Scaling your business requires leveraging your resources to gain maximum results with proportionally less effort. The results include faster growth, higher profits and a more sellable company (should you want to sell).
Have you scaled your business? Do you want to? This is a goal for most business owners, but many don’t understand what’s involved or even what’s possible.
Scaling isn’t easy, especially for service companies. However, it is achievable with the right mindset and strategy. But there are misleading assumptions about scaling a service business that may stop you in your tracks. Here are three assumptions that you must first overcome:
Assumption #1: Scaling only applies to “product” companies
There’s no doubt that manufacturing and distribution businesses can scale to gain a competitive advantage. Think Henry Ford and the advent of the assembly line or Amazon.com through their superior technology and marketing.
Service companies can scale too by building strong/repeatable processes that are consistently delivered by well-trained/capable people. This is the magic behind scaling a service-based business.
Assumption #2: Automation is key to scaling
This has been a universal belief in business circles for decades. And though it is true, automation is a key factor in scaling some businesses, it’s not applicable to most – especially professional services.
For service companies, again, what’s more critical is having strong processes in place. If automation is the icing on the cake, your processes are the cake! Strong/consistent processes are what enable service-based businesses to scale.
Then you can add pertinent technology/automation, such as CRM systems (the icing), to help leverage your path to scaling.
But remember, process without automation can lead to scaling, but automation without process can be a recipe for chaos.
Assumption #3: You can’t scale “people”
You may not literally be able to scale your people, but if you get the right people in the right seats and train them well on good processes, you have essentially scaled their ability to deliver consistent results.
Service companies rely on human capital more than their manufacturing counterparts. Here, the opportunity to scale is embedded in your ability to implement great processes through the right people that sit in the right seats.
Pulling it all together
My wife and I regularly frequent several different restaurants that are part of the Great American Restaurant group. All their brands offer good food, reasonably priced, with exceptional service. We’re loyal because our experience is consistently great. Even on the rare occasion when something goes wrong, they’re proactive in making it right. Nothing feels random, nor does it feel too rigid. Their servers and staff are well trained, authentic and inviting. They hire good people and train them well on solid proven processes. They pay attention to the details and it shows!
Great American has grown from a 16-table pizza joint in 1974 to 9 distinct brands at 13 different locations with estimated annual revenue of $54M (Hoovers). They continue to scale by creating and leveraging great processes in combination with a culture that attracts great people (voted top workplace for several years in a row).
Consistent core processes will help you scale your employee’s ability to deliver great results along with systemizing key pieces of your business, such as: Operations, Marketing, Sales, Human Resources and Accounting.
Combine good process with clarity around Accountability and you’re on your way to scaling your service business and the freedom and success that goes with it!
If you would like to learn more about scaling your business contact us for a free consultation.
11710 Plaza America Drive, Suite 2000 Reston, VA 20190