In this article, we’re giving you 10 tips for scaling a business in 2022 and beyond.
How to scale a startup business
1. Set S.M.A.R.T goals
We spoke about this in relation to successful marketing campaigns, but S.M.A.R.T goals work in all areas of your business.
By having clear, achievable goals that are measurable and targeted to move you forward, you’ll be able to see if it is in fact time to scale your business or not. Use your goals to guide you in your decision-making.
Do you need to bring in resources? Do you need to adapt your current framework?
2. Build a flexible team
When the time comes to extend your team, a flexible option will save you both time and money.
Full-time hires (although beneficial) are expensive and commitment heavy at the beginning, and as a startup, that’s a daunting prospect.
A flexible team allows for movement and changes, and even better, a remote team gives you access to talent anywhere in the world.
We’re advocates of remote working here at Design Force, which is why our dedicated design teams are structured to give you the ultimate flexibility as your needs change. If you’re not sure how to manage a remote team, we wrote an ebook on it.
3. Promote a great company culture
The people you bring on board will undoubtedly shape the future of your company.
It’s vital to bring in teams and individuals that share the vision, understand the direction, and work well together as a team. You need fast learners and those that are willing to adapt and react quickly to the ever-changing needs your scaling business has.
Ensure you’re hiring process takes personality and work ethic into account, and your system offers space for team bonding, social activities, and recognition of achievements.
When people work well together, can trust each other, and enjoy their working environment, you’ll get higher quality results and boosted productivity. We also covered our strategy for always finding the right people and building a great culture in our ebook!
4. Make communication paramount
Easeful communication is one of the most vital tips for scaling a business. If wires get crossed or information is missed, things can fall apart quickly.
To keep operations running smoothly, create systems where your teams, freelancers, contractors, investors, or anyone else can stay in the loop on information they need to know, when they need to know it.
It’s easy to get caught up in the speed and excitement of scaling a business, but communicating what you need to the right people (and allowing your teams to easily communicate with each other) will reduce mistakes, missed budgets or costly delays.
5. Invest in the right tools
Systems and processes should be as streamlined as possible in order to scale with less headache, and choosing the right tools will help you achieve that.
From project management to finances, design workflows to simple conversation, there are tools and programs designed to keep things in check.
Tools allow you to see the bigger picture, and keep track of progress all the way down to the smallest tasks.
A word of caution here, while it’s good to test out different tools to see what suits you best, don’t waste too much time debating between them. It’s how you use the tools that counts, not the tool itself.
6. Get the marketing top-notch
To build a customer base, prove product-market fit and develop an irresistible brand, you need to tap into the right marketing channels armed with high-quality design.
Because high-quality, strategic and user-friendly design will help make what you offer a no-brainer within your target market.
A great experience is a powerful thing. Invest in the best UX and UI design you can and your customers will do the rest.
If you’re not a designer and don’t have the capacity to hire full-time support, flexible, dedicated design teams like Design Force can offer a zero-risk solution to help you look your very best.
7. Understand your essential skills
What are the key metrics that are essential to your growth? This will be slightly different depending on the sector you’re in, but knowing this will help you prioritize your teams and your focus.
Do you need to increase logistics? Or scale up your marketing? Perhaps you need to increase your customer support team because your sales are going up and more people are contacting you.
Look for the bottlenecks that could slow things down, and work on them first.
8. Encourage feedback
Much like great communication is an essential tip for scaling a business, feedback is hugely beneficial, too.
What you may think is going well may be causing an issue within a team. What one team may think is a strong idea, another may find flawed.
Ask your teams for their input and look for gaps you can work on. The foundations are what hold the business together, so don’t let any cracks widen past the point of return.
9. Listen to your teams
If you’re scaling the teams within your organization, remember that a high skill level doesn’t always mean management skills. You may have a senior designer whose work deserves a promotion, but they may not be best suited to managing the team of juniors you’re planning on recruiting.
The key to scaling success is to keep your talent happy, appreciated, and fulfilled. Don’t force them to take on roles they’re not excited about, it’ll only come back to bite you.
10. Scaling sometimes means restructuring
There’s a common theme running through all of these small business startup tips: flexibility.
Things move fast in the startup world and it’s important that you adapt and react to the need. If you’re looking to bring more people into the company, don’t be afraid to refine your org charts and define your roles as you grow.
When you’re first starting out, one person may wear multiple hats, but as you scale, these roles should become more streamlined and more specific.
It’s okay if you need to remove elements, roles, and processes if it aligns with your goals. Scaling is not always about adding and expanding.
Want access to the flexible, scalable and cost-effective design teams we mentioned? We’d be happy to talk it through with you and help you scale to new (beautifully designed) heights.