William S. Burroughs once wrote “When you stop growing you start dying.” Although this may sound a bit harsh, it is often true in life as well as in business. An organisation that isn’t actively working towards growth will probably not last as long as one that is focused on scaling up. But how do we bring a business from survival mode into growth mode?
Scaling up is a necessary challenge
For many entrepreneurs, starting a business is really not that difficult. Instead, the big challenge for most of us comes along when we decide to take the business to the next level. Every growth spurt comes with its own pains and frustrations, but scaling up is often the only way for the organisation to move forward and stay ahead of the competition.
We work with many business owners who are experiencing the stresses and pressures of simply maintaining status quo. For these businesses, growth may seem impossible. “If we can only just handle today, how are we supposed to handle a bigger business tomorrow?”
There is however a secret to scaling up your business. Well – we call it a secret, but it’s one that we are happy to share! The most successful businesses in the world have all discovered and implemented it, and there are a myriad of books written on the topic.
The secret is systemisation.
Treat a small business like a large one
In the simplest of terms, systemisation is about managing a small business the same way you would manage a large business.
If for example you are in property management, you’re probably running your operation quite differently if you have two properties in your portfolio compared to someone who has five hundred.
For scale, you need systems.
By adopting many of the basic system structures of a mature, grown business, you can make your operation scalable at any size. This may sound like a simple process, but as with most things in life, the difficult part is in the implementation. Understanding the concept is one thing – making it happen is another altogether. This is why we work in close collaboration with businesses to equip them for their growth journey.
Getting started with systemisation
In order to have systems, you first need insight.
When we work with organisations looking to grow, we always start with understanding the current processes and mapping out their operations across the business. This gives us an understanding of which areas are perhaps more mature than others, and where the business will need to make more efforts to improve.
Interestingly, the process mapping stage is often where the business owners and managers also get some of their best insight. Seeing their entire operation mapped out in a structured way helps show them where there are obvious gaps, missed opportunities, lack of resource, lack of tools and more. Often it demonstrates – very clearly – the barriers to growth.
This is the starting point of the systemisation journey. Once we understand the current dynamics of the business, we can create a roadmap for process improvement and get the business growth-ready.
What does scaling up look like for you?
We all have different visions for what the future of our business should look like. Growth comes in many shapes and sizes. But regardless of what scale you see yourself operating on, you will benefit from having a structured, systemised business that is just as easy to manage at any level.
Go from present to future
Are you ready to start addressing your barriers to growth? Book one of our process mapping sessions and get the insight you need to become future-ready. Give us a call today on 07771 775741.