Whether you run a service or manufacturing business, you’ve no doubt dealt with a situation in which you were receiving more demand than you could deal with. It’s a common problem for small businesses: a lack of supply due to poor scalability. Any business, from service companies like consultancies to manufacturers, can grow and scale effectively with the right strategy. However, many companies fail to put an effective scaling strategy into place, hindering their long-term growth.
This results in what we’ve described above: paralysis when your company runs into greater demand than it can deal with. The key to overcoming this is creating scalable systems for your business to use to deal with the demand side of its growth.
In this blog post, we’ll share three tips that you can use to create scalable system for your business that allow you to deal with increases in demand, fluctuations in your company’s revenue and other common scalability issues businesses face.
Systematize everything you can.
Every aspects of your business, from how to deal with a new order to contacting a customer to alert them to their account’s status, should be systematized. Having a system for everything lets your business run smoothly in any situation.
Document processes for everything your company does, no matter how basic the specific task may seem. Having a system for everything allows you to rapidly hire new people and immediately put them into a role without excessive training.
Since the system is already prepared, moving people within your company – or, in the case of growth, taking on new people to fill new roles – becomes a far less time-consuming process than it otherwise would be.
Systematizing everything allows your business to scale rapidly, even when it runs into what would normally be a paralyzing surge in demand. With the right system, you can scale operations via rapid hiring or the use of independent contractors.
Hire before the need to hire arises.
The key to dealing with growth is hiring before you need to hire. Many businesses make the mistake of only hiring when it’s absolutely necessarily, robbing them of the chance to carefully screen applicants and hire the most qualified person.
Hiring before you need to lets you test applicants thoroughly and find someone that fits into your company’s culture and meets its requirements. It also provides a great deal of extra space for your company, albeit at a small expense.
Companies that grow rapidly tend to do so with a core team of highly competent and driven people “running the system.” Hire in advance and you’ll never have problems creating systems to scale your business, no matter how rapidly it grows.
Hire both employees and contractors.
Both full-time employees and independent contractors will play an important role in your company’s growth. Hiring people on a permanent and contractual basis allows your business to enjoy the combination of loyalty and flexibility it needs to grow.
A good strategy for hiring is to think of positions as being part of designing a system or operating the system. Employees design and manage aspects of your company’s growth and fulfillment system, while contractors can help operate the system.
While simplistic, this strategy is a great guiding principle to keep in mind when your company needs to hire new people to deal with rapid changes in demand. Since your business already has everything systematized, bringing in contractors is simple.
Is your company as scalable as it could be?
Even service companies can become scalable enterprises with the right focus on the use of systems. By turning everything into a repeatable process, you can scale your company to extents that you may have previously thought to be impossible.
If your company is struggling to grow or feeling crushed under demand, ask yourself a simple question: “Is your company as scalable and systematized as it could be?”