How do I Scale my Business Quickly?

A frequent question asked by SME owners is how do I scale my business quickly?  Growth can be just as challenging as the lack of it, and the ability to grow is almost always about successful planning, following best practice, and developing good processes.


As businesses grows, systems and processes that worked before can come under strain and may need to be adapted or changed.  A common challenge is when the business owner or manager doesn’t delegate effectively and becomes the logjam in any decision making, resulting in stagnation, missed opportunities and frustration within the broader team.  Each business is different, but it is usually obvious when such a situation develops, and it is important that it is addressed quickly. 


At Evoke, we advise our clients the importance of senior people working ‘on’ moving the business forward and not just working ‘in’ the business.  Too often, owners are bogged down in the minutiae and a critical first step can be the delegation of non-essential tasks.  Enabling them to focus on important issues and growth. Another common solution will typically involve creating and hiring for an additional supervisory or management role, to spread the decision making away from the owner.  This will improve response times to challenges and undoubtedly improve communication across the business, as more junior staff have more oversight and engagement than before.


Growth isn’t just about people; it is also about improving and updating the essential processes in your business.  Whether it’s sales, lead generation, project management, or production processes, Evoke Part-time Directors can help business owners review the key workflows and look for opportunities to streamline, automate, or improve, using best practice learned throughout their own careers.


One of the biggest challenges of any growth is recruitment.  How do you attract and retain the best talent for your business?  Again, good process will help.  Review your business demand and try to plan out when and where in the business you will need additional resources.  Identify which of these resources are key hires and when you will need them. A key hire is someone who will either lead their own team and perhaps want to be involved in hiring them, or a key role that will improve productivity and without which other parts of the business will be hampered in their growth.


Depending on scale, business owners should work with in-house or external HR resource to plan recruitment activity and focus on these key hires, filling in with the other roles as required.  Before you start the hiring process make sure you have a clear idea of who you want to bring into your team.  They need to have the right skills for the role, but they also need to complement the current workforce and complement your existing company culture. In extreme growth scenarios, which is a nice problem to have, adding large numbers of new hires can cause real challenges.  Do you add new hires to existing teams, do you create entirely new teams around new hires, or form new teams with a mixture of both? 


Again, this will vary by business and be influenced by the people you are hiring, but we would recommend absorbing new hires into existing teams, then splitting those teams as they get too large.  This gives all new hires a veteran colleague to work alongside and help them get up to speed and adapt to company culture. It also adds fresh ideas and new talent into existing teams. Then when new teams are split off and formed, they are a hybrid of both relatively new and experienced team members, but all are (hopefully) already working smoothly together, minimising a ‘them’ and ‘us’ situation.


In summary, successfully scaling any businesses can be hard, but with planning and good best practice you give yourself the opportunity to succeed without too many mistakes.  And of course, the advice from an Evoke Part-time Director can help you plan and execute the strategy.

Portfolio Director