Scaling a business is not about growth. It is about magnifying your business and stretching it beyond the comforts of your current structure. It is about 200% growth, bonuses, promotions, and moving from a “pat on the head” level of success to enterprise juggernaut. Scaling a business is about allowing the business to operate on its own and not be overly dependent on you.
Whether you are a product manager, marketing director, or owner of a small business, it can be assumed that achieving some sort of scalability is desired. In other words, if you could grow the sales of your specific product exponentially or double the size of your business within a year, you would feel pretty good about yourself.
The challenge, though, is that scaling a business or a product does not come easily and most likely does not rely on the concepts that have been utilized in the industrial age. In fact, many of the assumptions that have been used throughout the information age and even by many companies today no longer provide the opportunity to scale.
According to the noted blogger and entrepreneur, Patrick Betdavid, scaling a business does not follow the recipe that most of us implement. He believes that we cling to this ideal around product quality and personality that ultimately limits our ability to grow our businesses by leaps and bounds.
Consider his idea that most executives believe that having a “game-changing” product is the key to long-term prosperity. Betdavid would suggest that products of all kinds have become a commodity and are easily replicated or outdated at a moment’s notice. The theory that the best product is the key ingredient for scalability is long past due.
Brand or branding personality tend to be a popular concept in creating sustainability. Quite honestly, building a following and having a personality that resonates with that community should be considered the key objective of any business wanting to achieve scalability. However, Betdavid reminds us that simply having a great personality is not something that sustains.
There are plenty of salespeople in this world that have charm and magnetism, but without substance and hard work, charm can get old pretty quickly. Therefore, having the best products or an amazing personality may increase the chance of scaling your business, but they are not the most critical components.
According to Betdavid, your systems are the most important factor in helping you scale. This means that having a process that is efficient and tireless can support all the business that a great product or personality can provide. A solid system allows you to work “on” the business and not just “in” the business.
Certainly, your products must be high quality and your brand and who you stand for is critical to long-term sustainability. But, the systems you have in place and your unrelenting commitment to them are the only things that will allow you to scale the business and cook up the results you desire.