When Steve Wozniak, the Apple co-founder, says “I’m a big fan of companies like Nextiva”, you sit and listen. Nextiva is a hyper-growth cloud communications company that works with brands like Amazon, Cisco, Panasonic, and Taco Bell. And because they do know what growth means, we’ve invited them to write an article on the topic for the Colibri blog.
As a manager or business owner, you want to see sustained year-over-year growth. Achieving that growth is hard. Most of the time, you need to get customers from a competing firm for your business to scale. You can be sure your competitors are doing everything they can to retain their market share.
Yet despite the hardship, most growth strategies follow proven models. This guide will discuss five approaches you should explore if you want to scale your business quickly. Read on to learn more.
1. Make Decisions Based On Data
When scaling, your overall success will depend on the decisions you make. The right decisions will boost your track, while the wrong ones will set your efforts back.
The key to good decision-making is relevant data. Data can help you get new customers and teach you how to engage your current customers. Luckily, getting data these days isn’t that complicated.
Google Analytics and Mouseflow show you how your customers move through your funnel. These tools show you user bounce rate, how their web sessions go, and as much information they can make available. Although when you need info from an offline audience, you should hire professional market analysts.
Consumer information is not the only data available online. You can also find information on economic conditions and weather forecasts. In addition, local news, authority blogs, and government pages are excellent sources for information that may influence your decisions.
2. Ask For Help When You Need It
A vital part of the entrepreneurial spirit is the can-do attitude. It’s the secret to having confidence in your ability. But this strong-willed spirit may have you feeling alone in chasing your ambition.
Understand that there is no harm in asking for help, and many start-up founders have admitted to asking for help.
Take Steve Job, for example. He’d asked an angel investor, Mike Markkula, to help him in the early days of Apple. Mike accepted his request and helped him oversee the development and release of the first Apple products.
In giving back, Steve Jobs mentored the founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, by teaching him how to build a focused and innovative team.
When you ask for help, it’s not admitting weakness. Instead, it’s acknowledging that you’re human, not omniscient or an AI machine. Do not let your pride or shyness get in the way of your business’s expansion.
Build your network, keep close contact with people who you admire and trust. And work on your relationship so that they’ll help you when you ask.
3. Avoid Cutting Corners To Save Money
When you cut corners, you compromise on your quality, values, and ethics. Scaling your business is not the time to cut corners. The road that seems easiest may entice you in a moment of desperation, and you may feel compelled to cut back on production costs by reducing quality— don’t do it.
That includes falsifying data to attract investors. Trust us; cutting corners has a higher chance of destroying your business than growing it. Many customer complaints and business scandals arise from companies cutting corners.
Here are two examples of companies that failed by trying to scale dishonestly.
Not too long ago, in 2020, a start-up, Nikola, was exposed for ‘faking it.’
Nikola and its CEO, Trevor Milton, had misrepresented their hydrogen-powered freight truck. They portrayed it as a completed project by releasing a video that showed it in motion. When in reality, they had pushed it down a hill to create that illusion.
This false project convinced General Motors to propose a partnership with them, and it was the perfect ruse until word got out. The CEO — Trevor Milton, resigned, and General Motors pulled out of the deal.
In the same 2020, there was also the Wirecard scandal.
Former CEO of Wirecard, Markus Braun, believed that his company had $2.1 billion to spare and began some charity construction. Unfortunately, this ill-informed decision led to the collapse of the company and a massive loss to its investors.
But the deception did not begin in 2020. Wirecard was a major fintech firm in Europe, and it held the public’s trust. That’s why it chose to expand and keep growing despite its CEO seeing its looming collapse.
Wirecard falsified data that made investors value it at $27billion and list it as one of the 30 members of the DAX stock exchange. Soon, they came under suspicion for fraud, and after investigation, auditors declared €1.9bn missing. These cumulative events made Braun resign as CEO and saw the inevitable collapse of Wirecard, with its stock crashing from $233 to $0.52 in less than one year.
These examples show that every action you take when scaling your business has an impact on your outcome. There’s no denying the power of hard work and integrity. Cutting corners would only be a colossal waste of time and effort. So, again, don’t do it.
4. Pay Attention To Your Customers
Customer acquisition is necessary to kickstart every business. But startup businesses thrive when customers patronize them repeatedly. That’s why one of the immediate problems you’ll tackle as a new company is market acceptance.
It’s necessary to create loyal customers. The way customers perceive you will influence their interactions with you business. And in a way, this perception can either make or break your business.
According to The Nielsen Company, 74 percent of consumers claim that word of mouth influences their buying decisions. As a result, many companies put in the effort to meet their customer’s needs.
Customers are your best critics. For example, you can carry out beta tests and sampling, alpha prototypes, or release early access products to understand how your products fare in the market. After which, you compile this feedback into a folder and share it across the board.
With active social listening and measuring business specific-data, you can gauge user experience and expectations with your products or services and use this feedback to guide your scaling decisions and processes.
Canva — the graphics and design software for amateurs — invested in active listening by implementing a visual graphics feedback widget. This development has allowed Canva to increase its services and scale as a remote collaboration tool for designers through user comments, feedback messages, and tags.
To ensure that they please their customers, Canva also integrated an in-app visual feedback tool. The tool allows users to send screenshots and annotations of in-app issues.
Since a happy customer has higher chances of becoming a brand advocate, ensure you keep customers at the fore of your thoughts.
5. Take Care Of Your Staff
While you focus on your customers, do not neglect the team that’ll help you scale the company. Your employees play a vital role in the public’s perception of you. When you’ve got a productive staff, you’ll scale faster than you thought possible. But if they aren’t effective, you might waste your resources.
Try to keep employee morale high as this will increase productivity.
Source: Research Gate
You can boost your staff’s morale by creating a conducive work environment, like making in-house communications swift or without lags. With unified communications, you can unify video and file sharing and boost team collaboration that ramps up productivity.
Also, provide your staff with adequate training to get them ready for scaling. Finally, while you’re at it, recognize every individual’s input to the business’s growth and offer non-financial incentives where and when possible.
If your employees believe that you value them, they’ll care about your vision and work towards it. But remember, showing your staff that you care is not the same as spoiling them into a state of laziness. Instead, create equilibrium, and your scaling dream will be a step closer to success.
Every business has its moments, and scaling yours can launch it to the next stage or set it further back. So yes, scaling up a business is anything but easy. We’ve already covered the essential things in this article, such as seeking mentorship from a successful business owner and being honest no matter the cost.
Whatever industry you find yourself in, you too can scale a business by leveraging the right strategies and putting in an insane amount of effort. Be smart, invest your money the right way, stick to a direct growth path, and you’ll achieve your goal of scaling up quickly.