Scaling Your Business – Part 2
- blog31 May 2020
This is the second part of a two-part article on Scaling Your Business. You may read the first part here – Scaling your Business – Part 1
As part of CorporateConnections Learning and Development initiatives, we organize regular workshops and talks on topics that help our members to grow personally and professionally. We are always looking out for subject-matter experts, gurus, mentors, and trainers who have a valuable lesson to share.
We recently conducted a webinar titled Scaling Your Business. I present to you the second part of an article outlining my take-aways from this very interesting and informative webinar.
The first part covers two elements of the Framework to Scale Your Business and in this part, we cover the remaining four
- Investing in ROI
- Customer Delight
- Technology Enablement
- Culture and Team
Scale means an increase in sales which means more customers buying larger volumes and this will be possible only with Customer Delight. Customer Satisfaction is for linear growth, for exponential growth you need to deliver Customer Delight. Learn what your customer really wants and then over-deliver on that.
Three pillars can help achieve customer delight: Empathize, Educate and Act. Understand your customer’s problems with an efficient feedback system. Educate the customers about the benefits they derive from your services and finally be there for the customer. Put your service promise in action.
An important consideration for a start-up is to have 25 good customers before starting to scale. Put in place a good system to manage customer journeys and the sales funnel.
Technology is an important component of your Scaling strategy and except for hardcore technology businesses, the role of technology as an enabler is a game-changer. Understand the different parts of the technology pyramid and empower your business with the right piece in the right measure.
Business Enabler: Allows you to conduct your business such as payment gateways, devices, ERP systems, internal tools.
Infrastructure Services: Help to operate your enterprise efficiently and secure it through protective firewalls, device and identity management solutions.
New Business Model: If your start-up is a technology-enabled idea such as Uber, or Airbnb, then technology makes it possible. While the primary product is not technology, but the service may not exist without a technology platform.
Global Reach: Technology allows you to scale across national boundaries with the help of communication, collaboration and cooperation. Satellite communications, 5G, and similar technologies expand your reach exponentially.
Investing in technology requires riding and at times anticipating the trends. You have to understand the benefits of data democratization, the implications of analysis and automation, know about machine learning and the future of robotics, AI as a Service, remote sensing and monitoring and what it means for Computing at the ‘Edge’
MEASUREMENTS AND KPIs
The rate of growth determines the scale, it could be linear or exponential and unless you measure what matters you may not know if you are moving or stagnating.
OKRs are gaining ground for monitoring performance and you need to put them in place. OKRs comprise an objective — a clearly defined goal — and one or more key results — specific measures used to track the achievement of that goal. Invented first by Intel, they were popularized by Google.
Use OKRs to measure technology, marketing, sales, production, logistics, finance, operations, process efficiency and customer delight.
A good framework to measure growth is Gartner Quadrant. Plot your current position on the Gartner Quadrant and then track your progress from a challenger to a leadership position.
The race for scaling is not a sprint, it is a marathon. Business leaders must keep this in perspective when making plans. You do not want to spend on your resources in the first mile when you are running the 26-mile marathon. Hence measuring your pace is important
CULTURE AND TEAM
Scaling can be impeded if your culture is not conducive to accept the challenges and changes that scale imposes. Similarly, your team must have a mindset to scale and be able to ride the bull as it surges.
It must truly have the culture of a high Pro Sports Team, that understand the need for performance and teamwork. It must be data-driven and highly aligned to the goal. The focus must be on the context of the situation and act accordingly without trying to be a controller and enforce hierarchies. Together the culture and the team decide whether the vision to scale can be accomplished or not.
To sum up, Scaling your Business begins with an ambition. You need an appetite for growth, it has to be part of your DNA because the race is not a sprint, but a marathon and what will keep you going is your everlasting vision and grit.
Growth may happen organically, but scaling requires a framework, and this framework has to be followed, revised and mastered over time. Consistency of effort and adherence to process is equally important.
I hope you found this summary useful and it adds fire to the fuel for Scaling your business. Look forward to comments, remarks and your own input on what works or does not for you.