5 Ways to Scale a Business That Seems Like It's Reached Its Limit
Any business can be made more efficient by using these proven methods.
Why do some companies grow constantly while others stay at the same level throughout their existence? If we imagine a business as a car, the difference is that the first ones, having reached the limit of possibilities, change the engine to a turbocharged one, fill in better fuel, hire top drivers and mechanics, lighten the structure and take the vehicle to a different track. The second ones keep pressing the gas pedal but do not change anything dramatically.
The situation with business scaling is quite similar. Over my years of entrepreneurship, I have highlighted several principles that helped me and my business partner create and grow all our companies united in TECHIIA holding.
Many years ago, as a CEO of my own company, I knew the whole working process and what each employee was doing — even the small details. After that, it was extremely difficult to delegate the management to another person.
Additionally, people grow used to coming to you for help. At least at first, they think that they will solve the problem with your help much faster, bypassing their manager.
This makes the delegation process more difficult. But sooner or later, the authority must be given. You need time to address strategic business-development tasks. And there are more such tasks at every point.
Ask yourself some important questions: “How much is my time worth? How much less will the business earn if instead of my work I do someone else’s?" Count your money.
Of course, there are burning cases. Clearly define what and when exactly you interfere and what you should leave for managers.
Moreover, how do you find people who can be trusted to manage? The most effective way is to raise self-sufficient employees with whom you share the same values. Over time, they can be turned into partners if they can manage and respect the team.
2. Enter new markets
Not only is it a way to stimulate business growth, but it's also a kind of insurance. Ask yourself what happens to your business if a financial or political crisis breaks out in the target market.
At one time, my partner and I learned that lesson the hard way. Then, we diversified our businesses so as not to depend on one country, currency, set of consumers or language group. It's increased the stability of our companies many times over.
There can be several strategies to implement in your business. The first one is to consider the closest neighboring countries with a similar culture so that the barriers to entry are not too high. Secondly, look at rich markets like the U.S. and Europe — but you will run into many competitors.
Many entrepreneurs pay attention to emerging markets such as Latin America. For example, in Brazil, active growth in the near future is predicted. Also, economic growth is predicted in the Middle East, North Africa, Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe.
3. Unite competencies
My partner and I had about ten business areas. In 2019, we united them into the international holding TECHIIA. A holding is, first of all, the unity of expertise — a way to strengthen each other's assets.
For example, when launching a new company or bringing it to a foreign market, we know exactly what to do. The holding’s financial department deals with all banking and investment procedures. The legal department works with registration, documents and risk leveling. Marketing and communications prepare strategies for products and services.
Once a business gains strength, it hires its own professionals, who can always count on the support and experience of their colleagues in the holding.
It is easier to manage individual companies than a group of enterprises. But if you are thinking about scaling, you cannot do without changing the approach to management and the legal structure of the business.
4. Monitor the funding
Compliance has become the standard in the business world. First of all, it is about taking care of relationships with banks and investors.
The reason is simple: If international banks do not like something in the history of the money of the business or its owner, they may simply not open an account for your business in the new territory. In this case, you can forget about scaling.
But even if access to foreign markets is not your goal, you still should think of your financial history. Your potential clients, which may include international businesses, can refuse to cooperate if they consider you not reliable enough.
5. Follow market trends
You need to understand that the crisis will come, and you need to be ready for it. Outline the processes in the company that need to be improved. Create contingency funds. Follow the regulatory policy. And be ready for unpopular decisions.
For example, when everyone was quarantined last March, one of our companies, WePlay Esports media holding, decided not to waste time, but shifted all offline tournaments online. We relied on a conservative forecast that the pandemic would last at least one-and-a-half to two years; that’s why we went for an online format. Between 2020-2021, WePlay Esports has grown several times, earned the right to host top events and keeps building its audience.
Analyze which company indicators can be improved right now and which can be left aside. If customers' solvency falls during a crisis, it may be worth focusing not on the volume of profits, but on loyalty and attracting new customers. Later, this will become the foundation for a new leap.
Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor