Jyssica Schwartz
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Growing vs. scaling your small business.

Entrepreneurs are always looking for ways to scale. If you aren’t sure what that means, according to Fundable, here are the differences between growing your company and scaling your business:

Growing means you are adding resources at the same rate that you’re adding revenue. This model occurs constantly in professional services business models — they gain a client, hire more people to service the client, and add revenue at the same exact rate at which they’ve added more costs. While they’ve technically “grown,” they haven’t scaled.

On the other hand, scaling is about adding revenue at an exponential rate while only adding resources at an incremental rate. Google has clearly demonstrated this concept by adding customers at a quick pace while adding very few additional resources to service those customers. That’s why they were able to increase their margin at a rapid rate in just a few short years.”

Basically, as a small business owner, you want to scale your business: adding revenue without needing to necessarily hire additional people or get more paid software subscriptions, etc. to support the new business.

1. The easiest and fastest way to scale your business is to simply raise your prices. You add to the overall revenue, but not to your workload.

2. Another way is to create additional offerings. For example, if you were only doing writing services, you could add editing services to your business. Or maybe you already do both, and then you choose to start marketing those existing services to college and graduate students, to help edit term papers and thesis papers. You would be expanding on your existing offerings, but not necessarily needing to grow your company in size to complete the additional work.

This translates to every service-based business. If you are doing website development, you can also offer hosting or admin services. If you do graphic design, you can also start offering ebook formatting or book cover design services.

3. You can add value to current offerings. You may choose to have a more customized experience, or start putting out free newsletters or content marketing with deeper information and value to your current clients. This can attract new clients as well as deepen the value to existing ones.

Or you can choose to add value to existing services by offering something that takes you very little time but adds to the client’s satisfaction or makes their job easier. For example, I do a lot of blogging for companies, so I started offering to source two images for each blog or to post the blog post for them on their site. This makes it far easier for the client, as they need to do less work (and think about it all less!) but only takes me a few extra minutes.

4. Another way to scale is to automate as much as possible. Instead of sending a thank you or welcome email to every new inquiry or client individually by copying and pasting the email and the email address in and hitting send and recording it in your spreadsheet, an automated system for doing the same thing will save you time and allow you to focus on other parts of your business. This can be automated through email services like Gmail or through mailing list services like MailChimp and ConstantContact — both of which have free versions.

There are ways to automate a lot of your business, from email responses to marketing campaign emails or ads to bookkeeping and more.

5. Finally, a huge thing some people miss when looking to scale is the need to streamline your pricing. When trying to scale your business, simplicity is key. You want easy-to-understand pricing models. You can’t be creating pricing on a case-by-case basis every day or having so many different pricing packages that people get bored or frustrated going through them to try and find what they need. Streamlining your prices and what you offer for what price makes it easier for a potential client to see and choose what they want, and say yes! You can do this by having set packages with prices and what each package includes or creating flat rates you stick to and what that rate includes.

For example, when I first started my business, I was mostly guessing and estimating prices based on research. I was making up individual quotes for each client as I spoke to them about their needs. Eventually, I decided on a flat rate for per-word writing and editing prices, a flat rate for hourly pricing for projects, and then a monthly retainer rate for clients who wanted more of a commitment. By creating specific rates, I am able to more easily keep track of my invoicing and money coming in, as well as be able to easily give quotes — even to clients I didn’t have as much knowledge about.

Having set rates also keeps you on track and makes you much less likely to give every person who asks a discount, which then helps you weed out the bad or flakey clients, making your whole job easier!

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