Scale-Up Your Processes For Business Growth
Updated: Feb 7
Are you looking to scale-up your business process and systems while letting go? – Welcome to the everyday entrepreneur challenge!
“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning. “ – Benjamin Franklin
Every successful entrepreneur knows that business growth and diversification rely on you having the ability to delegate and take a step back from running the show.
As such, every startup should have a solid growth strategy plan, and every strategy must include:
Your value proposition and selling point
Target customers and market segment analysis
Efficient People and Talent Management hiring systems
Optimised Process and Systems
Performance management and KPIs
Prudent financial control and budget forecast plans
Scaling up a start-up business is typically 10% strategy and 90% execution, which is where robust processes and systems come in. Your processes – the way you do things – can even be a source of competitive differentiation, especially if you’re able to systemise and automate effectively.
All start-ups and entrepreneurs reach the point where their business is scalable, and they’re ready to grow.
Identify the Process & Pain Points
We get it! Your start-up business is a product of your conception and successful delivery. You nurtured it through the early stages of life; observing as it first crawled, then rose to walk among others in the business world.
Just as a child is prepared for their first day of school to scale up your baby, you must now be ready to ‘let go and watch it grow!’. Falling and scraping a knee is a common occurrence for maturing children. What does a grown-up do in these situations? Parent or guardian applies an antibacterial ointment to prevent infection to the area.
To be able to automate your business thoroughly, you should have a good idea of the business processes that you and your team use every day. These are across all areas of your business from sales lead generation and digital marketing to hiring a team and reconciling your cash-flow.
Once you have a good idea of the processes, you will be able to identify the pain points or “chokeholds” that create unnecessary headache and delay for the business to operate as elegantly as you would like. These are ideal areas for you to explore automating to maximise your business productivity.
Simplify the Process to Automate
One of the critical rolling blocks is the amount of time it will take to organise and align those process areas that would benefit from simplification and automation. Don’t let this stand in your way.
There is no replacement for preparation and making sure you invest in researching the optimum solutions to fit your business operations requirements, i.e. don’t buy a full ERP suite of modules, if you only require HR and Finance. Is outsourcing your digital marketing and content creation the best option in the short-term? As you start to hire permanent staff, is payroll outsourcing the right fit for you?
A few areas that would typically benefit from process automation and potentially outsourcing:
New Hire Training – From new hires to those employees taking on new roles, an automated training system can reduce actual human resource work hours while presenting immediate ownership benefits to the trainees.
Streamlining invoice operations – Automating the collectables and bill paying process alone will create self-sufficiency for managing your cash-flow. Utilising cloud accounting software can eliminate some day-to-day bookkeeping duties of your employees.
Managing Payroll and Expenses – For businesses of all sizes, it’s a good idea to have an expert looking after your payroll, expenses, pensions and personnel benefits. Several companies offer payroll outsourcing facilities, which is generally a sensible option if you’re not an expert. For your staff morale, everyone wants to get paid and correctly!
Other outsourcing opportunities include digital/social media planning, sales and lead generation, supply chain and IT operations.
As an entrepreneur, you realise that business growth is going to require additional office space or staffing or significant investment in technology. Investigate carefully in this area before you make a substantial capital expenditure in purchasing new assets.
In years past, more prominent corporations were quick to create in-house advertising/marketing, payroll and other departments. It’s no longer the status quo as businesses (large and small) have developed the outsourcing process, and the “freelancing” movement is on the rise, check out these websites – Upwork, Fiverr and Business Talent Group to name a few.
Software and process automation in these areas may be part of your answer, but you’ll need to weigh all the factors involved and the immediate impact on your cash-flow.
Managing Your Performance
Now that you’ve identified and implemented new and improved processes, perhaps invested in some new technology to improve productivity further, focus now on running the show.
Everything discussed boils down to creating an atmosphere where overall performance is vital, to you and the team, and will continue to improve as you scale your business further. Don’t forget about Key Performance Indicators (KPI) and management dashboard reporting.
Utilise systems automation, implement reporting metrics and other newly created business operation methods to track areas of importance such as website traffic, new customers (and immediate added value by your company), and how much return there is on your marketing/advertising spending, advertising spend versus marketing channel, i.e. spending £120 to run a daily Facebook campaign that only delivers £30 return on investment (ROI) in customer spend.
Enacting these business changes can result in you returning to your entrepreneurial roots, looking at further ways to improve this business (or even to branch out into a related entrepreneurial opportunity). Determine areas of need (production roles or sales training, e.g.) and take a direct interest in improvement.
You may be surprised how much more you will accomplish now that you have delegated many of the daily business procedures.
Are You Ready to Simplify Your Business?
It's pivotal for a business to have succinct and well-developed business processes and procedures to provide the best chance of ongoing business success and scalability. If you're still struggling to develop your business efficiently, check out our future scale-up articles for even more help. Let’s talk!
To learn more about Noirwolf Consulting team, and how we can help you scale your business operations, contact us today.
Noirwolf Consulting is a global strategy and change management consulting firm in Leeds. Noirwolf works with clients in the UK and international markets to develop their comprehensive strategic plans and business change programs.
We help entrepreneurs, small and mid-size business with creating business plans, optimise operations performance and help you to implement technology automation solutions to grow their businesses.
Contact Noirwolf today: firstname.lastname@example.org