To answer any question, it is of course important to know exactly what the question is, and in this context that means to fully understand what the person asking the question means by ‘scale’. For some this will simply mean having two small retail outlets rather than one, whilst others are looking to expand very aggressively and planning world domination in 5 years.
If as a founder your plans are to stay as a side hustle or a lifestyle business then in many ways life is more simple, as it is not necessary to take on all the additional responsibilities that scaling brings with it. Micro businesses often do not raise any external equity finance or even hire any senior staff, just to name two differences.
However, in order to scale a business there are so many more considerations that must be accounted for, including the following:
All of the above takes time and resources, and whilst they are being put in place and imbedded, they are actually distracting from the main point of the business, and that is to grow sales and profitability.
Scaling a business, as with any undertaking works best when there is a precise vision and a detailed plan for what steps to take and in what order. This plan will reveal the best way to scale as well as when to scale, but all of this must be based on good research of the market, the competition, and the opportunities. Whilst the plan needs to have a very definite timeline and key milestones along the way, it must also build in contingencies to cater for those little setbacks that will inevitably occur.
So, the best way to scale a business is with consideration and planning that has been arrived at after solid research. It then needs to have the financing in place to ensure that all the other necessary resources will be available when needed, and as the business grows in scale and complexity it needs a good Advisory Board and other external advisors to ensure that the business keeps its focus and maximises new opportunities in a professional way.
in British English