What does it take to scale a company? How do you turn your growth pattern from a wavy line into an ascending curve? Here are five business scaling lessons to help you get on the right track…
Ian Blair, founder of BuildFire, is highly qualified to give advice on how to scale a business. He took his company from an underdeveloped startup to incredible heights in just a few year, and he did it without an extensive background in sales or marketing.
At just 26, Ian’s resume now shows over 10,000 apps and 10+ million users. Of course, most business owners never reach these types of numbers, but as impressive as they look on paper, what we really want to know is…
How did Ian reach this point? How did he scale BuildFire to the successful company it is today?
…And keep in mind that the company is still growing!
Ian used a combination of statistics, SEO, and general good business practices. With these tools, he scaled BuildFire into a powerhouse – a company that many now regard as the WordPress equivalent for apps.
He didn’t have much prior experience in scaling a business, but Ian quickly understood the core principles needed to do it right. You can use the same principles to transform your business!
Tip #1 – Know Your Ideal Customer
Let’s start with an example from BuildFire’s early days. At the beginning, the company didn’t focus on a specific audience. Their apps catered to everyone, from high school students to Fortune 500 companies.
The reason this happened was simple: Ian lacked the experience required for scaling a business… So the primary means of growth were organic search traffic and SEO.
But he didn’t target specific audiences. His use of SEO was very generic, which allowed almost anyone to find his company. Although this may seem like the ideal scenario, Ian admits it posed quite a challenge.
Here’s the problem…
You can spread yourself too thin if you don’t know your ideal customer. To know your customer, you must first know what you want to do with your business. You must understand what services you can offer and want to provide… Then you can search for clients who are a good fit.
Tip #2 – Take Full Advantage of SEO
Ian’s use of SEO to grow his company resulted in both good and bad experiences. SEO was great because it helped bring in traffic, but it was also a problem because the type of traffic wasn’t always what Ian wanted.
This leads to one of the key business growth lessons: using SEO to your advantage. SEO should make your job easier.
Scaling a business often starts with targeting the right audience… Which can be done with SEO once you know your ideal clients. Content marketing can be a massive differentiator to help scale a company. You can advertise and draw in your ideal clients through high-intent keywords and engaging content.
Nowadays, BuildFire has 200,000 unique website visitors per month. Most come from organic search results and content marketing.
If you know who you’re talking to, you can identify the best keywords to target those clients.
Tip #3 – Deliver on Your Product
It’s impossible to scale a business if you don’t deliver. It’s not enough to get people interested in what you offer, nor is it enough to get your pipeline full and lead generation optimized.
If people come to you for something, you have to provide it! It can be too easy to over promise or embellish a bit too much.
If you promise quality, you must deliver quality. Don’t worry about quantity until you can reliably produce good quality. This is one of the business growing lessons that Ian understood early on.
Keeping your promises to your primary audience is what establishes trust. It gains you loyalty and positions your company as trustworthy, which is exactly what keeps clients coming back. A strong reputation makes acquiring new business much easier.
Tip #4 – Choose Your People Wisely
Ian learned a lot from his dad’s previous business ventures in Silicon Valley. One of those lessons was the importance of surrounding yourself with the right people.
A toxic environment is terrible for a business. The same concept extends to employees and business partners…
When people aren’t on the same page, you can’t take action at the right time. You miss out on opportunities that help scale the business.
When your people pull in different directions, it hurts your growth. Even if you have the power of decision over toxic team members, they can still affect you. You can find yourself overworked and stressed out as a result.
Finding the right team is just as important as finding your ideal audience.
Tip #5 – Focus on Customer Experience
There are two critical factors to scaling a business. One is coming up with a good growth strategy. The other is staying on the growth track.
To stay on an ascending trend, customer experience matters more than anything else. If you can satisfy your customers, you have much less to worry about everywhere else.
Scaling doesn’t happen if you have one-time customers, or if you bring in new customers when your old ones leave. To scale a business, you need to get new clients and retain your old ones, too.
This is why Ian focused his efforts on improving the experience for BuildFire customers, and the result helped scale the company.
When you create a satisfying customer experience, you build your brand’s reputation and foster customer loyalty. This helps secure your future positioning, even when the competition comes around with an interesting offer.
Grow Beyond Expectations by Implementing Good Business Practices
Understand that scaling a business isn’t an easy task, but you have a much better chance of doing it when you understand what moves the needle in the right direction.
Whether it’s leveraging SEO or identifying your target audience, it takes more than one activity to scale a company. You must also figure out how to surround yourself with people who benefit your organization and don’t hold back its potential.
Lastly, you must deliver on your promises if you want to keep your loyal fans.
These five short lessons should give you an idea of what to expect when scaling. For more business coaching lessons, sign up at predictableprofits.com to delve deeper into what it takes to achieve success and scale your dream business.