The founders of any business are under a lot of pressure. They’re responsible for initially getting the business started, crafting the company culture and mission, and making sure it succeeds past the beginning phases. However, there comes a time where founders need to step back and allow growth to happen.

Think of your small business like a space shuttle. It’s not sustainable for the starting engines to be the long-term engines at the same level of output they’re expected to give at the beginning. This is where scaling comes in.

Scaling can be understood as your company’s ability to expand and support new customers and a larger workload. “If you are meeting goals and building a client base, then scaling is an inevitable part of your business’ future,” says Answer 1.

Scaling can be an exciting challenge, if you approach it with a plan. The focus of you and your business founders needs to quickly convert from day-to-day operations to higher-level business strategy and long-term vision.

There are several key steps to keep in mind in building a scalable process. Here are 3 ways to scale your business.

1. Design the Process

The first step to successfully scaling your business is designing the process. Develop a blueprint for what you want to happen in the short and long term. Provide goals for each step, along with the strategies necessary for those steps. Identify who is involved with each part of the process, and make it clear what exactly they need to do for overall success.

The amount of detail necessary in this step cannot be overemphasized. Ask yourself as many questions as possible to ensure that whatever you do by intuition will now be accomplished by the system later.

There will be times where you just can’t be there for your business. That’s ok! By setting up a successful scaling system, you’ll ensure that your business can thrive without your input in every single step. After all, “profits are today, and growth is tomorrow.” Think ahead for the future.

2. Start Automating and Outsourcing

Now that you know what you need to accomplish, it’s time to automate as much as possible. If you can have services and process running on their own, your team can focus on crucial daily tasks and you can focus on the big picture.

The most important part of successfully automating processes is delegation. You need to know who is doing what for everything to run smoothly. The good news is that automating and outsourcing are easier than ever.

There are a number of great tools on the market for automating various processes in a business including social media, management, e-commerce, sales, communications, analytics, customer service, and app interconnectivity. Try out difference methods to find exactly what works for you.

3. Keep Testing and Exploring

Now that you’ve worked through the design process, it’s time to test it out. Keep in mind the initial goals and purposes of every step, evaluate the steps individually, and then look at the process as a whole.

Ask questions, note pros and cons of features, and perform cost-benefit analysis of everything. This is an important testing period, but it is also not the last one as the improvements will happen on a continual basis.

The most important part to bear in mind is that processes are designed to be changed. There is no perfect process and the more time you spend in continually improving a system, the more effective it will become.

Vagueness and abstractness are the enemies. By keeping terms simple and lists short, you will find that even the most complicated of systems can be boiled down to a number of steps.

Do your best to explain what steps have to be taken and answer questions before they are even asked or steps are even considered.

Move Forward with Bulletproof Scaling

Scaling is a certain part of any successful business. Make it exciting by planning ahead, taking advantage of automation and outsourcing, and staying up to date on all processes.

The founders of a business are essential for its short term and long term success, but that doesn’t mean you need to do everything yourself.

Your process might look completely different a few months or years down the road, but the foundation upon which you build your system is the key for any growth.

Scalability is all about doing what has to be done now in order to be ready for anything in the future.

Parker Davis
Parker Davis is the CEO of Answer 1, a leader in the virtual receptionist and technology enabled answering services industry. He believes that the application of data analytics, investment in technology, and fostering a positive company culture together create highly efficient and scalable growth companies. In 2016, Answer 1 achieved record revenues while also being awarded the Top Companies to Work For in Arizona award. Parker is also the Managing Partner of Annison Capital Partners, LLC, a private investment partnership. Follow him @Answer1 and on Facebook and LinkedIn.