By Jared Atchison, co-founder of WPForms
Many startup founders dream of their business becoming the next big sensation that rakes in hundreds of millions of dollars. But problems can often arise when a blossoming business tries to scale up quickly. As I learned from growing my own company, scaling up can be an intimidating process, and if you're not ready for the change, it can come at you like a brick wall.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when you're thinking about taking your new company to the next level and you want to do it fast.
1. Consider your final goal.
When I say your final goal, I mean your goal within a set period of time. Human nature dictates that most goals will evolve, so no goal is always final. When you're thinking about your business and how you want to scale up, do you have a foundational idea of what you want in terms of raw numbers?
Think about questions like:
• How much do I hope to make?
• How many people do I hope to employ?
• Is maintaining a majority share of the company important to me?
All of these questions can come into play as you start to scale your startup, and knowing the answers can make the process much smoother. If your goal is to obtain 10,000 new customers a month while hiring an additional 20 staff members per month, make sure you're tracking your goal. If you just let things go on without tracking your progress, you could soon discover that you bit off more than you can chew.
2. Use automation.
You may need some semblance of a physical staff as your company begins the scaling process, but also consider using forms of automation at key checkpoints in the business.
For example, you may want to consider setting up a chatbot to help with the influx of new customers. According to a 2018 report on the state of chatbots, 64 percent of the consumers surveyed said that the biggest benefit of chatbots is the ability to get round-the-clock service. If you can have an "on call" chatbot to help with the flow of customer inquiries, you can grow exponentially, because you have one less thing to worry about in the scaling process.
You can also use automation tools to:
• Automate company payments and employee payroll
• Create a training module for new hires that can be followed automatically
• Establish an automated marketing system, such as a chatbot, in which you simply follow and act upon the data it gathers
It may take some time to set up these processes, but over the long term, it will likely become clear why many successful businesses are using automation tools.
3. Use content marketing and SEO.
Content marketing in combination with search engine optimization is one of the most scalable ways to promote your company. It provides a slow-burn effect, but once you get that fire going, your business can scale at an incredible rate. You may not get many views on your first couple of pieces of content, but once you start stacking content, linking to reputable sources, and linking to your own website, you start to build a nest of information. The more authoritative and readable your content, the higher your potential to scale up as you create.
All it takes is one piece of content that's gone viral, and before you know it, you could go from a couple thousand viewers to hundreds of thousands of viewers. As you create new content, pay attention to your new audience that's coming in, and consistently publish content.
Many consumers are looking for businesses that grow and evolve, and you have the power to make that happen for your business when you use content marketing and SEO keywords to your advantage. If all goes well, as you publish more content, you can rank higher on search engines and notice a gradual increase in your number of viewers.
It's possible for you to scale your startup fast. Just make sure you are making good decisions, understand your endgame, start automating when possible, and use scalable marketing methods like content creation and SEO to keep your business booming. Put your passion into everything you do and strive to do your best, and you, too, can have a great business that grows quickly.
Jared Atchison is the co-founder of WPForms, a drag and drop form builder for WordPress that's being used on more than 400,000 websites.