Service businesses are notoriously more difficult to scale than product businesses.
Scaling service businesses generally requires adding more humans to the business – and the more humans that are involved in anything, the more complex it becomes.
Having scaled garymelican.com over the last few years – here are a few tips from my experience on how to scale a service business.
How to Scale a Service Business
Three crucial steps that have worked for me when scaling a service business are:
1) Have a Marketing Strategy
Very few services businesses have marketing strategies. They are either:
– too caught up in the day to day of operating the business to have one
– happy with the amount of business they’re currently doing and have no desire to attract more customers through marketing
– sceptical about the effectiveness of marketing in general
If you do want to scale your service business, you need to continually attract more or higher paying potential customers.
Having a marketing strategy not only attracts new clients, but it keeps you top of mind with your existing clients too which is arguably more important.
Your marketing strategy can be very simple. Mine for instance is to post a blog once every two weeks.
2) Develop a Team and Processes to Handle Increased Demand
As your marketing strategy finds its groove and attracts more customers, you’ll require a more robust team and processes to handle the increased amount of customers and ensure their satisfaction.
This step is scary at first as it requires relying upon other people to uphold the hard-earned reputation of your business.
The beauty of this step is that with time, you begin to realise you can find people who are better at every aspect of your business (design, development, marketing, accounting etc) than you ever could be.
This ultimately will make your clients happier.
3) Do Great Work
It’s often said that great work fixes all problems within a service business.
This makes sense, right? Great work leads to:
– customers referring you to their friends and network
– you feeling energised, satisfied and happy with what your business does
– increased confidence in the quality of your service when marketing and selling to new customers
You can see in the flywheel that delighting customers is a key part to keeping the business flywheel spinning.
Growing and scaling a service business is challenging and it’s important to continually reflect on why you are actually scaling it.
I have spoken with people who scaled their business in order to be perceived as successful by others. In this case, scaling your service business seems to only make you feel trapped and miserable.
However, you’re on the right track to fulfilment if you’re scaling your business for reasons like:
– you love what the business does and want to do more of it
– you love how your team is developing and enjoy seeing it develop
– you’re enjoying building expertise in your specific area
Thank you for reading,