Entrepreneurs and business leaders often face the need to effectively scale a business. Whether you’re a startup or a small business moving up in the market, there’s immense opportunity for success for your business if you plan for it.

And the #1 Fastest Growing Company of 2018 is…

Wouldn’t you love to hear your company announced like that during the Austin Business Journal‘s Fast 50 awards presentation?  What would it take to get there?

When I think about how those companies are likely to be similar, I come up with the following list:

  • Remarkable execution
  • Great products
  • Great people
  • Right strategy
  • Right tactics
  • Perfect timing
  • Right market

Scaling, Not Simply Growing

So what does effectively scaling a business look like?  To be sure I am clear, I am talking about scaling (“…adding revenue at an exponential rate while only adding resources at an incremental rate”) and not growing (“…adding resources at the same rate that you’re adding revenue”) as described here.  Effectively scaling a business means that processing 5 customer transactions will take about the same amount of resources that processing 5,000 (or maybe even 50,000!) customer transaction takes; that you are relying on pre-built automated sub-routines to handle 99% of the processing activity and not on people.

Remarkable Execution

When I think about “remarkable execution,” of course it includes many factors, but I want to focus on the ability to effectively scale a business.  You may have all the other elements readily available and poised to deliver, however without the ability to scale effectively you cannot expect to capitalize on all the phenomenal growth opportunities that are in front of your business.  Oh, and beware of “premature scaling” or you are likely to end up on the startup Autopsy table!

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Automating Activities

How you design the automation into your business will depend on your situation.  Simply beginning with a mindset of one-to-many as the foundation approach is a great starter.  Knowing that many thousands of customers or orders must process through without manual intervention is a great motivator for a clean, automated solution (no one wants all those trouble tickets).  Regularly challenging yourself and your team to find ways to automate existing activities is a great way to force a discipline within your organization to routinely think about shifting activities from less automated to more automated.

What other attributes of successful, scalable businesses are there?

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