Scalability: Nothing More but Nothing Less.
By Talmar Anderson
Scaling a business. Have you heard this phrase before? Did you know that the process of scaling a business does NOT have to do with just growing your sales? Certainly, growing sales are a sign of a company that is scaling up, however, the process of a successfully growing company is one that planned for success. I know, crazy, right? We spend so much time worrying and figuring out how we will make it. We project minimums needed to break even. We start from a place of trying to at least not lose our investments in our company. And sure enough, one of the things that can sink a company is when it all goes right!
This is one of my favorite pieces of planning and strategy. I LOVE it! This is when we get to plan for everything working out as we intended. We start from imagining that our new marketing push and sales process are all hitting YES! Will we have enough people/ product/ time / resources to deliver on our dream goal of $1,000,000.00 in revenue? Our full strategic plan will seek to understanding what is working and how it is working throughout the whole company and each of its departments so that we can replicate the good. There are a lot of moving pieces to this growth plan for scaling but I want us to focus on one piece.
Today we are going to talk about the easiest piece to effect profitability in a positive way when scaling growth and creating strategic plans. Create an organizational structure that will profitably allow hiring to execute on delivering and maintaining your quality of deliverables. Huh? In other words, we need to make sure we hire the correct skill level for each task that is required to deliver for your customers. Nothing more but nothing less.
Here is the secret. Assign work flows to the level of expert required for high quality of results. Moving away from client based staff assignments or project based workflows can seriously take your profitability to a new level. We need to look at “how” the sausage is made!
While reviewing your services and products, understand that strategy, highly technical work or out of the ordinary troubleshooting requires an experienced or specialized staff member. These areas can be tracked to usually show a limited need.
Regular workflow and customer service can then be assigned to the 3 junior team members. The decision to have a focused specialist dealing specifically with the troubleshooting may require a company to hire only 1 senior team member. While more expensive for this piece, we can focus their workflow on the limited need of difficult and experience requiring work. Now we are paying high wages to one employee instead of high wages to four of them “in case” the project or client has a sophisticated need.
Consider this perspective to further convince you that your workflows need to be defined and measured. The expert level required for filing papers is not nothing. They need to know how to alphabetize, how to stay engaged and pay attention with focus, as well as the patience to take the time to get pages in the folders neatly to allow for ease of accessibility.
Let this junior level position be handled efficiently and professionally by a person that can value these skill sets. This junior level position will cost the company less because the experience and education to gain this skill set is less intensive. You are no longer paying expert level wages to have your client files organized, accessible and current.
Giving this filing work to a senior level person with advanced or specialized experience can often create a scenario that can cause further complications beyond overpaying for filing services. An expert can be unfocused when not applying their most current expertise and education. Specialists will be looking over their shoulder toward the next challenge and, distracted, they likely are unable to alphabetize correctly on a consistent and reliable basis. It is NOT their priority.
In fact, if you look at their job description, I am sure you will not even see “filing” on the list. It falls under the “and other responsibilities as assigned”. Meaning it was NOT enough of a priority for you to list it for this position and therefore not enough of a priority for the employee to value the time and focus to file correctly.
File correctly you say? Yes. Front to back. Ease of reading (no backward pages). Chronological for each section. What about proper file tags? Are the folders large enough? I highly doubt your senior level expert who has a juicy case on their desk is willing to stop and give the proper focus.
And THAT is where the snow ball starts. Not assigning the right details correctly allows for the little things to pile up or be mistreated. This creates stress and potential for mistakes (missing a client communication document that was filed under the wrong year) and can start headaches for you, your clients and your company’s reputation!
It is in the details that great customer service and rock star deliverables are created. If you are in a growth period and have yet to sit down and organize your company into the roles required for growth AND the skill sets required to complete the different pieces, I’d love to chat with you. I want it all to go right AND I want your company to have smooth sailing into successful growth!