Can a business add a lot of new customers at
high speed and keep costs down while maintaining quality?
If it sounds like a trick question, it’s
not—it’s what scaling is all about! Scaling, unlike the concept of
“growth,” means dramatically acquiring customers while keeping costs
steady. But if quality suffers in the process, a company is more likely to lose
customers than gain them.
At its essence, scaling is about becoming
better—more streamlined, less wasteful—not just bigger. A company that
successfully scales develops efficiencies that help it deliver product to more
customers without over-investing or sacrificing quality.
To ensure you win at the scaling game, make
sure you don’t lose quality in these essential areas:
Your plan. When you started your
company, you planned to stay in business for the long haul, not sell a few
products and close up shop. You set goals for the business, much like a captain
maps the seaways to the ship’s destination, marking the stops and landmarks
along the way.
Your short-term goals
got you to where you are today. If you intend to scale your production quickly,
you will need to plan for it proactively. Your plan will account for how you
will use your time and resources most effectively to support your growth.
Waiting for crisis mode—too much demand, not enough supply—is too late and will
inevitably lead to diminished product quality and dissatisfied customers.
Your people. In this high-growth
period, it might be tempting to put the majority of your focus on your
customers. But don’t forget to take care of your employees, too.
Invest in your
people. Give them the resources they need to be more productive, so as the
company scales, they can, too. If you don’t, you risk business burnout as your
employees become too overwhelmed to continue doing what made the business
deliver quality in the first place.
Help them focus.
Asking people to perform tasks for which they weren’t hired originally and
don’t have the skills or passion is a sure way to lose them.
Your time. Time is a precious
resource, especially if you’re the leader of your company. To scale and still
maintain quality means the business has to do everything right, not just
the things you have time to tackle. You have to decide what needs your
attention versus what is best left to others to handle.
When you only have so
much time and the business so many resources, you can look for areas to
outsource. When you outsource, not only are you freeing up your valuable time
to run the company, you are most likely getting daily tasks done at a lower
Functions that small
businesses typically choose to outsource include:
Your cashflow. When you’re
scaling fast, it’s tempting to start spending more money to support and fuel
that growth. Before you know it, you’ve invested in systems, equipment,
facilities and additional people that your business simply can’t support. Remember,
the key to scalability, is bringing in more than you’re incrementally spending.
Identify what drives your business (i.e., marketing, sales, product developent)
and focus your spending there.
fulfillment services to Ohio Valley Goodwill is a winning plan
Valley Goodwill’s Industrial Services Division has
partnered with some of the top brands in Greater Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky,
and Southeast Indiana to provide the operational efficiencies needed to scale
and maintain quality. We are a trusted fulfillment services resource with the
ability and knowledge to support efficiency and help reduce overhead costs. Our
skilled team offers extensive, hands-on experience to make a seamless
transition from in-house to off-site of your fulfillment services.
When your business
partners with our Industrial Services Division, not only do you gain a
cost-effective partner with decades of experience, but you also support the
Goodwill mission to provide meaningful employment to individuals with
disabilities. As a business leader in our region, your employees and customers
will know you have contributed to making Greater Cincinnati a more embracing
and equitable community. To learn more and take a free tour of our facilities,
please contact us today.