two people inside their business working on a laptop
There’s a common misconception that growth is the main metric of success; but in reality, scalability is just as crucial for any company. — Getty Images/kate_sept2004

We tend to conflate the idea of scaling your business with growing your business, but they’re two very distinct goals. There’s a common misconception that growth is the main metric of success; but in reality, scalability is just as crucial for any company.

Think of growth as your need to stay profitable by expanding your market reach. “Scaling” refers to the systems and procedures you put in place to prepare for this long-lasting, ambitious trajectory. Tools to scale your business automate some of the time-consuming and resource-intensive processes that can hold your business back from growth. From your internal communications to your presence online and customer experience, these tools provide the scalability necessary for sustainable success.

[Read more: How Backing From General Mills Is Helping PetPlate Scale]

Streamline your onboarding process

As a new business, expanding your workforce is inevitable; but getting new employees up to speed is no easy feat. More often than not, a thorough onboarding process falls low on the list of business priorities. However, onboarding is directly linked to employee engagement and retention. Businesses that onboard their new hires achieve nearly double the profit of companies that don’t follow any onboarding strategy.

Scalable onboarding tools allow you to provide orientation to new hires remotely or in person. These platforms are available to simplify the process so that your HR team can engage with multiple new hires simultaneously. Rippling, Clickboarding and BambooHR offer complete software solutions, while Smartsheet and Workable provide checklists and templates to get you started.

Simplify your storage and project management

It’s easy for information to become siloed within different departments as you expand. Scalable systems that help you stay organized, maintain records and store data logically will prevent chaos as you grow and ensure your workflows are efficient.

From simple accounting software like Xero and Wave to synced cloud documents and Google storage, start streamlining early on. When your team grows beyond a stack of spreadsheets, incorporate project management software like Monday.com, Asana, Atlassian or Trello to track your progress.

Refine internal communication

Communication is vital for any scalable business, especially if you’re going through a period of rapid growth. As you add members to your team, your chain of command grows and your communication process needs to shift accordingly.

Utilize one communication platform to house your company conversations. Incorporating tools like Slack, Google Hangouts and Skype ensure communication lines are always open to employees, empowering them to send quick updates and clarify any uncertainties. In today’s remote working landscape, fostering a culture of over-communication is far healthier than a lack thereof.

As you scale, your website needs to evolve with you. Take the time to upgrade your user experience, redesigning your page to improve your traffic and conversions.

Make customer relationships a priority

Growth and scalability are impossible to achieve if the customer experience is subpar. While you have to focus on increasing your market share, you can’t lose sight of your consumers. Take the time to hear their feedback, respond to their inquiries and build a special rapport that will keep them coming back for more.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platforms like Zoho, Hubspot, Zendesk and Salesforce offer everything from email marketing to lead generation and customer service communications. They allow your team to manage all inbound and outbound communications, utilizing analytics to keep your performance in check.

[Read more: Ready to Grow with CRM?]

Build a scalable web presence

Build your website with platforms like WordPress, Wix.com and Squarespace. They’re easy to use development tools, giving you the foundations for an e-commerce store, a blog or an information hub.

As you scale, your website needs to evolve with you. Take the time to upgrade your user experience, redesigning your page to improve your traffic and conversions. It can be a costly process, so utilize programs like Adobe XD, Figma and Balsamiq to help you understand your consumer journey.

Manage your marketing campaigns in one place

Automate some of the more menial tasks necessary for running a marketing campaign to free up creative capacity without compromising on performance. Tools like Buffer, Hootsuite and Later allow you to optimize your social media brand presence, sustaining engagement and promoting your content to new customers.

Automate your email sends, creating retargeting campaigns for abandoned carts and old customers with tools like ActiveCampaign, GetResponse and Mailchimp. Monitor your campaign performance with Google Analytics, understanding where to focus your attention.

Outsource niche skills

Hire freelancers to help you achieve your business objectives. There will be times when particular projects or ventures demand a specific skill set. Often it’s a one-off requirement that doesn’t warrant a full-time employee, making it difficult to pursue.

Use platforms like Fiverr and Freelancer for quick and professional services. Whether it’s copywriters to build your content marketing bank, coders to update your website or graphic designers to upgrade your logo, finding someone reliable can be difficult. Gain access to masters of their trade to help with these freelance marketplaces. Don’t forfeit your scalability by pursuing everything in-house.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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Published February 10, 2021