We all want to grow our businesses, but business owners often confuse the concept of growing a business with scaling a business. They aren’t the same thing. If you put in 50 percent more money (and time) and your revenues increase by 50 percent, your business is technically growing, but you’ve not gained any net value. You’re working harder and spending more to get that extra return. But if you spend 10 percent more and experience 500 percent growth—that’s scaling. The idea is to grow exponentially with minimal extra investment.
Top Business Scaling Strategist Allison Maslan explains in her bestselling book Scale Or Fail: How to Build Your Dream Team, Explode Your Growth, and Let Your Business Soar that “…scaling means being able to grow your business while at the same time managing the expanding workload without sacrificing your level of performance, efficiency, and employee safety. If you are scaling properly, you are creating processes and workflows that improve all areas of your operation and save you a lot of time, money, and headaches”.
The concept of scaling up your marketing strategy follows the same concept—you expand your marketing reach exponentially by developing strategies to improve your reach while minimizing your outlay, and your business begins to scale as a result.
Digital marketing is quite easy to scale because you can expand your audience significantly with minimal effort. For instance, it takes no more effort to send 5000 emails than it does to send 5 million, and there are many automation tools available in the digital space that allow you to reach more people for less money. That said, how do you know when you’re ready to up your game in marketing? Let’s look at some key indicators.
You Have the Capacity to Handle Growth
Scaling your marketing will inevitably give you significantly more leads and customers. The question is—is your business prepared to handle those new customers or clients when they come pouring in? If you haven’t made significant preparations within your business to accommodate a higher number of clients, orders, etc., then scaling your marketing efforts could actually do more harm than good. Word travels fast, especially online, and you don’t want to become known as the company that couldn’t fulfill its orders or service its clients. As Allison Maslan goes on to say in her Scale of Fail book, “either they (businesses) don’t have the bandwidth to keep up with the sales demand or production, miss out on major opportunities due to fear, or keep making the same mistakes over and over because systems and processes aren’t in sync with the rate of growth”. Before ramping up your marketing, make sure you have the infrastructure in place to accommodate the influx—available representatives, suppliers, manufacturing, etc.
You Have Clearly Identified Your Target Market
Expanding your marketing reach is not just about reaching more people—it’s about reaching more of the right people. Investing in more marketing is a waste of money unless you’re aiming your message at the people who want and need what you’re offering—no matter at what scale. Make sure you’ve done your homework and can identify exactly who your ideal customer is, where they hang out, etc., before you try scaling. Your goal is first to know your audience, then to take steps to reach more of them.
You Have Developed a Predictable Model of Success
Another key indicator to look at is the effectiveness of your current marketing strategy. Some businesses approach the idea of scaling from the wrong angle—they want to scale because their current marketing strategy isn’t producing the results they want. That’s entirely the wrong approach because scaling your marketing is all about doing more of what works, not what doesn’t work. You have to have developed a workable marketing strategy, one that produces consistent results, before you can hope to have success on a broader scale. If your marketing isn’t working right now at your current level, keep tweaking and testing and making adjustments until you’ve got a strategy that works predictably. Then you’ll have the confidence that scaling will produce the results you’re looking for.