Growing a product business seems like a straightforward undertaking, and it can look deceptively easy on paper. But, once you actually delve into it, you realize that any business requires careful planning and consideration before you can scale it. What are the 4 important factors to take into account when scaling a product business?
How do you define, market, and scale your business?
So, how do you do it – and do it successfully? How do you define, market, and scale your business? That’s what we’re here to discuss!
In this article, I outline all the intel you need to define, market, and scale your product-based business in a professional way.
Key Points to Remember:
Scaling a Business: Everything You Need to Know
Often used interchangeably, scaling a business is NOT the same as growing a business. Scaling a business means that you can handle an increase in work, output, or sales in a reasonable, cost-effective manner. It means that your business can handle growth without suffering in other areas (i.e. products that can’t be produced fast enough to meet demand, employee turnover rates, etc.).
Always keep your eyes on the horizon
As an entrepreneur, your eyes are always on the horizon, looking for growth opportunities wherever they come. But, when you’re not sure where to start looking for those growth opportunities, this guide is for you! Below, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know to define, market, and scale your product-based business in a professional way.
4 Important Factors when Scaling a Product Business
Before setting things in motion to scale and grow your business, take a step back and define how you will implement process, structure, control and overview in your business.
1. Implementing Processes
First, you need to define your product development process. Simply put, a product development process encompasses all the steps you need to take to get from product concept/ideation through all the phases of development, to product launch. This includes identifying a market need, the concept phase, the feasibility phase, development phase, manufacturing phase and the launch phase.
2. Creating Structure
How you structure your business is crucial to success.Once you’ve established your process, it brings a certain kind of structure as well as an overview – everybody will know what to do and when, and what their output needs to be.
As a business owner, or as a project manager, it gives you control because it’s very easy to direct people on what they need to do and when they need to do it. You know exactly what’s being taken care of and what’s not being taken care of. You can see what the hurdles are in your projects and your new product development. So, you can take corrective action, but preferably proactive action if you see something is deviating from the process or deviating from your project planning.
3. Providing Overview
Monitoring processes, structure, and performance is important because it can make the difference between success and failure. As mentioned in the point above, once you’ve got a structure, it also brings with it an overview over your processes and everyone involved in it.
When you have a clear overview over your business, you can immediately see how your established processes are being handled, immediately spot and handle any challenges, and take preventive (or proactive!) action if you see any deviation from your project planning.
Beyond creating specific mechanisms to establish and strengthen your processes, oversight can foster learning through evaluation and highlighting both good and bad practices.
4. Experiencing control
Having a growing business is great – that is until the growth gets out of control. To avoid this, you need to have an established process, a solid structure, total overview, and the right people, for the right jobs. For instance, if you don’t have a project manager yet, it may be time for you to consider hiring one.
A project manager is responsible from product ID through the whole product development until product launch. A project manager has a helicopter view of your project. He’s doing project cost and budget estimations and calculations. He has control and insight and all the actions that need to be done. It’s a big responsibility and if you can take this off your plate and hire a project manager to do this for you, it will save you a lot of time, which you can spend on your company strategy or your product strategy. It’s a very important discipline to also hire at a certain moment in your company when you’re growing.
Take it Step by Step
These are four important factors to consider in scaling a business. Have you encountered any challenges in scaling your business? Let me know in the comments.
Free template to collect your meeting minutes
If you’re like me, you’re probably also fond of structure and overview. That’s why I always use my Project Planning & Action template in my project team meetings. It’s a handy spread sheet to note down all the actions with deadlines and responsible persons. You can filter on ‘open’, ‘closed’ or ‘started’ action points or on ‘responsible person’ and see in one glance who needs to take action and when.
Download my free template by clicking here.
How to lead your team?
Check out this blog article if you like to learn more on how to lead your team.