Scaling business is an evolution. As companies ramp up in that “go big or go home” mentality, the inevitable burden of complexity tends to weight down progress. There are about 28 million businesses in the United States, and only 4% ever make it to the $1 million revenue mark (Scaling Up, 2008). That means roughly 27 million companies never break the threshold. Why?
Small business tends to thrive when staffing levels are between 2 and 12 employees. Communication is centralized. Tasks and responsibilities are delegated, and processes are streamlined. Leadership creates the vision and the team executes. When operations reach a point where there is more work to be done than capacity allows, many companies will just hire more people and call it good. But this is generally where the law of entropy kicks in – suddenly the company’s once-organized approach starts declining into chaos.
Unraveling anything that’s not working in a business starts with organizational structure. Are there cohesive lines of communication from top leadership to middle management? Does middle management have the authority to delegate without bottlenecking decision-making? Are new teammates trained within the scope of the organization, or were they simply hired to plug a leak in the production line?
Growing a business must account for bulking up all levels of infrastructure and systems. Does your current setup have the capacity to take on more? Do your systems have the capability to execute on increased demand? Answering these questions first will help you determine if your business is ready to scale. If it’s not, and growth becomes the source of miscommunications, failures to deliver according to your set timelines, or teammates become increasingly confused in their roles – it’s time to take a step back.
Scaling up your organization can be challenging, but with a strategic look at your organization’s current strengths, and areas of opportunity, a solid growth-orientated plan can be created (one that won’t derail the progress you’ve already achieved).
Have a question about scaling your business? Email us – we’ll provide an honest evaluation and discuss the options for your company’s growing trajectory.