Starting a business is a challenge, but growing that business presents new difficulties that can be even more complex. For example, growth likely means that you will have to invest in new resources like more staff, new equipment, and possibly larger facilities. For
Sustainably scaling your business requires you to think about how each decision will affect your operations, not just your revenue. How effectively you handle scaling will determine your success and growth path.
Benefits of Scaling
Scaling is a business’s ability to handle growth without compromising on performance. Ideally, a business should be able to handle more extensive operational demands as it grows. Your eCommerce business will need to scale as more orders come in, and production must increase.
You may find yourself hiring more employees, or even outsourcing certain functions, as you partake in new economies of scale. Economies of scale are the benefits of operating on a larger scale such as:
- Buying in bulk at a discount
- Reducing your unit costs which can either increase your margins or give you room to lower your prices
- Increasing revenue and earning more significant profits
- Increasing your workers’ pay
- Investing in research and product development.
Some areas in which you can scale to reap these rewards include:
1. Order Fulfillment
Your e-commerce business may have started as you packaging your product at home and mailing it yourself, but as demand increases, this model becomes unsustainable. You need space to store goods, staff for package handling, delivery vehicles, and so much more. All of this involves a considerable capital outlay and operational cost.
Rather than go through the gauntlet of setting up your own fulfillment centers, you should consider outsourcing the function. Outsourcing e-commerce fulfillment services to a reliable company will bring benefits like:
- A predictable cost structure and will be less expensive than handling it all yourself
- Timely shipping via a professional team with the technology and assets to deliver goods
- Regular updates on every stage of the process for your tracking needs to relay to your clients
- Getting your inventory out of your house/office and into proper storage space
2. IT Services
Scaling companies take on more employees and handle more large-scale technical situations, such as many-person calls, shared documents, complex software integration, and client portals. You can manage all this yourself or contract a company to do it for you.
Hiring outside help can boost your company’s productivity and profitability in many ways. It means that you don’t have to focus on hiring individual IT personnel and keeping their skills fresh. It also gives you more flexibility in expanding or contracting the department’s size as needed.
3. Marketing and Publicity
A small company can get by with word of mouth and some choice ad spots. To feed your growth, however, you will need more prominent campaigns. Traditionally, extensive campaigns have required large budgets for TV, print, and radio spots. Fortunately, technology has made wide-reaching advertising campaigns more accessible to growing companies.
Although social media, search, and internet marketing have made brand building cheaper, you still need the talent and tools to make it more effective. Increasing your marketing and publicity exposure can help by bringing more visibility for your brand, translating to more customers and sales. It can also lead to inclusion in lists and promotions that will further bolster your brand. Social media is also crucial to building a community around your brand.
Adding more moving parts to your business means there will be more to monitor. As you grow, you will find your decisions becoming more complex and consequential to your survival. In a world that runs on data, decision-making needs to be more precise. Using data and analytical tools, you make informed decisions about things like employee time use and asset allocation more quickly and effectively. As you implement new, scaled methods, consider using A/B testing to analyze their efficacy.
Scale Up Sustainably
Scaling is an opportunity to grow your business without interruptions. Get the right processes in place in advance so that the process becomes seamless. As you grow, make sure you tightly monitor all operations to ensure they perform well and identify areas of improvement.