How to Know When to Scale Your Home Service Business
Businesses are in the business of growing. If I’m an enterprising entrepreneur, after the initial launch and early success of my company, one of the first questions I ask is, how do I expand my business?
How to know when to scale your business most efficiently and effectively to support more customers and employees while creating more revenue is one of the major factors in determining the long-term success of your company. However, trying to scale before your home service business is ready can cause serious infrastructural and financial issues. And while there isn’t a magic formula that can tell you exactly the right time to enlarge your enterprise, there are observable indicators that can serve as clues to let you know when your business is ready for the next level.
Growing a Business vs. Scaling a Business
Before a business owner begins thinking about scaling a business, they first need to ask, what does it mean to scale a business? That’s because growing and scaling a business are two very different things.
Think of growth as the initial stages of building your business, where a significant amount of investment is required, and the returns tend to start out lower and more volatile before they hit their growth trajectory. This is a stage where you announce your brand to the public, attract and retain initial customers, launch your services, deliver quality work, and hire your team. It’s when you navigate your corporate ship out of the harbor.
Scalability isn’t as simple as selling more products. It’s that important phase of your corporate development when you reach a level of service that takes the business to another level of performance, success, and stability. You train your staff to be more productive, expand your service offerings, optimize your advertising, and brand message, and further promote your brand on a broader scale to a larger audience. It’s when you learn to effectively sail your ship through any and all conditions.
Considerations Before Scaling Your Business
Your ability to answer these three key questions will equip you to know how to scale a business.
1. Do You Have Enough Demand?
Business may be flourishing now, but will it be sustainable in the long run or are you just experiencing a temporary spike? To properly gauge customer demand, you’ll have to collect the appropriate data and learn to understand market trends and forecasts. A savvy entrepreneur will then analyze the data and put together various scenarios of what could happen to your demand once you expand and lay out how you would respond to each situation.
If you're ready to scale your business, you should have many returning clients and a steady stream of new clients. A returning client base is a sign that your business is delivering a quality good or service and that you're delivering it consistently. Repeat clients also give you a sense of financial stability and confidence that your business will see future demand.
2. Do You Know Your Customers' Expectations?
Business expansion shouldn’t be based solely on increased demand. One of the biggest challenges home service businesses face when scaling isn’t only retaining new customers but being able to attract enough to support their new and continued growth.
Your decision to know when expansion is right for you will depend on your customers and their wants and needs. That’s why it’s essential to evaluate whether customers go out of their way to find you and whether they keep coming back or if they aren’t as committed. If they do keep coming, these are strong indicators that your business is ready to expand.
3. Do You Have the Right Processes in Place?
Scaling a business doesn’t just involve growing upward and outward. It also means maximizing the performance of your internal processes and operations. These processes are fundamental to any business’s scalability—your ability to deliver the same quality service varies at a larger customer base than at a smaller one.
Some business models are more scalable than others, and the systems and processes that worked in your business’ early stages may not be as efficient on a bigger scale.
It is essential that no matter how you plan on scaling your business, you have documented systems in place that you can have your team utilize and can be used to improve on.
Small Business Scaling Through Franchising
Learning how to scale a small business requires you to adjust to numerous conditions and customer cues because it will significantly affect the way you operate your business in the future.
If you’re ready to scale your business but don’t know where to start, one of the best ways of expanding rapidly could be franchising. Joining your profitable and efficient company and services with a well-known franchisor to learn from their years of experience, established customer base, and business model will help you scale more quickly and efficiently than trial-and-error on your own.
Call Neighborly® today and see which franchises are best fits for converting your existing business into an even more productive enterprise.