Are you trying to scale your business too soon?
If you’re just starting up your business, your target should be to become profitable and to work with people to get them results.
If you’re ready to grow your business, then you are trying to increase your revenue as fast as you can. You’re looking at growing your audience and growing your team.
Scaling comes into the picture when you are looking at how to execute what you are doing with more efficiency and using your time and money to your advantage.
So when should you start scaling? Listen to this episode for some advice!
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Welcome my friends to the podcast. I am very happy this week because our daughter, Ayla got her cast off her arm. She had broken her arm falling off the monkey bars. Apparently the monkey bars are what keeps the hospitals and doctors that reset bones in business. According to all the doctors that I’ve seen in the last couple months, but she has gotten her cast off this week and is cautiously excited.
I would say it’s very weird. And I can only imagine I’ve never broken my arm, but she is a little hesitant to use. It says, it feels funny. A friend of mine said, oh, she’s going to have, it’s going to come out all pale and hairy, but it was not hairy. It was a little bit pale, but she’s kind of pale anyway,
but she’s not allowed to do any pushing or use any force on it, but she’s supposed to be using it so that, you know, she gets that range of motion in. So trying to encourage her to do little things with her left hand, and it’s, it’s really good just to not have to put a bag over her arm to have shower and things like that.
She’s sick. So it was a big deal, but it heals so fast. And we looked at the x-rays and they’re like, you know, in a year you won’t even ever be able to tell that it was broken. So very good news in our household. And I am making a promise to myself to get ahead on my podcast again, but I’m recording this just a few days before you guys hear it.
So I kind of feel a little bit closer to you in a way. So anyway, today we’re talking about trying to scale up too soon. And in preparation for talking about this, I just Googled growth and scaling. Cause I was like, what is technically the difference? And I don’t know if you realize how many definitions there are for scale. There’s a lot to like scaling a ladder,
scaling scales on a fish scales like balance. And then none of them was the definition I was looking for, which is scaling and business. But then I did find it not in a dictionary. And we’re going to talk today about this because what I find a lot of my students and clients try to do is handle issues that are not really issues at the moment,
or they try and it’s almost like, okay, they are at level one, but they want to make sure that level 100 is gonna work out and you can’t really do that. So for instance, let’s look at the phases of a business. So will you start up a business you’re brand new so that startup, you have different issues. Then there’s a lot of particular things you have to handle when you start a business that you don’t really do after it’s up and running,
then you move into growth. So you are trying to bring in more revenue. You’re trying to increase the size or the number like how many ways can your business grow? We can look at audience growth, we can look at revenue growth. We can look at your staff growing. We can look at just you as a business owner being, you know,
growing on a personal level, lots of ways to look at growth. So growth is basically where you are trying to increase your revenue as fast as you can. But a lot of times by doing that, you’re also increasing other things that cause problems down the line, like time, time that it takes you to serve the clients that you’ve taken on or time that it takes you to handle all the logistics of the new branch of the business that you’ve handled or added.
So a company getting bigger in terms of numbers or size is growth, whereas scaling you add this other element of efficiency. And I think that’s really the difference there and that when you’re looking at scaling your business, the question is how can you grow and increase efficiency at the same time? So increase revenue and increase efficiency. The tricky part about this is it’s not something you can always handle or deal with at the beginning when you’re just growing.
So what do I mean? Well, I had a conversation with somebody the other day and she was looking at adding well, she was looking at her business growing and she’s like, I could take on more clients one-on-one but I can’t scale that. And that’s not really the question to be asking when you’re starting up, you’ve got to get, and by getting profitable,
that might mean taking on clients that isn’t scalable. Like it might mean taking on sources of revenue that aren’t scalable. And it’s sort of a balance because I heard a piece of advice the other day that I thought was good, which is that you shouldn’t sell what you don’t want to serve or fulfill. Like don’t sell it. If it’s not something that you’re going to want to deliver or fulfill.
And that makes sense, right? Because you’re, you could sell it and it would be a way to increase your revenue. But then when you go to fulfill on the delivery of that thing, that you’ve sold, you’re hating life. Well, that’s not really going to help your business grow because how long can you do that for? And it’s a bit of a balance between,
okay, I’m a brand new business and I need to make money. And this is what my customers or clients or future people that would buy from me are asking for. And what am I going to want to do? What do I want to fulfill? What do I want to serve? How do I want to serve? How do I want my day to look?
What do I want to spend my time doing? But back to the person who was looking at one-on-one clients and not being able to scale that, my question was, why are you worrying about scaling when you’re not even profitable yet? And so she wasn’t, she didn’t have any revenue coming in. And so to me, I’m like, well, first things first,
let’s get some money coming in and not to say, you should just do anything, but sort of, you might want to consider doing anything because you got to make money. And a lot of times what happens is people go like I’m going to start a business and they quit their full-time job. And they go all in on this entrepreneurial endeavor and they don’t have the instant results that they’re looking for.
And they, you know, obviously freak out, get frustrated, overwhelmed, and then they, they go back to their corporate jobs or they, you know, problems occur or they go into debt or whatever like that. And it’s so I want to just have a conversation with you about where you’re at in your business. And is it appropriate to look at scaling or are you not there yet?
So if you’re already making money, you have clients you’re serving, you’re growing. Your business is not in the startup phase. Your business is up and running. It’s increasing in size in revenue, there’s new clients, finding you new students, coming to your classes, new participants, whatever you, you call your, your peeps. That means it’s growing now.
Is it growing fast enough to grow in a way that exceeds the expenses or exceeds any losses that are going out? Well, that’s another question. And if so, then you would essentially be profitable. However, that’s a big, like that might take a few years, unless you read profit first, which by the way, I’m making a note because I want to do a whole episode on profit first note to self,
but where you bake the profit in, which is the point of this book, but most businesses it’s like you start up, then you add and start to grow. And then you get to a point where you start to worry about your time and efficiency. And you start to do things like hire staff or, or add systems and automations to do what make more time for you because you start to realize,
and it starts to be true that your time becomes a more valuable asset and is worth more than what someone that you could hire that does a specific task that you would be paying them or what you could spend money on a technology would be able to do for you in the case of an automation. And at that point, you can look at scaling. So this person was asking about scaling when she didn’t have any clients.
And so I’m like get some clients and then max out your client hours before you look at how do I scale? And there’s ways to scale while you’re growing. You can consider that, but it might not be a priority for you yet. And it might just be another level of complexity or sort of future paced, worry that you really, it’s not going to serve you to,
to go into because it’s not relevant right now. So what is the current issue or challenge or next step for you in your business? And are you focused on that or are you looking too far in the future and worrying about what’s going to happen down the line? I think the next episode, we might talk about problems that don’t even exist right now that you’re trying to handle,
but that’s a story for another time. So back to our subject today, are you trying to scale up too soon? I have personally done this probably in more, more times than I want to acknowledge. And I think the tendency is like, oh, we’re growing. So I’m going to start fill in the blank with things that you think you need,
that you don’t really need, like adding staff in a way that’s too rapid or too many staff. It’s like, I’m going to hire someone to do this for me and this for me and this for me. And I’m going to have an agency and I’m going to do this. And all of a sudden you’re back at zero profit or going into debt because you’ve grown or try to scale too soon.
There’s a way to scale that is by taking time and effort away from you and, or taking, giving you your time back, which is ultimately what we want to do as, as owners and CEOs of the company. And there will be a time when you get to play that role when you get big enough and you are actually that role and you look at scaling by adding team members and platforms and technology and things like that.
And there’s a definitely a conversation to be had, right? From the beginning of what offers you can have in your business that are truly scalable. For instance, group coaching versus one-on-one coaching. You can grow a group so that your time is being used in a more efficient way. So rather than one session for $100, you have 20 people on that are all paying $25.
And your hourly rate essentially is higher for that group session than your one-on-one session, right? So it’s like, okay, what offers can you add that are scalable? And they may not make a big difference right away, but because they’re scalable in the long run, you’ll be able to increase them over time. Whereas of course the one-on-one anything one-on-one with you should be at the very top of your list of value,
right? The most expensive thing, anything that involves your time and attention and energy one-on-one with someone should be like the premium of the premium. And then everything else is more scalable. And it just depends how so question all the parts that you have of your business and who else you could have doing them. And it might not be for right now, but it,
if it is truly scalable, then it’s something that you note, as you know, this item, this line item is scalable. So we have a, a program, the membership launch academy. And in building that out, I was looking specifically at all the ways that that could be scalable beyond my time. So we have other coaches, we have my staff helping our students out in a variety of ways with tech,
with strategy, with just getting oriented and finding their course materials with a community. We have each member helping each other inside the community. So all of that doesn’t require my time. It requires my money and acquires my energy and attention to an extent, but it’s not my time. And then the part of the group that is my actual time and attention is a group session that we do every week.
So that totally scalable as well. So there’s really not a limit on numbers that we can bring in. I will just have to hire more coaches in order to fulfill the number of students that we have, but that is quote scalable. And that is definitely worth considering as you’re building out your offers, which ones of the offers that you’re creating are scalable and which ones are not.
But that doesn’t mean you don’t do any of the things that are not scalable because they’re not scalable. That might be in a linear way, a way for you to bring in the revenue in order to afford adding the other aspects of the business that will allow you to scale down the line and in a non-linear way, having those clients can make you just relax because you don’t have to stress out about money,
or it can actually contribute because they’ll talk about you to their friends. And it kinda like builds your brand and your name recognition and things like that. So it’s not a logical thing all the time where you have to look at, okay, that’s not scalable, so I’m not doing it. It’s like, well, you know, you might need to take on one-on-one clients or do work that is not scalable and,
and treat your business in a way until you grow it to a certain level. And then you start to scale it. But if you worry about scaling too much, too soon, that you won’t actually be able to, because how are you going to fund all of that with no revenue coming in or the revenue doesn’t exceed the expenses? And so you’re just hemorrhaging.
You’re not growing. You’re fooling yourself into thinking that your business is growing, but it’s not actually profitable. And it won’t be scalable because you don’t have the revenue to support it. So have a look at where you are and just get honest with your numbers and your time. That’s another thing you can do as a time audit and a financial review for yourself,
and really get into a clear space of how much money it costs you to run your business, how much money is coming into your business, and how much time are you spending and what is your time being spent on. And I think the first hire usually is some sort of VA virtual assistant that can take off your plate. All the things that you’re spending your time on that are something that a VA could do for you and the quality isn’t going to go down.
Like it’s not something that would matter who does it, it just needs to get, to get done by someone who you’re able to train, or that has that skillset and that charges less per hour than what your time is worth, but be real about what your time is, because if you are spending, you know, majority of your time on things that don’t bring you in any money,
your time, and you’re actually working for a very low hourly rate, and that might be appropriate as a startup. And that usually is appropriate as a startup. So I think this might be a conversation of don’t get too big for your bridges. If you’re texting, you know what that one is bridges, but it’s also just a way of kind of,
I guess, breathe. You don’t need to worry about scaling. If it’s not time to scale, it can be in your awareness and it can be kind of baked into the offers as you create them. And if you’re in a growth phase or a startup phase, that is plenty, plenty to worry about, plenty to handle, just focus on that,
get your business up and running, get those real foundational elements there. Focus on your marketing. You know who your ideal customer is, what it is that they want and need. How is it that you’re going to serve them? And what is the unique difference of you in that relationship where you’re able to serve them in a way that they don’t get anywhere else,
and that will grow your business. So your offers need to be built around that your messaging, your marketing is all around that your social media is all around that. And you just focus on getting the growth in place to create the revenue that your business is going to need in order to be sustainable and be profitable, then we scale. All right. So first things first,
and thanks for joining me. I think we’re going to this brought up a few things we’re going to dive into next time. We’ll see you then. Bye for now.