The Growth Checklist: Do These Things Before You Scale

It is a great feeling to experience growth. Seeing the results of your idea grow and flourish can be incredibly rewarding.

After that initial surge, small business owners and executives have to determine what happens next. You can decide to follow a more typical growth model or opt to scale. A general growth model encourages adding resources at a similar rate as new business or clientele. Alternately, a scaling model attempts to add minimal resources while increasing profitability, thereby, scaling occurs rapidly at a compound rate.

On the surface, scaling seems like a great idea. Add few resources to the company and become the next Google. However, there is an important checklist to follow to in order to properly “scale,” as the model requires both new skills and a different approach to managing.

First, management is critical. Small businesses need to be able to trust their managers to make the correct hiring and business-growth decisions. During the early stages of a company, an owner can hand-pick each employee and provide proper mentoring. As a company begins to scale, the company will need to hire at a much more rapid rate and it may be difficult to be as involved in the hiring process. Proper managers are critical to ensure that new hires fit the organization’s culture and continue to advance the company. One way to ensure that managers have the necessary tools to implement a strong work culture is through in-house training.

Second, standardization of day-to-day operations creates efficiencies. As a company grows, leaders may want to encourage creativity and resist standard procedures. However, standard processes are necessary to maximize productivity as the organization develops. It is also critical to have policies in place that properly protect the company and represent the culture you want to cultivate.

Third, focus on internal strength once there is a bigger team in place. One problem that can occur as a company scales is that there are too many moving parts. There are multiple departments and/or divisions, and each has to work with the other. Strong internal policies can help prevent internal mistakes from occurring.

Finally, consult business and legal advisors regularly. These trusted partners can provide insight to an owner or executive that they might not already possess. Legal advisors can be critical in creating and developing important practices, ensuring your company has the proper contracts, and can assist in each aspect of scaling.

A company at the cusp of scaling is in a great position for future success. Following this checklist will help you to set your business up to achieve those results.

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