Questions My Business Owner Clients Ask Me: What does “Scaling” mean?

Is Scaling the same as growing my company? How do I scale?

“Scaling” is different from “growing” your company.

In my opinion, growing your company is a passive activity and scaling is an intentional one.

Many businesses “grow” without a budget and without plans for the future.  They look for a 5% or10% increase to keep up with the cost of living.  This assumes a well-run company making a modest profit.  The business owner is happy with status quo, but is probably spending much of his/her time working in the business.  He/she is probably the main decision maker; and the staff just waits to be given direction before taking action. 

To “scale” a company, the business owner wants to get to a management stage where he/she is not making the day-to-day decisions; the company essentially runs without his/her involvement.  The owner gets to participate in whatever role he wants – as little or as often as she wants.

This takes a conscientious effort to put a management team in place that can make decisions as the owner would have.  There needs to be policy and procedures in place so that products and services are delivered consistently and on time.  The business owner now has free time to develop new products, growth strategies, or to coach her daughter’s soccer team.

There is a misconception that scaling can only happen at multi-million dollar enterprises.  I don’t believe that’s true.  Scaling requires intent – growth that is centered on bringing in people to do not only their job, but who are willing to grow into a management position. A focus on growth that is sustainable, monitored, and forecasted is necessary as is a commitment to completing and following all policies and procedures. 

BOMBA has had many business owners enroll to prepare their companies for sale.  Once the company was running smoothly and could be sold, the business owners realized that, having scaled the company, they were enjoying owning and managing too much to sell.  This is BOMBA’s happiest outcome!

What have you tried?  Do you agree with my definitions? How is it working? I would love to hear your experiences. 

Want to talk further about this subject?

Contact me and book a time or consider joining a BOMBA Mastermind where you will get the tools to complete the sensitivity analysis on the margin compression and you can talk confidentially to a peer group who could give you constructive feedback on your pricing.