11 Biggest Mistakes to Avoid When Scaling Your Growth
It’s every entrepreneur’s dream to launch their product, receive an overwhelming amount of positive feedback, and watch their business expand beyond their wildest expectations. But this rarely happens overnight; most businesses take time to gain traction in the marketplace, even if they are providing superior products or services. And that’s OK! The key to getting your business off the ground (and growing it 10X) is to make sure you’re avoiding these three mistakes when scaling your growth.
1) GETTING DISTRACTED BY NEW IDEAS
Entrepreneurs often jump from idea to idea, wanting to try their hand at anything and everything. While it may seem like a savvy business move, jumping from one company to another can do a disservice to all of your ideas—both past and present. By focusing on creating one quality product or service instead of several mediocre ones, you’ll make sure your efforts don’t go wasted. Many startups give up before even attempting growth because they don’t take time out early enough in their development stage to make sure they have a solid foundation for scaling that makes sense for their product or service.
2) DOING TOO MUCH AT ONCE
It’s not uncommon for an entrepreneur in search of scaling up their growth to take on multiple roles at once. For example, there are times when I’ve been asked by an early-stage company to help out with both marketing and product design. In some cases, that might be a good thing. In others, it can create a logistical nightmare if you don’t have a solid team already in place. If you want your growth strategy to work without all of your eggs being placed in one basket, make sure you aren’t doing too much yourself at first.
3) CHASING EVERY NEW OPPORTUNITY
The most successful companies in history have been incredibly focused, and have zeroed in on a particular opportunity. If you are trying to do too many things at once, you are probably stretching yourself too thin. This is one of your biggest mistakes. You’ll be hard-pressed to be doing everything well if you’re not focusing on one main thing. So don’t chase every opportunity that comes your way—focus instead on nailing one thing well before moving onto something else.
4) FORGING AHEAD WITHOUT A “WHY” OR “HOW”
It’s easy to get excited about our initial, successful launches. If things go well, we can easily fall into a mindset of we did it once, so we can do it again! But beware: there are several huge mistakes that people make when trying to replicate their initial successes.
5) NOT TESTING THE MARKET FIRST
Before you even think about marketing your app, it’s important that you first test your market. There are a variety of ways to do so, but here are some good starting points: Is there any similar competition already in place? If so, figure out how they reached their target audience. Did they reach them through ads? Organic growth? Word of mouth marketing campaigns? Get creative with your research! Think about what will appeal most to new users, and try developing your own marketing campaign around that.
6) NOT DOCUMENTING PROCESSES
You can’t succeed with growth if you don’t have a system for new hires to learn how you do what you do. If they don’t know how things are done, your new team members will either be inefficient, inconsistent or both. Documenting processes is an important part of growing fast, but it’s one that too many entrepreneurs neglect.
7) Don’t Be Afraid To Post Promotion Post
Quality content may get your page more followers, but it doesn’t necessarily grow them. The truth is, most people are on social media for two reasons—to learn about something or connect with other people. If you think about it from that angle, you can tailor your approach accordingly. If you’re trying to improve brand awareness, focus on sharing articles that feature expert opinions and data related to your industry. The same goes for if you’re trying to build up leads; interesting polls can be a great way for users to connect with one another while simultaneously learning more about products or services they may not have considered before.
8) Poor Hiring Practices
Skilled teams are a hugely important component of growth. The hardest part about scaling, though, is finding those skilled people who can take your business from good to great. In fact, building a team of high-quality employees is one of your greatest challenges as you scale—and there’s a good chance you’re going about it all wrong. If that’s true, then how should you be recruiting? Where should you post jobs? How should you interview potential hires? More importantly, what shouldn’t you do when trying to find skilled employees for your company? To help answer these questions and more, we asked experts from around our community for their best tips on hiring top talent during times of rapid growth.
9) Scaling Too Quickly
It’s always better to grow at a moderate pace than it is to take on too much, too soon. It can be tempting for startups that are seeing success early on to double down on their efforts, but for many businesses, it leads down a dark path of never-ending busy work and stress. Staying small and focused means you can stay efficient—and sane—as you grow.
10) Always Have Data on Hand
Many start-ups rely on gut feelings when it comes to measuring growth. This is a huge mistake. It’s important that you collect and analyze data from every campaign you run, so that you can pinpoint what works and what doesn’t. Each new project you launch should follow at least one of these analytics steps
11) Don’t Use Fake Followers
While it might seem tempting, using bots or fake followers is not only unethical but highly likely to backfire on you. You may gain some initial traction, but your audience will quickly realize that their comments are ignored and their friends don’t exist. They won’t trust you again, they won’t engage with your content, and they definitely won’t buy from you. Don’t chase numbers for numbers’ sake. Build a real audience through ethical practices—they will be worth so much more in the long run!
The most critical step in starting and scaling a business is making sure you don’t leave money on the table. Be strategic about how you spend your time, and understand that time is your most precious resource. Whatever it is that you do for a living, remember that there are always ways of doing it better, faster and cheaper. And by focusing on saving money on all aspects of your business, from research and development to customer acquisition and retention, you can achieve bigger things than ever before.