04 Mar To Scale Your Business, You Need to Take the Leap
Scaling a business has many similarities to swinging on the flying trapeze. I should know – as an adult, I have learned to do both.
On the trapeze, you must climb a 35-foot ladder to reach the top. Yes, it can be terrifying – but, just like growing your business, you must be willing to take many fearful risks in order to achieve your goals.
Once you make it up the ladder, you are standing on a platform that’s only a few feet wide. It is nerve wracking and, to some people, paralyzing. People often allow their fear or lack of direction to hold them back, and they are not willing to take the leap.
It is exactly the same in business when you are poised to expand and scale.
You have two choices at this point.
One: You can gather your courage and break through to where all the riches are waiting – this experience is exhilarating, enriching, and tremendously rewarding.
Or two: You can get stuck on the platform and tell yourself every reason why scaling is not a good idea. In this scenario, you go nowhere.
What will you choose to do?
My Scaling Story
I chose the first option, though it took some time to get there. I started my first business in college and, by the age of 25, I was already running my own national advertising and public relations firm. My clients included Fortune 100 companies such as Supercuts, Ben & Jerry’s, and Charlotte Russe.
I was making great money, but I was working night and day. I should have been on top of the world, but I had no life of my own and, honestly, I felt miserable.
I recognized that my business needed a new model to continue its growth beyond my own individual efforts, but I didn’t know how.
Years later, after a powerful wake-up call resulting from a near-fatal car accident and a failing marriage, I made a life-changing decision to walk away from the lucrative agency that was starving my soul and figure out how to get there – whatever that ultimately was going to mean.
The result was that I developed an innovative method of scaling that led to a much more impactful and meaningful business path, both personally and monetarily. I took a risk and have never looked back.
Instead, I’ve moved forward to achieve even greater success through building and scaling nine additional businesses, generating millions of dollars.
It is of even greater personal importance to me that along the way I’ve developed a business mentoring company that has helped thousands of other business owners around the world realize their full potential.
What Is Scaling, Anyway?
To me, successful scaling means that you get to a point in your business where you are flying higher with less effort and resistance.
Like a professional trapeze artist who creates more height, power, and momentum when he allows the physics of his leap, swing, and team to carry him to new heights.
Put simply, the goal of scaling is to build a replicable system for delivering products and services that allow businesses to increase their customer base without having to increase their overhead at the same pace.
I like to think of this in terms of being able to grow your business while at the same time managing the expanding workload without sacrificing your level of performance, efficiency, and employee safety.
In fact, if you are scaling properly, you are creating processes and workflows that improve all areas of your operation and save you a lot of time, money, and headaches.
By adopting a scalable business model, you can generate huge profits without all the budgetary strains that overburden traditional growth models.
How You Know It’s Time to Scale
So you’ve made it through the early stages.
You’ve built a client base… you’ve established some product recognition… you’ve seen some decent results… and maybe you’ve even managed to keep your cash flow somewhat consistent.
But soon you find that the business is leveling off. Costs are rising. Old systems, strategies, and even employees aren’t working out like they used to.
In order to achieve your long-term financial goals, you know you need to expand existing revenue streams or create new ones, or your company will stagnate and then sink.
When founders reach a certain point at which they feel as if they are chasing their tails and putting out fires, have unending To Do lists, and never have any free time, it becomes impossible for them to focus on the things that can actually grow their businesses.
They’ve had success with their companies and with building revenue, but they just can’t seem to make the jump to the next level or even to hire the right people.
It drives them nuts, taking all the wind out of their sales (pun intended!) and the fun out of their lives.
So, what does the word scaling mean for those founders – perhaps this group includes you – who can’t seem to get to that elusive next level?
It means that, as a businessperson, you must develop a clear vision, stretch yourself into unchartered territories, and sync gracefully with the right team.
Playing it Safe Isn’t a Business Strategy
Sounds simple enough, right?
Well, like learning to fly on the trapeze, tremendous amounts of fear are typically involved when doing this for the first time (or even second, third, or tenth time).
Because the scaling process and fear of the unknown and/or failure are so daunting and scary, business owners are often unwilling to take the leaps necessary to take their businesses to the next level and grow.
And yet, calculated risk-taking is an essential part of success, which means that avoiding the scaling process due to fear of failure will completely paralyze and stagnate your business.
Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. As Hellen Keller, author, activist, and lecture, once said: “The fearful are caught as often as the bold.”
Consider the statistics.
The “play it safe” mindset leads 34 million American business owners to avoid risk entirely and suffer from smallness.
But what these business owners don’t realize is that playing it safe leads to unsafe results.
Missed opportunities, inability to meet demand, lost market-share, flat-to-declining performance, employee unrest and turnover.
Or, a business that could have been and would have been, yet never made the full commitment to fly — so to speak.
Expansion Always Involves Risk
Sure, it is scary. But if you learn strategies from the people who’ve been there, you can separate real fears from imagined ones, assess them carefully, and ultimately choose growth over staying still.
But honestly, what’s the alternative? Keep doing what you’ve been doing and hope that, magically, things will change?
I’m sorry to say this, but trust me, they won’t.
That is, unless you commit to taking the leap, making a change, and scaling your company.
So the only question left is…
Are You Ready to Take the Leap and Scale?
Are you at a point where you’re ready to scale — and have decided to follow the path of growth?
First off, congratulations! This a huge step towards growth, probably the most important one you’ve made so far.
And second, I would love to invite you to a very special event, one-time-only exclusively for business owners like you. It’s called The SCALE Intensive, and it’s happening May 12-13, 2020 in Amsterdam.
My high-level team of CEO Business Mentors and I have each built and exited companies worth hundreds of millions of dollars. At The SCALE Intensive, you will get a hands-on experience working with an incredible team… the wisdom that we’ve gathered over decades of business ownership… and leave with a Step-by-Step Blueprint to scale your business.
Click here to Register Today. As a BASE follower, put in BASE and get a 200 euros discount!
Written by Allison Maslan, author Scale or Fail
Allison Maslan is the CEO of Allison Maslan International, a Global Business Mentoring Company. She was recently named “One of the Top Women Entrepreneurs Who Inspire” by Self Made Magazine. No. 1 Best Selling Author of the book, Blast Off! The Surefire Success Plan to Launch Your Dreams Into Reality, Allison has built ten successful companies from the ground up