5 essentials to scale your design business – PART 1 of scaling a business

5 Things You Need To Know To Take Your Business To The Next Level

Is your business doing good, and you are now ready to scale it? Here are 5 things you need to know to scale your design business to the next level. These are the assessment questions we use to determine the stage of the customer’s business and readiness for the next stage.

In this Ultimate Growth Guide article series, we cover how to grow and scale without sacrificing quality and wellbeing.

Overview of the article series

Let’s dive into the 5 essentials that you need to know about your business before you start scaling!

Do you like your business, brand, and customers?

Many business owners find that they, in fact, don’t feel so passionate about their businesses. This doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker if they know that this business is just a stepping stone toward their financial and lifestyle goals. However, the type of customers WE work with are passionate entrepreneurs who LOVE what they do; they are building their legacy and are 100% committed to it.

If you realize you’re not that excited about your business, you’re heading for trouble if you start scaling it.

This doesn’t mean that we need to kill your business, but it means that we need to get real about what is it you LOVE and what you don’t and engineer a business that lights your fire.

If you feel very strongly about your brand; the essence, values, personality, whom you attract, and the visual elements of your brand… you are more likely to want to share it with the world. Scaling up means stepping out of your current circles and getting out there and radiating your brand. If you feel meh about your brand, will you radiate with confidence?

Do you love your customers? Are they the type of people and organizations that you’ve always dreamed about doing business with? If yes, great, let’s bring in thousands of similar customers. If not, then we need to get back to the dream customer design board and decide who your new ideal customer is going to be.

What does it cost to make money in your business?

If a business has no idea how much its client acquisition costs, or how much the value delivery costs, it’s impossible to create a model that helps them increase its revenue and profits. So, you need to run the numbers to see if the business model makes sense.

Consistent customers coming through doors, and the consistent actions that lead to sales… consistent measuring the results so that we can make an EDUCATED strategy for optimizing growth. That’s what is required for you to be able to scale.

This is, unfortunately where most business owners put blinders on.

We have created specific tools that help you collect the necessary data to understand how your business performs, and then be able to make the right decisions about the future.

Three specific areas of data need to be gathered:

  • cost of your client acquisition, i.e. your sales and marketing
  • cost of delivery, i.e. time and material costs
  • cost of all fixed and variable items that go into keeping the doors open and the lights on (and the food on your table)

Can your current business model scale?

Many service professionals start with a personal 1:1 model and while it makes sense to get started, this model is most likely not going to work when moving your business to the next level. Or it can, but you, the founder, cannot be the only one who’s delivering the service.

This is NEVER one-size-fits-all, and that’s why, business modeling for profit maximization is a practice during which you discover that magic combination of offers, products, services, price points, delivery methods, and customer acquisition that helps you scale without losing your quality, and sanity.

When you scale, you need to understand how it affects your work, both time and resources spent delivering your excellence and also the quality of work – we don’t want it to suffer when you scale up.

How do you spend your time?

If you’re maxed out time-wise, you need to create space for growth. To scale up your design business, you need resources in terms of time and money.

Growth doesn’t happen by accident but by choice. And to be able to have space for growth, you need to have resources for this.

One of the biggest growth blockers is a maxed-out capacity, which in turn creates overwhelm and stress, and the business owner wants to grow (in theory) but the idea of doing it is so scary because she’s already hitting the capacity ceiling. So knowing exactly where all the time goes to, and making strategic decisions about how to use your time effectively is critical at this stage.

Who do you need on the bus (and who needs to get off the bus)?

Growth is messy, and oftentimes companies that start to scale realize that they have the wrong people on the bus. This does not mean that they need to completely change the personnel, but it means that the current personnel must be trained in the new business, and often – people with higher skillsets are required to join the team to lead the company to that next stage.

Sometimes, this also means that some people need to leave. Some people who have been with you for a long time might resist the change, and as you grow and scale, you cannot have people on the team who resist your future.

Problems occur when a company tries to force junior staff members, who often are the early stage employees, into roles that require senior-level expertise. They also need to grow into their new roles and that doesn’t happen over night!

One more thing to think about when you scale your design business – what do you really want?

What kind of business do you really want? You need to be clear on the end goal to be able to create the strategy and find the resources needed to get there. What does success look like to you? Do you really want to scale up your design business?

When you feel it’s time to scale up, there are multiple considerations. We’ve covered the essentials that you need to be able to answer to take your design business to the next level. If you need help figuring out your next step, reach out to us, and let’s talk!