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Can a business add a lot of new customers at high speed and keep costs down while maintaining quality?
If it sounds like a trick question, it’s not—it’s what scaling is all about! Scaling, unlike the concept of “growth,” means dramatically acquiring customers while keeping costs steady. But if quality suffers in the process, a company is more likely to lose customers than gain them.
At its essence, scaling is about becoming better—more streamlined, less wasteful—not just bigger. A company that successfully scales develops efficiencies that help it deliver product to more customers without over-investing or sacrificing quality.
To ensure you win at the scaling game, make sure you don’t lose quality in these essential areas:
Your plan. When you started your company, you planned to stay in business for the long haul, not sell a few products and close up shop. You set goals for the business, much like a captain maps the seaways to the ship’s destination, marking the stops and landmarks along the way.
Your short-term goals got you to where you are today. If you intend to scale your production quickly, you will need to plan for it proactively. Your plan will account for how you will use your time and resources most effectively to support your growth. Waiting for crisis mode—too much demand, not enough supply—is too late and will inevitably lead to diminished product quality and dissatisfied customers.
Your people. In this high-growth period, it might be tempting to put the majority of your focus on your customers. But don’t forget to take care of your employees, too.
Invest in your people. Give them the resources they need to be more productive, so as the company scales, they can, too. If you don’t, you risk business burnout as your employees become too overwhelmed to continue doing what made the business deliver quality in the first place.
Help them focus. Asking people to perform tasks for which they weren’t hired originally and don’t have the skills or passion is a sure way to lose them.
Your time. Time is a precious resource, especially if you’re the leader of your company. To scale and still maintain quality means the business has to do everything right, not just the things you have time to tackle. You have to decide what needs your attention versus what is best left to others to handle.
When you only have so much time and the business so many resources, you can look for areas to outsource. When you outsource, not only are you freeing up your valuable time to run the company, you are most likely getting daily tasks done at a lower cost.
Functions that small businesses typically choose to outsource include:
Your cashflow. When you’re scaling fast, it’s tempting to start spending more money to support and fuel that growth. Before you know it, you’ve invested in systems, equipment, facilities and additional people that your business simply can’t support. Remember, the key to scalability, is bringing in more than you’re incrementally spending. Identify what drives your business (i.e., marketing, sales, product developent) and focus your spending there.
Outsourcing fulfillment services to Ohio Valley Goodwill is a winning plan
Ohio Valley Goodwill’s Industrial Services Division has partnered with some of the top brands in Greater Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky, and Southeast Indiana to provide the operational efficiencies needed to scale and maintain quality. We are a trusted fulfillment services resource with the ability and knowledge to support efficiency and help reduce overhead costs. Our skilled team offers extensive, hands-on experience to make a seamless transition from in-house to off-site of your fulfillment services.
When your business partners with our Industrial Services Division, not only do you gain a cost-effective partner with decades of experience, but you also support the Goodwill mission to provide meaningful employment to individuals with disabilities. As a business leader in our region, your employees and customers will know you have contributed to making Greater Cincinnati a more embracing and equitable community. To learn more and take a free tour of our facilities, please contact us today.