Top reasons why businesses don’t scale up?
You might be reading this post specifically to get a perspective about why businesses don’t scale up, or you might just be curious to change the way you operate to scale your business if you intend to. Whatever the reasons here are few reasons why businesses don’t scale up:
- Not all businesses can be scaled: First check what is your business model. Is it scalable? A scalable business is a business where the business owner or a specific person is not required to make it run all the time, and the business can be run even without a particular person. So do a proper introspection about your business model, and see what are the dependencies and how to ensure that the business model is not dependent on any particular person. People dependent (Someone specific has to run the service) businesses are not scalable, after a point.
- Mindset: Are you a business owner who wants to do everything. If that is who you are then your business can’t be scalable. You will end up doing everything, and as such, you can never move out of the business. If you can let go of this mindset of doing everything on your own, then you can give yourself a chance to scale up, focus on the strategy part of the business, and create services. You can attend the NLP Practitioner program to develop a mindset for success, work on your beliefs, enhanced goal setting and goal achivement techniques etc.
- Identity: Who are you as a person? Some people enjoy their craft, they want to do it themselves, period. For them doing is living, and scaling up is not what they are looking at. Don’t scale up your business, if you don’t want to. Some businesses are passion based, person based, and person specific. It may appear a business from outside, when people view it, but for the business owner scalability may not be an agenda. So, if you are business owner who thrives on doing it yourself, don’t stress over business scaling if you are hearing that from someone and are feeling the heat to think about scaling, because of external pressure. You know yourself best, and if running your own business is joyful for you as a small set up, then keep on doing what you love, and forget about scaling up. Some business owners are happy doing what they love, and can’t live without doing!
- Investment: Scaling up business might need a strategy change, process change, etc. Most importantly, it would need investment to do all of that. Plus, after those changes it will take some time for the business model to take shape. At times the investment is too less for the business to take shape after a process change, strategy change, and hence business can fail. So if you are a business owner looking to scale up, make sure investment is 3x times than planned for, so that there is flexibility to test different models, and there is no pressure of immediate success, and there is enough buffer if time taken to scale up is getting extended.
- Team: If you want to scale up, bring in process and domain experts who can run different services, and run the business as a well oiled machine. Businesses which can scale are the ones which will have a robust operational team to manage the dynamic nature due to expansion.
- Culture shift: Scaling up a business requires culture shift. Small business owners run their businesses along with their team like a family. The values in that business are different. For a business that is looking to scale up different values and culture will be required, and the team has to align accordingly, or a new team will be required to make that happen. So plan accordingly.
These are some of the points to be considered if you are thinking how to scale up a business. Get the fundamentals right in terms of the requirements, time, money, etc.
There are many horror stories where entrepreneurs have fallen in the trap of scaling up, and in the process lost their sleep, mental wellbeing, money, and impacted other areas of their life.
If you are happy running your own show, cut the noise from social media, and enjoy doing what you are doing.
Enjoy your craft and learn to execute some of your own plans!
Vikram Dhar, Founder (NLP Coaching Academy)