s worth automating and delegating repetitive processes like data entry, email follow-ups, lead distribution and chat replies. By automating these kinds of basic processes, you can save hours of valuable time and increase customer conversion rates. Use your humans on tasks that require human input, such as strategy development, creative ventures and real communication with customers.