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10 Tips For Successfully Scaling Your Service-Based Business – Forbes

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Thanks to technology, it’s easier than ever to launch a service-based business. However, despite its simple startup process, growing a sustainable service business can be complex.

Because service businesses typically require specific talents and resources, keeping up with market demand might be overwhelming if you don’t scale up properly. To help you grow more efficiently, 10 members of Young Entrepreneur Council share their best tips for scaling a service-based business.

Photos courtesy of the individual members.

1. Decide Whether Revenue Or Profit Is More Important

When you want to scale a service-based business you need to decide which is more important: revenue or profit. Most entrepreneurs will say profit, but few will really hone in on that and adapt their business to maximize it. Surprisingly, most entrepreneurs unknowingly just focus on revenue, and profit takes a back seat. However, service-based businesses traditionally yield lower margins than software-based businesses, making scalability more difficult. Costs compound quickly as you grow, and human capital dependence becomes a big part of the equation. By focusing on profitability and scaling your service-based business around profit centers, you will be more likely to successfully scale the organization. – Nick Chasinov, Teknicks

2. Focus On Consistency And Organization

Consistency and organization are the difference between a company that fails and one that succeeds while attempting to scale. Maintaining phenomenal standards and consistent practices are vital to flourishing while expanding your service-based business. Staying organized and on top of everything makes a huge difference, and this is only possible by creating clear systems and processes that are also scalable. – Rachel Beider, PRESS Modern Massage

3. Stay On Top Of Trends

Be on top of trends, and create a marketing plan that all generations will easily understand and engage with. When scaling, it is important that you have consistency and exert all your efforts to be visible in different kinds of technology. Service is easy to sell if you have loyal customers who spread the word, and this is why in this modern age, our fans and followers are our best influencers. – Daisy Jing, Banish

4. Factor In Seasonal Trends

For some service businesses, there can be a lot of fluctuation over the seasons of the year. You might struggle to keep up with demand in Q1 and Q2 and hire and onboard a lot of people in Q3, only to find that your business dries up in Q4 because there’s no need for your service—but now you have three months of overhead to pay for all these new employees. Sure, business might pick up again in Q1, but if you don’t have a backup plan in place, can you afford so much to payroll an unproductive workforce for multiple months? – Steli Efti, Close

5. Get An Office Space That Will Grow WIth You

Scaling a business often requires opening a physical office and making sure the office space allows you to expand as you hire new staff. Too often a company will start small, and as they hire, they’re forced to open many small offices instead of being able to expand into larger space as they grow. The key is to identify a building or workspace that allows you to expand over time. You need to be upfront with the property owner from the start—talk to them about your three-year growth plan and make sure they can accommodate it. I recently found out how inefficient it can be to work across three separate offices, all sprinkled disparately within the same building. It killed my productivity, and often people couldn’t find me. I recently consolidated and moved into a new, larger space. – Kristopher Brian Jones, LSEO.com

6. Hire An Adaptive Team

Scaling your business up means you’ll need to have a team willing to embrace the changes as they occur. When you are hiring in the early stages, look for employees who are fast learners, have a passion for knowledge and like to figure things out. These are the best staff members to have on board when you start scaling up. – Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner

7. Invest In Digital Marketing

Many service-based businesses focus only on local advertising, but if they want to scale their business they need to put a strong focus on digital marketing. Everyone is on the internet these days, and almost everyone looks up service-based businesses online to help them make a purchasing decision. So service-based businesses need to make sure they can easily be found online. For instance, service-based businesses should work on improving their SEO so they can show up at the top of search engine results and attract more users to their websites. – Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

8. Choose A Niche And Fill It Well

Many small service-based businesses try to do too many things. But if you want to scale your business, you need to choose a narrower niche and fill it well. For instance, if you own a snow-removal service, just do that and do it really well instead of pulling yourself in too many directions by offering snow removal along with other services like tree trimming, Christmas light installation and removal, and so on. By focusing on just one niche, it will be easier to market to your target audience and provide better service. – John Turner, SeedProd LLC

9. Commit To Great Customer Service

When scaling a service-based business, never forget about your commitment to customer service. This will affect everything from business processes to sufficient hiring when scaling. Miss that key aspect and your scaling efforts could go south in a hurry. – Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance

10. Stay True To Your Core Values

When you are focused on scaling your business, your mind will likely be on everything you need to do to take your business to the next level. You will be thinking about the people, processes and systems needed to take you from where you are now to where you want to be. But it is critical not to lose focus on what got you here. Stay true to your core values. For all of the changes you will be considering and likely undertaking, remain true to your core principles—your foundational values that define who and what your company is all about. Any and all growth will be built off that—and if you lose it, your efforts to scale will be undermined greatly. – Adam Mendler, The Veloz Group

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