In the competitive arena of business, there’s one metric that clearly stands out as a measure of success: growth. Whether you’re a Fortune 500 company beholden to the stock market and public opinion or a bootstrapped startup trying to break into a market, there’s consistent pressure for business to achieve growth. And not just any growth, scalable growth. Figuring out how to scale your company is like solving a riddle.
In fact, I’d argue that scalable growth is even more essential for small businesses and startups. They are often competing on razor-thin margins and don’t have war chests of cash to tap into on a rainy day – like, say, market volatility because of a global pandemic. Before you can truly address your scalability, you have to have a clear differentiator for your business to provide real value. Once your company is starting to build its growth engine, create raving-fan customers, and you’ve proven the product (or service) market fit – you’re ready to scale.
But, what is scaling?
In simple terms, achieving scalable growth comes down to increasing your revenue faster than your costs. In practice, however, “scaling” is often much more complex to get right. It’s important to keep in mind that there is no one-size-fits-all blueprint to scale your business. You’re going to have to take a strategic look at your company and your business processes, as well as get a clear vision on the execution of scaling tactics, all while remaining effective and efficient.
As you implement your chosen methods, you’ll recognize that figuring out how to scale your company is the result of a plethora of small actions that turn into exponentially larger actions. And I really mean exponential. Scaling is, in a sense, exponential growth without creating bloated costs. One tangible example might be the ability to reach a rapidly-increasing number of people on your digital marketing channels (blog, website, or social media), at all times, without increasing the marketing costs associated with your increased productivity. Not an easy feat, to say the least.
Now, here are a few key metrics to scale your company that might help you hone in on the right areas to focus.
Metrics to scale your company effectively
As mentioned, every business owner – including those on the INC 5000 fastest-growing list – at some point has to move past what’s obvious and dig deeper if they want to scale their company. Similarly, you hopefully know by now that if you aren’t measuring it, you can’t grow it, so pay attention to these metrics:
- Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) – The total cost associated with getting one new customer.
- Lifetime Customer Value (LCV) – The predicted value of a customer over their time using your product. This metric can be critical to businesses focusing on the right outcomes for scalability.
- Month over Month (MoM) Growth Rate – Your business should be measuring either your revenue or customer growth (or both) per month and aim high to push your limits.
- Conversion Rate – Simply put, the percentage of potential customers that become your actual customers.
Executing your scalable growth strategy
Low effort, high value. CAC, LCV, and other key metrics. Either this sounds too easy, or completely confusing, right? You’re probably thinking that, for these reasons, it’s is why it’s usually tech or tech-based companies that have the ability to scale. Not true, though – let’s break down what it means to scale your company and how businesses manage to reach scalable growth.
- Utilizing the correct marketing
Emails, digital advertisements, social media – all forms of low effort, high-value marketing. That doesn’t mean they’re easy – it just means you put in the same amount of effort no matter how large or small your target audience is. The right strategy will lower your customer acquisition cost (CAC). Sending an email takes the same amount of time no matter if it reaches one or one million people.
For SaaS (Software as a Service) companies and other highly-scalable companies, the biggest cost isn’t necessarily new customers, but the cost of getting their attention. Again, this is your CAC and it is the key metric that impacts scaling prospects. This is why effective digital marketing is so important.
2. Learn to let go
Scaling has a lot to do with efficiency, and often that means optimizing teams for tasks. It’s tempting as a business owner or entrepreneur to try and do everything yourself. You know exactly how you want it done, right? But realistically, there’s no way you can manage everything. Sometimes you have to let go of tasks and trust your team can get them done. Guide the company, don’t control it. This is why it’s important to build a team with the same intrinsic values as you – this builds a positive company culture early on. Hire people that complement your strengths and fill in your weaknesses.
3. Think big, but not broad
Especially when it comes to getting investment and scaling, you need to NOT have your eggs in too many baskets. Not to discourage wild ideas, just make sure they’re reined in enough to keep you aimed at initiatives that move your business forward. Focus on the specifics that encourage efficient growth before you try to tackle other areas – scalable ideas have specific markets and tackle specific problems. Trying to solve too many at once can divert focus and confuse consumers, clients and investors.
4. Develop a system
Again, efficiency is key. Start identifying what you do repeatedly and hone in on how you can make the process of building that content, producing those outcomes, or scheduling those sales calls more efficient. Creating processes for everything will organically create more efficiency for you, your team and your company, even if they seem trivial or tedious at the beginning. Consistency is key, and this way, you can refine everything along the way.
5. You have to want it
Like, really want it. This might some really obvious, but you can’t get cold feet. Similarly, you can’t commit to growth of any kind without being ready and willing to put in the effort. And seriously, it’s a lot of effort and chasing wild ideas. If you’re not willing to dream big (a cliche, I know) then you’re not going to be a successful company by any means or metrics. You’ve got to be willing to fail, too, which is even harder. You have to be open to criticisms and to change things that you liked. It’s how it works. Scaling means efficiency, and if you’re trying to get to that point, you have to cut off fluff and corners.
Scaling is definitely a lot to think about. Taking massive imperfect action towards your goals for scalability is your best option. If you fail, fail fast and learn from it, so you can do it better next time. You may even surprise yourself. Find your community. And don’t worry too much, either. All the hard work creating an efficient, scalable growth engine for your company is a lot to process, but the rewards for you and your team will be infinitely worth the effort you put in.
And if you need help? That’s what we’re for. Schedule a tour of our space and learn about all the opportunities for growth Tabbris has to offer.