A Guide to Growing and Scaling Your Business – PART 2
Five Keys to Scaling Your Business Efficiently
In PART 1 of our “Guide to Growing and Scaling Your Business,” we opened with a clarification of the difference between Growth and Scaling. While some may consider the terms synonyms, they actually entail very distinct requirements and results.
Business growth refers to increasing the resources within your business–products, warehouse space, employees, investors, and so on. Increased revenue may result from this; however, it is often counteracted by the cost to expand. In other words, business is growing but that doesn’t mean your profit is growing. Meanwhile, scaling is about increasing revenue without needing to increase resources (i.e. you’re keeping it tight with your costs while higher profits are rolling in).
Growth is a pivotal first step that leads to scaling. If you achieve sustainable growth, then you may arrive at the threshold for scaling opportunity. If you do that, here are five key areas to perfect if you want to scale your business efficiently.
At A Glance
Your business has grown; HOORAY! Now it’s time to scale so your profits can also grow. The best means for doing that as eCommerce evolves is properly handling your business’s shopping experiences, technological integrations, outsourced partnerships, customer service systems, and retention initiatives.
1.) Stellar Shopping Experience
In terms of the former, online shopping experiences need to continuously find ways to be faster, more accessible, and better targeted to potential customers. Core factors to consider on this customer-facing front of your business are:
- A website that transfers equally well across devices
- Clear user interface that leads to a seamless purchase experience
- Engaging content
- Relevant marketing
- Methods for zeroing in on your target audiences
- Optimized SEO
- Ways to track and attribute traffic to better adjust your conversion journey
- Means for measuring and interpreting data
- Onsite and offsite remarketing efforts
2.) Terrific Technology
On the backend of online business, advanced technology is the cornerstone of a successful, scalable venture. The buzzword specifically–automation. Automation can save you time, resources, and general stress. When utilized properly it also allows you to optimize the resources you already have while freeing you up to deal with more high-level aspects of running your business.
3.) Perfect Partnerships
Similar to methods used for accelerating growth, when scaling your business, finding reliable partnerships (particularly with a trusted 3PL) is a pivotal part of success. Again, scaling isn’t about forking over extra money on additional labor, locations, and other resources to get your goods from one place to another, let alone guard and store your goods. Picking, packing, stocking, shipping, and so forth are not things you should be worrying about on a daily basis whether you get a dozen orders in a day or a thousand. Outsourcing fulfillment and logistics responsibilities to a trusted 3PL saves you money in terms of constantly bringing in the staff to handle those tasks, and saves you time so you don’t have to concern yourself with them either. And let’s be honest, for a business owner, time is money so if you work with a strong and reliable 3PL, scaling becomes much easier because you are protecting your bottom line on two fronts.
4.) Caring Customer Service
Retention is a huge part of scaling success. Big brands are not built from one-off purchases. If you want to scale your business and reap the reward of sustaining increased long-term revenue, it is vital that you have strong customer service systems set up across multiple platforms (phone, email, text, live chat, and social media). Additionally, there need to be systems in place for handling different kinds of customer service interactions (simple requests vs. complicated requests). According to a a customer service study done by Zendesk:
- 27% of people correlate not being able to contact customer service through their preferred channel with a bad customer experience
- 89% attribute a rapid response to an initial inquiry as a vital factor when deciding which company to buy from
- 87% of people say good customer service changes buying behavior while 97% assert that bad customer service changes buying behavior
Scaling your business is reliant on customers coming back. After all, customer acquisition costs only continue to get higher in the eCommerce industry. So in order for your revenue to go up, you need to have repeat business and that means making sure your customer service channels and systems are firing on all cylinders. Your buyers (whether prospects or returning visitors) should get the answers they need and be able to get in touch with you quickly, easily, and through the outlet that is most convenient for them. With these systems in place you can move customers through the conversion funnel with greater ease and handle any concerns or complaints before you lose new or repeat sales.
5.) Rockin’ Retention Initiatives
As mentioned, customer acquisition costs can be pricey–affecting your bottom line and thus detracting from scaling success. Ergo, strong emphasis should be placed on customer retention. In addition to maintaining excellent customer service, you can enhance your retention initiatives by:
- Getting customers to sign up for emails and other notifications
- Prompting customers to create personal accounts
- Having an enticing loyalty program that encourages repeat business
- Sending direct invitations to new customers for all of the above
These tactics will incline customers to become repeat customers–whether for the same product(s) they initially ordered, or future products. Furthermore, having an account, loyalty incentives to cash in on, etc. make a customer’s buying experience simpler and more favorable, thus increasing satisfaction and encouraging brand loyalty. The more loyal the customer, the better for your profit. The better your profit, the more you scale.
Eyes on the Prize
For the forward-minded entrepreneur, brand growth and scaling are always on the brain. That, of course, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t focus on the present state of things. It’s more like that old saying “Dress for the job you want to have.” As an entrepreneur, you should run your company like it’s the business you want it to be. Whether you’re entering the market as a small fish or a bluefin tuna, if you want to grow and ultimately scale, you need to take action, make choices, and craft a plan from the beginning that will allow you to do that when you’re ready. In this and our previous blog we covered detailed ways for doing this throughout the blog, but at the end of the day all these tips in their simplest form boil down to one piece of advice: find the right people and the right systems to put in place so you don’t have to be everywhere at once and don’t have to worry when you’re not.
We at ShipMonk, are happy to help you do that when you’re ready. Contact us today to get started with a 3PL known for its logistics experts, strong roots in time and cost saving technology, and systems that make your life easier, growth sustainable, and scalability a strong possibility!