How can I take my company to the next level?
As a founder, you naturally want to grow. However, sooner or later many founders will reach a point where growth will come to a standstill and everything will stagnate. It is then a challenge to break through that ceiling and take your business to the next level.
But the question is of course how do you approach that. That is of course a little different for every business model, but there are overarching strategies that can work for almost any young company. You can find our best growth and scaling strategies below!
Difference between growth and scaling
Before we start, it is important to explain the difference between 'growth' and 'scaling'.
With 'growth' we think more of linear growth. A company grows by adding new resources, such as more personnel or new technologies (for example new machines). This expansion allows the company to produce more, take on more projects or take on more customers, which increases turnover.
When 'scaling' it is a bit different. In this case, a business grows in revenue without drastically expanding the resources required to do so. Organizations that work with subscription formulas, for example, are a good example of this.
How you can take your business to the next level
Identify where you can increase your margin
Reduce production time
A good thought exercise for many good companies is to map their entire production process. Make this visual and don't skip a single step, no matter how small. In this way, you can see with your own eyes how this process works, and you can determine where there is a bottleneck at the moment and where you can optimize the process.
Increase cost price
This seems too simple for words, but it is still important to state it. Many entrepreneurs are often afraid to increase their rates, for fear that they will lose customers or become 'too expensive for new customers.
Pricing yourself is difficult, but in most cases, you can charge a little more for your services than you do now. Over time you will learn a lot and your services will also improve. It is therefore not logical that customers pay the same as when you just started and did not yet have that much knowledge. After all, they would also have to pay for your expertise and the time (and sometimes money) that you invest to acquire new knowledge.
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When you sell products, buying in bulk is often more interesting. But many service companies can also benefit from bulk purchases. For example, a company that performs installations or repairs can purchase new spare parts in larger numbers. Media companies can then, for example, purchase multiple stock photos once a month, instead of purchasing each photo separately.
When your schedule is full, it feels good of course. You're busy, so that's okay, right? Not always. If you are full, you no longer have time to search for new or better customers, work on your marketing, or just ensure the improvement of your service.
A good way to tackle this is to outsource some tasks to, for example, a freelancer. Today there are many online platforms to find freelancers who can help you with a specific task. If you use platforms like Fiverr, you can sometimes hire some extra help for a low price.
For example, you have an online marketing agency and charge an hourly rate of € 50. You write all texts yourself, including research. For example, you could hire a freelancer to research for you, freeing up more time for other tasks or projects. You do indeed give a small part of your margin, but because you can work more at your full hourly rate, that balances itself out.
Set up multiple sales channels
Some companies make themselves very vulnerable by focusing on one sales channel. When that channel does not deliver well for a while (think of the corona crisis and how sudden its impact is), the entire sales process comes to a halt, and the risk of financial difficulties increases.
Therefore, look for as many channels as possible to reach new customers and think beyond your website or social media. For companies that sell products, you can, for example, use the business services of bol.com.
If you have a service company or if you offer SaaS, you can use resellers or affiliates who will sell your services to their customers in your place. They then take a small commission, but you do have a new customer who may stay on board for years.
Optimize product or service for upsells
When you offer a product or service that cannot be expanded, you limit possible growth in the future. A customer who has grown himself may need a more extensive service and is, therefore, eligible for an upsell. An upsell is perhaps the easiest sale there is, because the customer in question already knows and trusts you, and you no longer need to invest in the sales process.
By dividing your product or service into different 'packages', you not only create a possible upsell of existing customers in the long term, but you also increase your sales market. A cheaper version can appeal to a lower customer segment, where a more extensive version will suit larger customers (who also have a bit more to spend).