Planning to Scale

It’s easy to think of scaling your business as something that just happens. That if you hit a certain milestone, all of a sudden your business will start scaling. And to a certain degree that can happen, but it really does take some planning and a structure for scaling your business to be energetically and financially sustainable.

Spoiler alert: Going viral, tripling your income, and burning out isn’t the same thing as scaling. Neither is growing your revenue without growing your profit margin (aka allowing your expenses to grow, too).

Truly scaling your business – as in increasing your revenue, profit, AND freedom – happens more smoothly, and with less stress, when you actually prepare for it. And thankfully, that’s something you can very simply bake right into your existing processes.

Here are 5 things you can do to prepare to successfully scale your business.

1. Get a project management tool.

We talk a lot about project management and its tools inside Scale Society (my small-group program for soul-centred entrepreneurs) and consulting calls. But only because they are SO important to setting your business up for scaling success.

Getting your planning model, processes, projects, and even brainstorming out of your brain and into a central location will help it happen faster.

You’ll spend less energy recalling the next steps and more time implementing.

All the details you need will be in one place.

And new hires will be able to find what they need in order to help you accomplish your goals.

If you can’t get into a project management tool then find a good planner. I used the Full Focus Planner for a couple of years before I finally committed to my project management tool of choice, Teamwork Projects.

Whatever you use, the key is to just stop relying on your brain and random bits of paper as your planning model.

You can learn more about choosing the right project management tool here.

2. Track your time.

A 2-week time study, in which you write down what you do every 15 minutes for 2 weeks, is an objective and invaluable tool when it comes to determining who your next hire should be.

Beyond that, regularly tracking your time will help you pinpoint trends, see where you might want to automate or schedule, and find new opportunities to delegate…without the emotional factor that so many business owners use to make decisions. 

It also gives you another way to make decisions in your business. For example, you consider signing up for a paid social media tool you just learned about in your mastermind. But will it give you a better ROI than hiring a VA do X, Y, and Z? Your time study gives you a way to measure the value of a monthly membership fee versus time spent.

Pro tip: When you start tracking your time, don’t judge how you’re spending it. Just know you’re doing it for you. It’s just more information that will help you accomplish your goals.

3. Focus on solving current problems, not future ones.

That’s not to say that you don’t pay attention to or acknowledge future problems. It just means that most of your energy is going to go towards solving the current problem.

For example, many people I work with want to increase their lead generation, so they commit to reworking their lead magnet. But before they actually do it, some think, “More leads will lead to more customers, which will lead to more customer service. So maybe I need to work on that first.”

But that’s a future problem. Let that be a future problem. Identify the current problem, which may be that your lead generation is underperforming, and work on that.

4. Take your time.

Soul-centred entrepreneurs are often enthusiastic about their clients, their clients’ problems, and how to solve them. It’s no wonder that we often jump into action before actually taking some time to analyze the course of action we’re about to take.

Deadlines and enthusiasm are great, but don’t let them override your due diligence to your business.

If you receive a proposal with a due date that doesn’t work for you, you can always politely ask for an extension. Don’t ever feel like you have to rush a business decision because of someone else’s made-up deadline.

Sometimes, we’ll skip the analysis before making a decision because it’s just plain difficult. Again, take your time and lean into your team and support resources to help you make the best decision for your business.

If you don’t have time now, you definitely won’t have time when it all goes to pot.

Pro tip: wherever you feel rushed, that’s usually a good sign of where you actually should slow down. Continuing in a rushed state is a good way to miss steps, overlook a process, or accidentally break your systems. And that could lead to an even longer delay fixing the problem than it would’ve taken to slow down in the first place.

5. Assess everything regularly.

When it comes to assessing your business you’ve got a lot of options.

Some businesses prefer to assess their business by department. If you have a small team, you might want to hear everyone’s assessment of each department, or focus on how each person is performing/enjoying/etc. their role. Some people prefer to let KPI numbers and revenue tell the story and make decisions from there.

However you decide to do it, as long as it gives an overview of your ENTIRE business, it should suffice.

The method I prefer is the 5 Core Functions of a Business by Alex Charfen: lead generation, nurture, delivery, conversions, and retention/upsell. I like to include a sixth function — people. I like to check in to make sure things are working for the team so we can identify issues and make improvements as needed.  

As you rate each of the functions of your business, you’ll notice that as one area increases, another area will decrease. And that’s okay. Part of owning a business is responding to what your business needs. It’s not meant to stay static.

When you make assessments quarterly, this gives you a good idea of what to focus on each quarter, and keeps your business tuned-up and working smoothly.

And before you know it, you’re scaling. Literally.

To learn more about how to prepare your soul-centered business for sustainable growth, check out Scale Society, my six-month, small group program that will help you create the unique foundation your business needs to scale from 5 to 6 to 7 figures.

Get on the waitlist for Scale Society here.

Meet your host

Sandra Booker, Founder of Changemaker Inc. (home to Sidekick COO and The VA Studio) and creator of Scale Society and The Advisory Board, is a mentor, Fractional COO  and growth strategist. She specializes in helping overworked, overwhelmed, multi-hatted entrepreneurs become the CEOs of sustainably scalable, and powerfully profitable businesses. 

After helping local businesses thrive, and receiving accolades in her community (like the 40 Under 40 award) Sandra turned her attention to the world of online service providers, and her clients include familiar names like Chanti Zak, Tarzan Kay, and Laura Belgray.

In her (efficiently used) spare time, she teaches others how to build and grow their own 6-figure virtual assistant practices and is on a mission to create a million jobs by helping her clients and students scale their businesses.

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