“Scaling a business” upward may appear to be the modus operandi of most companies these days. We hear so much about ‘rock-star’ startups and new players who stand to revolutionize entire industries seemingly overnight.
But the truth is that all enterprises are not in an ascension or expansion mode, and what works for one headline-making enterprise doesn’t work for all.
While there are certainly some better practices that can make or break a business, the truth is that how, when or why a company grows is as unique as the visionary who started the organization in the first place, the product they manufacture or the service they provide. According to some reports, 80 percent of entrepreneurs who start a new business shutter operations within just 18 months. And it’s been documented that 96 percent of businesses flunk out within 10 years.
Those are some sobering statistics. And that’s why entrepreneurs can scale back – rather than scale up – to preserve their emerging idea if conditions call for a more measured, restrained pace.
Outsourcing certain services, and bringing on contractors to keep pace, is a smart, strategic way to not merely tread water, but to preserve the pulse of a business. Strategic contracting out of key functions enables entrepreneurs to achieve gains without collapsing due to the pressures of “growth for the sake of growth.”
The scalable remote options of outsourced bookkeeping, marketing, content, virtual assistants and online management services, for example, can help new businesses retain viability, just as they can assist more established outfits in remaining operational.
Shifts in business plans or global strategy can be challenging to acknowledge, if not implement. So these four pointers provide a directional roadmap, showing how entrepreneurs can find empowerment in re-centering while optimizing the benefits afforded by the gig workplace.
Be willing to go “next level” rather than “highest level.”
If you’re like many business owners, you started out thinking big rather than baseline. Maybe you thought you’d have X-number of employees and would have moved into X-location in the hippest, trendiest hub of your city by now. There’s no dishonor in deconstructing your aims, especially for the sake of your business’s lifeline. Humble thyself and be willing to seize on “next level” wins rather than the grand finale right now.
Value incremental as much as explosive.
Think about your business vision as a series of stepping stones that will gradually take you to the next landing, before you begin climbing again to reach the next threshold. It was Brazilian novelist Paulo Coelho who said, “The two hardest tests on the spiritual road are the patience to wait for the right moment and the courage not to be disappointed with what we encounter.”
Choose one appetizer rather than the entire menu.
You wanted to launch a new digital strategy, hire an entire interactive staff team and blow out your advertising budget for the new app you’ve been developing for the past year . . . all within the first quarter. Slower growth means picking and choosing, with the discipline of understanding that delayed gratification can grow your business.
Reset your vision without becoming nearsighted.
Recalibrating your idea of what success means – what it looks like and the timetable on which it should happen – can be difficult for ambitious leaders to do. Dig deeper to examine whether key goals were actually about ego, or if they were really essential from a business perspective.
Share with us on the BELAY Facebook community how you’re deploying project-based or contractual talent to keep pace in your business. How have these scalable options helped you navigate business challenges or grow incrementally, as needed?