Scale Your Way to Success
Whether you’ve just founded your company or established it years ago, every business owner wants to scale. Scaling is about growth and with more growth comes a higher revenue, better profits, and more brand recognition. However, scaling can be challenging sometimes. It can – and usually does – take years. But does it have to?
In the entrepreneurial world, we hear stories of great scaling and success. From the overnight fame of an app developer to the startup that catches the eye of a celebrity, it can sometimes feel like everyone blows up faster than you. The truth of the matter is that most businesses grow slowly and painfully, as the founder learns how to run a better business along the way. While you always want to be learning as an entrepreneur, that doesn’t have to hold back the growth of the company. Sometimes you too, can be that sudden success.
The Master of Scaling
On Season 6 Episode 19 of the Making Bank Podcast, guest Jeff Fenster chats about his formula for scaling quickly. As someone who has built and sold several companies, Jeff now focuses on saving money and scaling his current project Everbowl, which has captured the attention of people like Drew Brees.
In the episode, he shares some of the methods he has implemented over the years to help his businesses grow. We’ll dive into that in a moment, but first, let’s look at what we mean by scaling quickly.
Scaling quickly is the dream of any entrepreneur. Not only does it mean you make more money – and faster – but you can save time and energy. However, there can be such a thing as growing too quickly. While those overnight successes make for a great story, they often remain a headline. Companies that leap into the spotlight too soon don’t know how to maintain that momentum, as they’ve not yet learned how manage a business on that level. Oftentimes, those early successes can burn out due to lack of resources, experienced leadership, or simply a system overload.
So, as you begin your company, it’s good to spend the time learning how to run a successful business. After all, if you can’t learn to properly run your company on a small scale, how will you be able to manage it on a much larger scale?
When to Scale
However, you’ll hit a point where you are ready to level up. Whether that’s six months, a year or two years in, you’ll feel you’ve outgrown your current business. Sometimes, that’s a sign you’re ready to move onto other things. Most of the time, however, it means you’re ready for more.
How to Scale
So, when you’re ready to scale, how should you do it? According to Jeff, you can follow some or all of these methods and soon you’ll see results.
The first and easiest method of scaling to implement is to network always and to network well. You’ve probably heard this before and for good reason—it works. But how does networking yourself help your business?
Jeff stresses that networking and selling don’t inherently have to feel shallow. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. He believes that if you start viewing networking as genuinely connecting with others, they will feel that connection. From there, you’ve created a bond and that person will start selling you to others, whether subconsciously or not.
So, when you’re running your business, make sure to treat others well, connect with them and form that bond. You never know who will help you out.
Media Worthy Moments
Another way to grow your business is shorter term but requires a bit more creativity. Jeff suggests doing certain actions or activities that are worth the media’s attention. For Everbowl, he decided to open multiple locations within 6 months in the same city. This piqued the interest of the local papers, chatting about the hot new chain now moving into the area.
Now, you don’t need to do something as extreme as that. Rather, you can create a challenge or engage in a viral trend to build some of that media attention. Perhaps something as simple as commissioning a beautiful mural on your store wall can attract people to take photos with it. When people post those photos to Instagram, they’ll may use the location, drawing more people to the area.
So, when marketing your business—get creative. Don’t be afraid to lean into a social trend or better yet, create a new one of your own. This type of approach can garner views quickly and from there, draw people to your products.
The final but most important step towards scaling quickly is the most comprehensive yet yields great results. Jeff is a big proponent of vertical integration as a key to growing a business. Vertical integration happens when you bring in stages of production under umbrella company.
For example, when looking at building his first Everbowl, it took him months and months and hundreds of thousands of dollars. He felt he wasted time and money on something that didn’t need to be so expensive. So, for his next locations, he formed a construction company that would then build the locations of Everbowl. From there, he cut his exorbitant cuts and saved time.
While this can seem daunting, you have a chance at the beginning of your next venture to incorporate it. You don’t necessarily have to form brand new companies to get the job done. Instead, ask yourself what aspects of the business can be brought in house? What steps of the process can be completed by you instead of outsourcing? You’d be surprised what comes up – and how much you’ll save once you take those in house.