How To Scale Your Creative Business: 7 Practical Tips
Your business is growing and odds are that your mind is filled with questions: How does one scale their business in this day and age? Where do you even begin? Should you hire more in-house employees?
Along with those questions, there is also a plethora of tools to consider, and processes to outline. In this article, we lay out seven things to consider when in this most envious of positions.
#1 Define your value
What do you bring to the table for a client? This is the question you need to ask yourself
when looking to scale your business.
In the 21st Century, defining value hardly has to mean pure numbers or your financial bottom line. Value can be much more abstract than that. And, the better you are at selling your value, the more willing potential clients will be to listen.
Think outside of the box when it comes to value. Maybe you bring a ton of influence to the market. Or, perhaps your existing name recognition adds intrinsic value to your client’s brand. Think about this one!
It may seem straightforward, but being honest with yourself and your people about what you can offer will make all the difference in the world. It sets your business up for scale and reinforces your internal perceptions and goals.
#2 Find your niche
Simply put, what is it that you do and for whom? In the early stages of your business, you probably looked at things as a one-stop shop.
Sure, you had a focus, but if a client asked/needed something outside of this, you were there. Happy to provide whatever peripheral skills you have. But, that was when you had a client or two – maybe a couple of friendly barter agreements.
Now, there’s no time for dabbling all over the place. So, determine what it is you do and what you want to focus on. Make this decision by identifying your strengths and weaknesses as a company and, perhaps, as an individual. You are management, but you’re not infallible.
This also means you should determine when it’s time to set up separate departments within your organization. You might be used to wearing many different hats, bringing in new clients while keeping track of invoices and hiring staff, while also involved with the creative process.
To maintain a better overview of your business operations, create structure by making just one person (or department) responsible for sales, finance, HR, the creative team, etc. As your company starts to grow, it gets harder to keep things organized. Don’t wait too long before creating divisions. Before you know it, you’ll find yourself in a big cluttered mess.
#3 Set your budget. Know your budget
Budgets. They’re a fact of life. Whether in your personal life or across the professional sphere, working within a budget is a given. We are not just referring to a project budget, but an overall master budget for the whole fiscal year.
You don’t want to over (or under) pay. In today’s age, there is no specific way to look at a budget. You can be as conservative or liberal with it as you want. The important thing is that it exists. If it does, you will have a document to refer to and something that will guide your investment decision-making process.
You will know what to cut and what to invest in, and where your priorities lie. You will also lay the foundations for future financial planning. Have fun with it! There is no right and wrong way to set your budget. Why? Because it’s your budget.
#4 Build a consistent onboarding process for new clients
This one is meant to save you headaches down the road. As you scale your business, you will need to know how to efficiently onboard new clients. Do you remember how much time it took to get everything set up for your one client at the beginning? Well, now you have more, which means even more time spent on this step.
With a clear and concise onboarding process, you can meet increased peace of mind knowing that everything fits where it needs to be. You can then focus on other aspects of your business.
Related: The Ultimate Guide to Onboarding Remote Employees [Free Checklist]
#5 Outsource (and hire) strategically
Just about anything can be outsourced these days. And for many digital and creative businesses, this is even more true than for others.
Of course, your business needs to keep a solid and competent core team. But, make sure you are open and honest with yourself about what tasks and responsibilities can be outsourced. There are many reasons to outsource when you have scalability on your mind.
When outsourcing is done well, you get high-quality work for less than committing to an in-house employee. This opens up your own time where you can continue searching for that superstar in-house employee.
#6 Flexibility is key
Flexibility is a core value that is beneficial throughout one’s life and lifestyle. With open communication and an interconnected professional world, rigidity acts as a net negative.
This can be because of time zones, cultural differences, technical issues, etc. So, be flexible. You don’t know everything, and you haven’t been everywhere (no one has). It would be foolish to set rigid templates as if you do or had.
Be flexible in your budgets. Be flexible in your hiring. Be flexible in your company culture. Flexibility does not mean anarchy, after all. It means maturity and adaptability.
#7 Implement Project Management Software
Any company looking to scale is only as good as its organization. Project management software can assist you in this field. Implementing a comprehensive, diverse project management tool like Rodeo plays a quintessential role in creating an organizational structure within your company.
Consolidating everything you need into one place will save time and stress while keeping your administration organized. Software like Rodeo addresses everything on this list through a super clean and easy-to-use interface. You can address issues related to budgets, task planning, time management, reporting, and more with Rodeo.
Related: Best Project Management Software for Creative Agencies
Scaling your business takes a lot of determination. But, beyond that, it also takes strategic planning, grit, and the willingness to seek help when you need to. Scaling is no time for egos! And, it’s no time for “maybe.”
Consider several things, from laser targeting your niche, value, and budget to finding a project management tool for creatives. But hey, in many ways, the hard part is over. You’ve started your business and taken on your first clients, so be proud!
Find out how you can optimize your business processes with Rodeo by planning a free demo with one of our experts today.