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If your business wishes to accelerate revenue and reach more customers even faster, consider taking deliberate steps to scale. Scalable business offerings can be delivered to more and more customers for a fraction of the cost on each additional unit — meaning it takes less time/money/production to deliver your offering to customer #1,000,000, as it did to customer #1. Here’s how to scale your business:

Step #1. Set Metric-Driven Goals

Set goals for 1–5 years in the future (depending on your business), then create weekly/monthly/quarterly milestones. Milestone metrics should include (A) time horizon, (B) customer reach, and (c) quantifiable customer benefits. It is much easier to achieve scalability with clear goals (e.g., Good Scaling Goal Example: By 2022, Acme will help 30 million homeowners save $1BN in air conditioning energy costs. Bad Scaling Goal Example: Acme will be the biggest air conditioning company in the country).

Step #2. Confirm Support

Collect support from stakeholders (most likely investors) ahead of time. Keep stakeholders regularly updated as you scale; they will more readily support your initiatives that show progress (e.g., Share a monthly/quarterly progress report with investors of recent accomplishments and what’s ahead for the next quarter).

Step #3. Secure Capital and Resources

Plan your budget, and acquire the capital or resources needed to carry out each scaling step. Secure more capital than budgeted, ideally 10–30% over as a contingency plan (e.g., Fundraising, loans, or lines of credit for capital. Note that adding additional staff at this stage can be costly and is best postponed until Step #10).

Step #4. Find Your Prosumers

Analyze your sales to determine your strongest customers and convert them to “prosumers” — individuals reliant on your offering and willing to give you (a) candid feedback on what is working or not, (b) a strong written reference, and (c) a referral to others. Prosumers allow you to grow quickly and organically (e.g., A high-margin customer who uses your offering every day).

Step #5. Adopt a Repeatable Sales Process

Create a sales process that funnels to qualified customers fast. Track feedback and use the information to iterate your sales pitch and establish a repeatable flow (e.g., Sales Process Example: Initial contact > Qualification > Develop Value Proposition Solution > Present Demo > Evaluation > Negotiation > Closing).

Step #6. Standardize Your Offering

Deliver a standardized high-value offering with a low barrier to entry for customers. You can scale faster when you eliminate most customized solutions (e.g., Build a subscription service or a starter package offering for customers).

Step #7. Optimize the Customer Journey

Automate your infrastructure when reaching customers to free up capacity. Spend more time on the parts of your offering that increase sales (e.g., Automation for Sales Teams Examples: Sales scripts, a CRM, or sharable collateral like one pagersAutomation for Customers Examples: FAQs page, product demos, or self sign-ups).

Step #8. Streamline Customer Service

Catalog customer interactions and use your findings to streamline future support. Keep detailed records of customer issues to identify problems and respond promptly, reducing overhead as you expand (e.g., A customer log of requests/complaints or a customer feedback portal).

Step #9. Outsource

Transition functions to on-demand or technology-enabled providers. Focus on outsourcing the functions that can be performed faster and at a lower cost than a full-time hire (e.g., Legal, accounting, invoicing, or IT).

Step #10. Hire

Bring in a team of experts to help you scale, if and when the time is right. Assess the roles, headcount needed, costs, and outcomes expected if you hire them. Give new hires aggressive personal goals, as they will need to exceed expectations to keep pace with your growth (e.g., Additional salespeople or administrative assistants).

Step #11. Talk About the Big Wins

Talk about your prosumers (see Step #2). During any sales pitches or marketing, share success stories and ask prosumers to relay their positive experiences to others — this type of good news publicizes your wins, and combines organic feedback with deliberate marketing (e.g., Highlight top customers on your blog).

Step #12. Stay Focused

Ensure that you and your *entire* team are working on the common scaling goal (see Step #1). Build a priorities list to ensure all unrelated projects are postponed or cancelled, as too much noise can cause your scaling attempts to fail (e.g., Cancelling a re-branding project in order to focus on sales generation).

Be sure the take the right steps to scale your business as you look to expand. Covering all your bases allows you to move efficiently, and reach your revenue and customer goals quickly.

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