How To Scale Your eCommerce Business
If you are running a business, one of your top goals is likely to grow your company and expand your audience. For newer companies, especially startups, scaling your business can make a huge impact on your success. While growth and scale are sometimes used interchangeably, they have some differences and are both essential.
Growth Vs Scaling:
Growth happens when you add resources (staff, new technology, extra marketing) at the same speed you increase revenue. Scaling refers to revenue increase without any substantial increase in your resources- you are able to handle increases in workload, sales, and output in a reasonable and cost-effective manner. Scaling helps you handle growth without overwhelming your employees, or disappointing your customers with less-than-stellar service.
How To Scale Your Business:
The first step to scaling is to set your milestones. Start by identifying when you will run out of funds, and then work backward by linking milestones you want to reach with a timeline. Doing this allows you to map out your budget, and when you need to sell a certain amount of product or gain a certain amount of capital.
Look into areas where you can automate or outsource. Automation can help make things run more smoothly, from using chatbots to help answer basic FAQ’s to using websites like Hootsuite to help you schedule your content ahead of time. You can use outsourcing for almost anything you do not feel confident in doing yourself, or do not have the time to do, such as marketing, accounting, or payment processing. Although outsources is an extra expense, it is well worth it to have extra time to dedicate to other tasks.
Identify your target audience and optimize your marketing efforts towards them. Look into what platforms they use the most, what content they respond to, and how your products can help improve their lives. Keep an eye on your competitors to see how your target audience responds to them- what are they doing well, and what is driving their audience away? Use what you find to help boost your own brand by learning from their mistakes and successes.
Pay attention to how your products are priced compared to other similar products. There is a fine line between pricing items too high and too low. If you price your items too high, customers are going to turn to a more affordable option. If they are priced too low, they can come across as cheap or too good to be true. Look at what makes your product unique, and use that to set you apart from your competitors and encourage your audience to shop with you. Over time, there is a good chance that you will need to raise the price of your product to keep up with the market and the rising cost of materials. If you need to do this, make sure to gradually go up in price, and give your customers a heads up on what the price raise is going to be, when you are going to implement it, and why you need to raise the price.
Consider when you need to grow your team, and what roles you need to fill. When you are just starting out, you don’t need to hire a big team right off the bat. Once your company starts to grow, consider adding roles like a customer service representative, a marketing representative, and a sales representative. The bigger you get, the more opportunities you will have to grow your team and hire for new positions. Make sure that you are bringing in enough revenue to give everyone on your team fair compensation, and hire new employees as you discover areas where you could use some help strengthening weak spots.
Scaling is all about the long-term success of your business. Prepare for your business to grow, and keep up with planning and monitoring your performance. By making careful and deliberate decisions, you can scale your company and grow to be a company that your audience loves and respects.