Scalability: The Art Of Growing Your Business (infographic)

Between 2015-2017, startups created $2.3 trillion in totally value, showing how valuable and innovative the modern small business really is. Of these growing operations, 88% of small business owners say they are looking to scale up in the next year, but how many of them have the tools to do so?

While scalability won’t grow your business over night, it will give your business plenty of room to grow with efficient systems that keep profit margins high during periods of growth. Unfortunately, for businesses with ten or fewer employees, scalability is a challenge. Even when faced with a slightly increased workload, small businesses simply cannot keep up, especially when the influx of work also increases operating costs. Your business likely isn’t scalable if:
  • Internal systems aren’t designed to grow
  • Operating costs rise as sales increase
  • You’re still doing everything yourself
As the ability of a business to adapt, grow, and upgrade, scalability means you’re ready for more customers, managing more data, and handling an increased market demand. On an interpersonal level, business leaders set in their ways of controlling decisions, managing every department, and solving small problems stifles scalability and shrinks project scopes. Some of the greatest threats to scalability are also among the challenges that small business frequently face.
  • 50% struggle with hiring new employees
  • 48% have issues increasing profits
  • 38% have a serious cash flow problem
Fast-growing small businesses are two times as likely to invest in hiring, but 34% have yet to make their first hire. When we try to make all the decisions on our own, and particularly for business people, decision fatigue can set in. Making choices, both large and small, demands mental energy - and too many decisions will leave those reserves depleted which in turn affect future decisions, often for worse. In this matter, scalability comes at the price of total control, as smart managers understand the tremendous value in trusting competent individuals to manage daily decisions, instead of managing them all on one's own.
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Typically in small business, employees present a problem while the owner finds a solution, but in truly scalable operations, employees have the tools and knowhow to develop these solutions on their own. Giving up arbitrary control of daily decisions will leave business leaders free to focus on the bigger picture and that’s exactly what scalability is all about. Once “power” is relinquished the energies of CEO can be put to better use, furthering the influence of scalability. When resources are tight and talent is short, smart business leaders play to their strengths by outsourcing; 54% of small businesses outsource graphic and web design and 14% outsource their marketing and public relations.
  • Marketing - hire freelance writers to create and publish content that promotes your brand and business
  • Finances - hire outside bookkeepers and payroll services to streamline essential operations and avoid mistakes 
  • Generally, look to outsourcing for tasks beyond your or your team’s expertise and only pay for what you need.
Measuring the scalability of a business requires an honest look at the whole of the operation. Ask how money flows through the business and if there are enough reserves to sustain a period of growth, and identify just how much increased demand it will take to increase operating costs. Check in with your customers; are they happy, do they come back for more, and how does your business attract new ones? Finally, be there for your team and address responsibilities and expectations, and take a look at your own daily tasks for what to delegate.

Scalability is a moving target, but being flexible enough will help you hit it every time. Take a look at this infographic for more on the art and science of scalability and how to know when it’s time to scale up.

The Art & Science of Scalability [Infographic]
Scalability - The Art Of Growing Your Business (infographic)
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