Agile, open, and brave. Glenice Riley, FAB Group Global COO shares her thoughts on scaling up a business.
The last five years have been a period of intense growth for FAB Group and with this comes increased interest around a topic which is always high on the agenda for anyone with an operations or leadership background – scaling a business.
A common concern of those ready to scale-up their business is that they don’t have the finances to back themselves. However, while financial backing helps, the scaling of a business is not solely dependent on your financial situation, but the replicability of your brand.
When I say ‘replicability’, I’m not just talking about business processes, but about the DNA of your business and the ability to grow and expand your business into different locations. If you can create a product or service that is easily replicable in other places, you’ve got a business that is ready to be scaled.
How? Keep it simple and be ready to tweak your business model in response to the requirements of your newest location and its demographics.
I’ve written before about how important it is to conduct plenty of pre-research on the market you’re looking to enter and for FAB Group, this was imperative to our success in the UK. We now have six Skinsmiths clinics open in London but we’re still experimenting with our business model. Part of this means we need to commit to being agile and remain open to the feedback we receive from the UK market.
Another lesson we have learnt from scaling our business globally is that communication is number one. It’s not just about keeping up regular communication rhythms externally - it’s also about having clear goals that you can share with your team, business partners, and managers. If you take them on the journey with you, they will more readily buy into your vision and in turn, take their team and customers on this path with you too.
In determining whether your business is truly scalable, you’ll either have a proven model that you’re able to fund yourself, or you’ll have something other parties will be willing to invest in. And remember, investment isn’t just about money - it’s about expertise and the willingness of your team members to buy into your vision and be passionate about being part of something that is growing.
Let me finish by sharing a few tips around building on your emotional strength as you commit to scaling your business.
- Remind yourself that scaling up a business depends on courage just as much as wisdom. If you wait for conditions to be perfect, it might be too late.
- If you want to scale quickly, you need to be very clear about what your minimum viable product is. It’s much easier to add than to take away.
- Be ruthless about what you are not going to do versus what you are going to do. You will always continue to develop and adjust and improve. That’s a given.
- When the time comes to make a decision about whether to scale or not to scale, ask yourself this, “Is there a business case and do I have the means to make it happen?” If the answer is yes, then go!
I’ll be the first to admit that taking the first step requires courage. The most important thing to remember is that at any one time, you must be clear about what your end goal is. Ensure everyone is aligned with this goal, and awesome things will happen!