How to know when your small business is ready to scale

Image by Orlandow from Pixabay

By Samantha Higgins

Are you ready to take your small business to the next level? That’s a question nearly every entrepreneur asks at some point during their career. Perhaps, you’ve felt a little stagnant lately. That’s not uncommon when you’re a business owner. However, you’ve got to be ready to scale effectively. Here are a few signs that you might be there now.

You’ve hit a revenue plateau

One of the easiest things to know is your revenue streams. At the start, it probably grew exponentially. It might’ve taken a few years to really get off the ground. But, once it took off, it climbed rapidly. What does it mean to scale a business, though? Well, one of the most important aspects would be expanding your revenue. If yours has been stable, then it might be time to start scaling.

Your clients are reliable

Do you have a reliable base of customers? That’s probably a great feeling. Most of the time, business owners have to scrape and claw to build a customer base. When you first started, you were probably happy after each sale. Now, you might be feeling like things aren’t as exciting anymore. If you are feeling like that, it’s time to start thinking about scaling.

Growth has begun slowing down

Growth is another key aspect of any successful company. First of all, you should’ve been tracking your KPIs. Key performance indicators let us know how a business is performing. If you’ve kept track of them, it’s easy to see how fast you’re growing. They’ll continue growing quarter after quarter. Once that starts slowing down, it’s time to scale. Scaling could take your business’s growth and make it exponential. Then, you’d feel like your previous growth rate was nothing at all.

You’ve got too much time on your hands

Most business owners spend a lot of time working on their company. For the most part, that’s what sets them up for success. Scaling a business isn’t about investing even more time in the business, though. Still, if you’ve got more time on your hands, it might be time to scale. By scaling the company, you’ll bring new talent on board. Then, they’ll be the ones spending time on growth.

You feel ready for another challenge

Starting a new company always feels like a challenge. If it doesn’t, you’re not pushing yourself enough. Of course, that’s not to say you should be pulling your hair out. On the contrary, you should feel excited to push yourself. Letting yourself stagnant isn’t good for you or your company. So, if you’re ready for a new challenge, scaling would be ideal.

Scaling isn’t just using your existing skills more than you have. It’s an entirely new skill set for you to develop. At some point, you might be able to help other businesses start to scale. That’s how powerful this skill set can be. Usually, an entrepreneur is also a lifelong learner. Hopefully, the thought of expanding your skills is part of what motivates you. That will definitely make scaling feel a lot easier in the long run.

You’ve mastered your craft

Finally, you’ve got to pay attention to how you feel while you’re working. At the start, you probably felt like you weren’t sure whether you were ready to run a business. However, over time, you developed the skills to run one successfully. Once you’ve mastered that, it’s time for you to move on to something else.

Otherwise, you’ll stop growing. Growth is truly the core of any successful enterprise. And, behind that enterprise, there’s someone focused on growing. If you’re ready to expand into something new, then scaling a business might be for you.

Scaling a business

There are a lot of myths surrounding the concept of scaling. First of all, it’s not about investing even more time into what you’re already doing. It’s actually about expanding into an entirely new domain. Scaling will help you develop new skills, and it’ll increase your revenue too. But, it’s not about doing the same thing you’ve been doing for years. Learning how to scale a business puts you back into the seat of a learner.


Samantha Higgins is a professional writer with a passion for research, observation, and innovation. She is nurturing a growing family of twin boys in Portland, Oregon, with her husband. She loves kayaking and reading creative non-fiction.

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