Scaling a business is tough, especially, if you don’t have the right fundamentals. People who’ve achieved great success in business owe their success to mastering the fundamentals, deep understanding of the market, customers and execution. While it takes countless factors to make a business successful, here are the most important ones to scale & grow your business. These factors are chosen by an elite group of successful entrepreneurs who’ve built businesses with at least $10M in recurring revenue every year.
1. Sales Automation
Sales is to business what oxygen is to humans. A business that has a recurring source of revenue is the basic need for a scalable business. More importantly for a business to be scalable, it has to bring in revenue with a repeatable process.
The foundation of a strong company lies in its repeatable sales processes. According to HBR, “50% of high-performing sales organizations admit having “closely monitored, strictly enforced or automated” sales processes.” The way to sustainable revenue and growth lies in automating and closely tracked sales processes. It enables sales teams to excel, contribute and rake in consistent revenue for the company.
The HBR study further revealed “48% of under-performing organizations have non-existent or informal sales processes.” The companies that rely on the brilliance of individual salesperson over standard processes tend to lose out in the long run.
2. Leverage Partnerships
A successful business is built on key relationships with customers, vendors, employees, management and the investors. The ability of a business to build and forge partnerships makes a difference to its fortunes. Scalable companies understand the levers needed to create a solid business. Identifying the right partners is important, it also involves saying no to partners & clients that don’t add real value to your business.
Your company can leverage great partnerships to scale and grow your business. The best companies come up with creative ways to distribute its products/services and win customers. Whether it is the channel partnerships with distributors in key geographies or the way employees contribute to the overall growth of the company, partnerships matter.
3. Processes & Systems
The key aspects of a company like its sales, marketing, hiring employees, training, customer onboarding, support and building products/services etc. has a strong bearing on the business. When the company follows repeatable processes and has systems in place for most disciplines, it becomes easier to build a scalable business.
The automation and business management tools are often used by businesses for streamlining processes. Without processes and systems, the consistency of deliverables and business remains a question mark. This is more so when things change and are in a state of constant flux. When processes are well defined, it could be a tad easier for teams to cope with the changes. However, when things are not documented, automated and structured, things can go downhill very quickly.
Even in organisations that need constant innovations, new ideas and experimentation, structured processes are always helpful. They provide a framework for people to follow and structure their work accordingly.
4. Talent Pool
The businesses of the digital world are driven by ideas, enterprise and execution capabilities of their teams. Talent is a hot commodity in business. When employees have the freedom to choose, is there a reason for them to stay with your business? The best companies provide reasons for employees to stay with them and build great products/services. It creates a win-win opportunity for employees and the business.
Good talent pool that has the ability to build superior products/services is a differentiator. Ideas often fail, products/services become obsolete, but the quality of the talent pool can provide resilience to a business. Talented individuals who share a common goal are a great asset for a business.
5. Market Opportunities
The fate of any business is dictated by the market. Great companies build a market share that helps them grab a lion share of the customers. They are thoughtful and pragmatic in their approach. They answer questions such as:
Is your product or service unique?
Who are your competitors?
What is the size of your market?
What is your pricing model compared to your competitors?
Is the market ready for your product/service?
Are there new entrants that can take away your market?
To scale and grow your business, you have to find convincing answers to these questions. The approach and answers to the questions may change with time. Scalable businesses find ways to improve themselves to grab a bigger market share.
6. Sustainable Innovations
Scalable businesses are built on innovations that customers are willing to pay for. Innovations are the best way to differentiate your business. The best businesses master the art of generating new ideas on a regular basis, they learn and master the art of executing these ideas.
The innovations help a business create more compelling products/services. The features, usage of technology, simplification of workflows for the customers, designs, superior support systems and automation are some of the areas for businesses to innovate. Companies that come up with innovations that solve problems for customers often end up leading their industries.
7. ROI Capabilities
ROI for a business is often a strong indicator of its ability to scale. A company that doesn’t provide great ROI will rarely attract capital. There are exceptions like FB, Google, Amazon in their early days, but most businesses are built on strong ROI since their early days.
The ROI capabilities of a business can be assessed by its execution capabilities. For scaling and growing a company, profitability is a valuable metric. It has become a buzzword again after the Corona pandemic. It indicates the efficient use of capital to grow and capitalise on the opportunities. The digital business gives companies many pathways to optimise their revenue to reach their customers innovatively, use resources more productively and build stronger businesses that benefit the community on a large scale.
ROI can be calculated for investments related to fixed assets, employees, sales & marketing, overall revenue and returns from a business in a given time period. SaaS product companies and technology driven businesses often provide great ROI, attracting the capital to rapidly scale & grow your business.