Then you aren't going to want to miss this week's episode of the Lean Out Your Business Podcast, where I dive into scaling your business simply and sustainably.
In this episode, I discuss:
- The difference between growing and scaling
- Why it's important to focus on scaling and not only business growth
- How simplicity helps you scale
- Signs that you do not have a scalable business model
- The #1 reason businesses struggle with scaling
I also give you some insights and take you behind the scenes of my Simplify to Scale Business Accelerator Program (S2S).
Tune into Episode 24 of the Lean Out Your Business Podcast or keep reading below.
The Difference Between Growth and Scaling
It’s very common when someone starts a business that they wear many different hats, they try many different things and have many different types of customers. This first stage of business is what I refer to as the Emerge Stage and in it, you’re really just trying to figure out where you belong. Your number one priority in this stage of business should be to find your product/market fit.
Your product/market fit is when you become clear on:
· What you’re known for
· Who your ideal client is
· Your sweet spot price point – that price point that leaves your customers feeling like they are getting a great value while also generating enough revenue and profit for you and your business
Once you know your product/market fit, then you want to focus on growth and growth is really just getting more customers. Although you certainly want to grow your business, you want to make sure that you don’t only focus on growth because although growth produces more revenue, it also produces more expenses (you need more resources, money, time, tools, processes, etc. to properly manage and support your growing client base).
Rather than just growing, we want to have accelerated lean growth. If you are not leaning out while growing, you’re usually working a whole lot more and sometimes not earning anymore, sometimes you may actually be earning less. The Lean Out Method can help you grow sustainably by helping ensure you don’t grow past your resources.
When we lean out, we get strategic on how we spend our time and invest our money, we build a rockstar team (not just hiring out of desperation to offload tasks rapidly from our plate). When we lean out, we stop saying yes to everything, we leverage and optimize the tools we already have rather than buying ALL of the new shiny tools and we invest in, build and train teams.
If you only focus on growth and forget about scaling, you may end up working really hard but without having more profit in the bank to reward you for all of your efforts and without having the freedom of time, finances and choice that many of us dreamed of when we first decided to start our own business.
Scale comes after growth.
I teach that there are 4 stages of business:
1. Emerge – You are figuring out that profit/market fit
2. Growth – You are increasing revenue, leaning out and getting rid of anything that no longer serves your business
3. Scale – You now know what is working and you are going to leverage it so that you have more freedom
When you are focused on scaling the business, you are scaling your time down and your leverage/reach/profit up. You can do this because you’ve already dedicated the time to building the systems, the team and all of the things so that your business is a healthy ecosystem, running effectively and efficiently. In this stage of business, you now get to focus your attention on the things that you love to do, on your unique zone of genius and you can trust your team to take care of the rest.
This is where both your impact and your profit increase. For me, I like to invest back into my team and into my family, I like to live a particular lifestyle and generating a certain profit enables me to invest in the things and people that matter most to me.
"You want to simplify in order to scale." - Crista Grasso Click To Tweet
Simplify to Scale
Simplicity starts with clarity. You cannot do simple if you are not clear on what actually matters. If you’ve been a part of any of my trainings or have listened to other episodes of this podcast then you may already know the biggest tip I give to entrepreneurs: begin with the end in mind. When you know where you want to go, when you know what the future looks like, you can reverse engineer your path to success.
Having a clear vision for the future of your company is so important and it’s really important that it is a balance of three things
1. Your business itself – what is it known for, how does it help people, what is it the go-to for?
2. Who are your customers – who are they now, and what are they going to need from you in the future?
3. Yourself – what do you want your lifestyle to look like and how does the business help you achieve that lifestyle?
It’s really important to be clear on these things because as I mentioned earlier being clear on what actually matters helps you simplify. For example, when you think of your customers are these customers
you plan on having as life-long customers? If yes, then building an ascension program is going to be very important for your business. Or are you only going to work with a certain type of customer? Maybe your business specializes in working with start-ups. In that case, customer attraction and lead generation are going to be more important.
When it comes to playing to your strengths do you love the idea of being a visionary leader? Do you like the idea of being that true CEO, of making sure systems are running properly and people have all the tools they need to succeed within your organization or do you prefer the idea of being the doer, you just want to get things done and help people? Does one of these type of leadership roles make you more excited about the future than the other? If yes, that’s a good thing, but each different goal will require a different business model to achieve it.
Just make sure that as you build a business that the role you build for yourself aligns with what you actually want for your future.
"Simplicity starts with clarity." - Crista Grasso Click To Tweet
Aligning Your Business Model with Your Vision
When you begin with the end in mind and have a clear vision of where your business is going, you want to create a simple and scalable business model in alignment with that vision. There are three signs that often suggest a business model is out of alignment with the vision.
1. Complex and misaligned business models
2. There are too many offers or there is a lack of a cohesive offer suite – if a lot of people ask, what do you do again? Are you sure you can help me, this could be a sign that your product is not as clearly defined as it could be
3. There is a lack of systems in place, or the systems in place are overly complicated
These three things are the opposite of simple and scalable and the reality is that these may be the reason you’re experiencing inconsistent results for your business and more importantly, for your customers.
Having a complex and misaligned business model with a lack of alignment is the number one roadblock I see preventing businesses from scaling.
Once you know what is in alignment with your vision, you need to lean out everything that is not in alignment with that vision. When you combine clarity with alignment and leaning out things that aren’t in alignment; that’s your secret to scaling simply and sustainably.
"Begin with the end in mind." - Crista Grasso Click To Tweet
Now that you have that alignment as a foundation for your growth, you need to start strategic planning. Strategic planning is an absolute essential element of your business growth. When you’re looking at lean strategic planning (my zone of genius) you want to make sure that as you’re looking long term you keep things high level, and only plan the details “just in time.” If you plan too many details too far in advance, you introduce the possibility for a lot of waste and ultimately a lot of frustration.
For more on strategic planning listen to Episode 22 of the Lean Out Your Business Podcast.
If you are ready to simplify your business so you can scale, you can start right now by making sure you have your product/market fit, that you are accelerating your growth by leaning out, that you have a clear vision for the future of your company (one that aligns with the future you’ve dreamed for yourself) and that you are creating a strategic plan to execute that vision.
If you want to start scaling but looking at that list of to-dos seems a little overwhelming you don’t have to go on the journey alone. If you want to be a part of an amazing community that can you help you gain the clarity you need to scale your online business then I’d love for you to apply to my Simplify to Scale Business Accelerator Program.
It’s time to get your time back, do more of what you love, dramatically increase your impact and profitability, and unlock your next level of visionary leadership through strategy, planning, systems and team.
by Crista Grasso
Crista Grasso is the go-to strategic planning expert for leading global businesses and online entrepreneurs when they want to scale. Known as the "Business Optimizer", Crista has the ability to quickly cut through noise and focus on optimizing the core things that will make the biggest impact to scale a business simply and sustainably. She specializes in helping businesses gain clarity on the most important things that will drive maximum value for their clients and maximum profits for their business. She is the creator of the Lean Out Method, 90 Day Lean Out Planner, and host of the Lean Out Your Business Podcast. She is also the founder and CVO of the Profitable Planner Co and Criscara Jewelry.