Grow v. Scale

SCALE is such a sexy word nowadays. But, executing a sustained and impactful scale for your business is a lot more difficult than it seems. Start-up and small business owners alike can become so focused on raising money to scale, they do not stop to consider if they are actually ready to grow exponentially.

I understand the sex appeal of scaling. Start-ups in the past 10 years, especially companies with subscription based models, have made a lot of money through recurring revenue.

But, scaling a business is not simply about having a great idea or getting investor funds, you have to build a product or service that solves a problem your target market faces and execute that over and over again.

When planning for the future, it’s important to know where you are and whether you have the capacity to achieve growth or scale.

Here are a few distinct differences between Scale and Growth.

Trust the Process

The inspiration for this post came from a conversation with a fellow business owner, who is currently running an operation with a tight profit margin. She is in the midst of planning for next year and wanted to know what would happen if her sales increased by 1000%.

I wholly applaud her optimism. She very well may experience an increase in sales to that degree. But being honest — it’s not likely. And even if it was, she, like many optimistic business owners, is missing a key detail: the importance of incremental growth.

To reach that level of scaling requires more than just increased sales. You must start and work towards incremental growth with the goal of systemizing and automating your processes.

If you don’t, and you DO happen to experience major exponential growth — you’ll be totally unprepared. Major SCALE is more than just numbers on a page. It’s a goal that many business owners share and until we get there, there’s nothing wrong with incremental growth on our pathway towards a major scale.