How To Scale A Service-Based Business

How To Scale A Service-Based Business

Hire smartly and automate what you can.

Scaling any business takes time, money, and often, a lot more effort than you think. Scaling a service-based business in particular is tricky—we’ve seen many try to scale and then crash as they outpace their own growth.

So how can you make sure not to follow in their footsteps? I asked 9 entrepreneurs from YEC for their best advice on scaling service-based businesses. Here, they share what strategies worked for them, and what they would suggest others do.

1. Outsource, Then Hire

When growing rapidly, the knee-jerk reaction is to hire to meet the increasing demand. But before hiring staff, determine if any of the roles and services could be performed by a robust pool of freelancers or contractors. These resources not being on staff would be seamless to the client or end user, but allow the company flexibility if business slows or if someone doesn’t work out. You can always hire, but using outside resources first allows the owner to think about long-term growth strategy versus growing out of reaction to the immediate workload. And you may be able to get expertise and experience from contractors that you couldn’t afford to hire as full-time employees. Angela Harless, AcrobatAnt 

2. Remember You Can’t Do It All

When my business first starting growing, I spread myself too thin by trying to still be involved in everything. Once I learned that I didn’t have to feel guilty about not being involved in every task, I became less stressed, and Crowd Surf started to flourish even more. It’s important to surround yourself with team members who are amazing, because you’re going to have to delegate projects to them. We established a great system of weekly calls and reports to monitor the success of our team members, so I can be knowledgable about everything that’s happening and not become overwhelmed with a massive workload. Cassie Petrey, Crowd Surf 

3. Surround Yourself With the Right People and Right Attitudes

As much as you want to be in multiple places at once, it is imperative that instead you find enthusiastic people who share your brand’s mission to help you scale. The right or wrong person can make all the difference. Trust your gut when interviewing and recruiting. If it doesn’t feel right, or if they don’t share your passion, they are not the right person. Have a manual in place and a training process ready to go before you start looking for the people. Once you find the right people, train them on your brand’s guiding principles so that when they expand your service it is as if you are doing it yourself. The person you hire needs to be competent in the service they are providing, as well as knowledgeable of the market they are serving (both location and demographic). Lindsay Pinchuk, Bump Club and Beyond 

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