There are still only four ways to make more money, as explained by the Ansoff Matrix, which was published in Harvard Business Review in 1957. (Things haven’t changed much.) From least- to most-risky:
- Sell existing products to existing customers.
- Sell new products to existing customers.
- Sell existing products to new markets.
- Sell new products to new markets.
If you’re thinking about scaling, or the problems associated with scaling, then you’re probably concerned with one of those four things. To accomplish even the least risky on that list involves extending your capacity in some way. The lifecycle of any service business at some point rubs up against your personal capacity to get things done: your time and energy.
There are two ways increase capacity and, hence, two ways to scale a service business.
- Save time and energy
- Create more time and energy
Ways to save time and energy:
- Increase your personal productivity
- Automate your processes
- Reduce the number or complexity of services
- Package your services into products
- Create systems
Ways to create more time and energy:
- Hire people
- Engage in strategic partnerships
Time and energy are usually viewed as finite, unyielding problems. “I don’t have enough time.” “I’m too busy.” “I’m exhausted.”
With a little creativity, strategy and elbow grease, you can create a scalable business and make your life better. The thing you’re reading right now is part of the series, Scale This. Throughout the month, I’ll be exploring many of these methods of scaling a service business in greater detail, focused on actionable guidance to help you if you’re battling business growth (and a dearth of time and energy).
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