8 Tips to Scale Without Losing Productivity
1. Understand Why You Want to Scale and Set Goals
The first step in your journey is to figure out why you want to scale and to set goals to ensure that you’re scaling within the desired timeframe.
The most obvious reason for scaling is the predicted financial growth that comes with it. Theoretically, more customers equals greater profits, which can then be reinvested into your business so that you can continue to boost your earnings and impact over time.
But the better question to ask yourself is this: why do I need to scale right now? Have you hit a stagnant area in your business where you feel like you could be achieving more? Do you have more ideas that you wish to pursue as you expand your business? Understanding why you want to scale is critical.
However, you also need to set goals and milestones that clarify what your journey should look like as you move forward. These milestones should include your sales goals, how much new talent you need to bring on, and beyond.
With your mission statement and goals in hand, you will be prepared to tackle the scaling process with a clear, defined path ahead.
2. Have Productivity Systems in Place Before You Scale
If your organization is currently in a place where every employee is operating productively, you may assume that this trend will continue as your business grows. What you don’t want to discover the hard way is that scaling will, if not done right, naturally upset productivity.
Scaling entails greater collective output in order to achieve commensurate growth. More resources and increased budgets can fuel some of this output. But much of it will come from your people. And this is why productivity systems are critical.
If you’re not actively tracking employee productivity as you seek to increase your output and grow your organization, your scaling results may be handicapped or fail altogether.
The first step of maintaining productivity at scale is to have systems that let you benchmark pre-scaling productivity. This will give you a baseline for success as scaling ramps up.
At the very least, make sure you have an office productivity software like a productivity timer app to see how your employees use their time.If you are wondering, what is productivity software? Or what are productivity apps? Productivity apps actively track your employees as they engage in tasks regardless of if they’re operating in or out of the office.
Before you start enacting your scaling plan, find productivity apps for computer users that will track the progress of each employee and provide you with insights and data you need to establish and meet benchmarks as your business grows.
As you collect more data from your productivity time tracker app, you can analyze it and adjust your systems to maintain productivity at all stages of scaling. It all begins with learning how to monitor for productivity and adjusting from there!
3. Think About How You Will Manage Your Data at Scale
Productivity, sales, engagement: scaling your company means managing more data. More data from customers. More data from productivity apps for computers. More data from all directions.
Because of this, you need to consider how you’re going to manage your data at scale.
Some organizations leverage cloud data storage to conveniently access their data from anywhere. However, cloud data services can get expensive as you may have to buy larger plans in order to store your increasing data.
As such, you may wish to consider on-premise hosting for your organization.
Although on-premise requires you to have dedicated space for your equipment and an IT team who knows how to operate your system, it offers you greater security and enables your IT team to build a robust internal data system.
Additionally, on-premise hosting allows you to scale more predictably as you know how much space you need to store your data.
Why is this important? As your company scales, you will collect more data for productivity and beyond. Being able to seamlessly access this data can be crucial to the value you derive from your data. And the value of your data plays a big part in the success of your scaling efforts.
4. Focus on Company Culture as You Scale
Scaling can be a source of stress for leaders and employees alike. With that in mind, it’s important that you don’t let company culture fall to the wayside. Now more than ever, employees need additional care and attention as they navigate your organization’s growing demands.
This means emphasizing their work/life balance, boosting team morale, rewarding their hard work, and listening to their feedback.
Productivity apps for computer users can play a pivotal role in company culture. They help identify unbalanced workloads, bottlenecks and other indicators of employee disengagement. Armed with this information, you can support individual employees or, if the issues are systemic, make wider company change.
Company culture plays a vital role in the well-being and productivity of your employees. This in turn affects how effectively your company is able to scale. Put simply, when employees are engaged, healthy and recognized, they will buy into and help drive your scaling plans.
5. Set New Metrics That Meet Your Scaling Plan
Much like goals, metrics are designed to help you determine whether or not you’re scaling as anticipated.
The first step to developing metrics starts with determining your scaling timeframe and goals. Once you have these in place, you can begin to create new metrics that will act as checkpoints along your scaling journey.
For instance, sales performance, new customer numbers and leads generated, are all metrics that need to be calculated and measured proportionally to your scaling targets.
Along with setting new growth metrics aligned with your scaling plans, it’s important to also set new, scale-ready productivity metrics. These may include measurable, growth-generating elements like the time it takes to complete tasks or customer service response times.
Some of these metrics can be seen with your productivity time tracker app while others may require separate tools that are best established prior to commencing your scaling plans.
Whether you use an internal user productivity system or other tools to track data, the goal is singular: set metrics that reflect your scaling goals from the outset.
Then use these productivity enhancement products and strategies to monitor performance against your metrics as you scale.
6. Combat Employee Burnout and Unbalanced Workloads
Scaling can increase the expectations and workloads placed on employees. If this isn’t carefully monitored, it can result in burnout that affects the health of your employees as well as the health of your business.
Using a tool like employee productivity monitoring software, watch out for indications of burnout and unbalanced workloads so that you can take proactive action before it negatively impacts productivity.
For example, if you find that multiple high-performing employees have begun to take longer on projects they would typically breeze through, this is an indication of decreased productivity that may stem from unbalanced workloads.
With your support, everyone can manage their time and workload more effectively. This reduces the stress and pressure they experience that will only prove detrimental to their productivity and health.
Scaling can naturally come with more lofty KPIs and added intensity, but when you place an emphasis on employee wellness, it needn’t lead to unbalanced workloads or burnout.
To keep employee wellness front of mind, leverage productivity apps for computer users and other programs to keep track of performance and identify when employees may be taking on too much.
7. Don’t Try to Scale Everything at Once
Biting off more than you can chew is an easy way to go from scaling to flailing. Instead, take your plan for business growth step-by-step.
The first step, as we mentioned above, is to put robust systems in place that can withstand the pressures of scale. This includes systems like employee monitoring, CRMs, customer support, and others.
Next, it’s vital to a plan for hiring the staff you’ll need to fulfill your scaling ambitions. Calculate the human capital you’ll need, at least initially, and then embark on a hiring and onboarding process to get them on your team.
Scaling your team before your scaling efforts hit full speed means you’ll be less likely to be playing catch up with recruitment.
Robust systems and reserves of human capital will give you a strong foundation to start scaling your marketing and sales efforts.
Of course, you can also focus on scaling different teams within your business independent from one another. There’s no rule that all areas must scale at once.
For instance, perhaps now would be a good time for you to grow your dev team to begin scaling your product. Once your dev team has grown, you can then turn to scaling your sales team to begin bringing in more revenue. Then, with a growing customer base, you can then scale your customer service team to accommodate them.
Just remember that there’s no one-size-fits-all for scaling, and how you scale will depend on your company’s plans
It can seem counterintuitive to not go full speed in all parts of your business when the goal is to scale. But if you dive all the way in and find that you don’t have a strong enough foundation, your scaling plans can be scuppered.
8. Don’t Force Your Organization to Scale if It’s Not Ready
Ambition is helpful up to a certain point. If you’re too ambitious and your business is not ready to scale to the degree that you expect, you can end up facing far more challenges along the way.
There’s an ever-growing graveyard filled with businesses who tried to scale too fast, only to come spiralling back down to zero. Especially startups who took large checks from investors.
Instead, conduct an honest assessment of your business to determine the potential for growth and your capacity to realize it with the resources available.
Then, set realistic goals to help you achieve that growth.
It can be hard to resist the desire to go as big and move as fast as possible. However, it’s much better to stay within your capabilities than to do unintentional damage in the hopes of growing your business.
Scaling Done Right Shouldn’t Impact Productivity
Sometimes in business, finding the right product-market fit and a surge in customer demand can mean you get pulled head first into scaling. This, while challenging, can be a nice challenge to have.
However, in many cases, scaling comes through strategic planning built on traction and market insights. It depends on clarifying your ambitions and motivations. It requires you to establish a solid foundation for growth, institute systems for managing and measuring it, and have the resources needed to realize your intended scaling trajectory.
With the tips above as well as the right productivity time tracker app, you’ll be well placed to scale successfully.