You want to start a scalable business because you have huge aspirations. Unlike running the mom ‘n’ pop shops in your neighbourhood, you want more than a few loyal customers. You want to grow your company, reach new investors, and expand across the city, the country, and even the world.
A scalable business is a company capable of multiplying revenue without compromising the resulting profits. You’ll charge the same price per customer if you have 100 or if you have 100,000, and more clients doesn’t equal larger workload. That is a scalable business.
When your company is ready to scale, it’ll have a desirable product and an established business model. Not only will your friends and family think your ideas are great, but investors will come knocking as well.
So where do you begin? What exactly does this type of business look like? To get you started on your road to glory, here are a few examples of businesses proven to have scalable potential.
Why are some of the biggest companies in the world based around software? Well, it’s because quality software can be replicated over and over again without excessive expenditure. A software startup with limited capital can build a minimum viable product (MVP) with budding potential and present it to the market and investors. Then over night, they can gain a huge following, or disappear with miniscule damages.
Whether your new company is based around a SaaS model or utilizes the cloud, building around a low-cost deliverable will help your scalability.
Take a quick look at the world’s largest software companies, Microsoft and Oracle. These two brands are churning out products that consumers don’t even know they are purchasing. Once the developed product is ready for the market, consumers can access it with a few clicks. No need to stock it on a shelf and no need to drive to a store and buy it.
When products need physical applications, such as the case of CD-ROMS, smart companies will outsource the operation without compromising the team’s time, efforts, and intellect. Scaling does not all happen internally. Sometimes your company will need help.
Online shopping is a worldwide phenomenon and it’s only growing. Unlike brick-and-mortar businesses, e-commerce has exceptional scalable capacity. While some shoppers are searching for a desired product, many are just browsing (window-shopping) hoping that something will catch their eyes. Here is where your company appears.
It’s true that products available online are also available in stores. So with that in mind, how can you possibly set your brand apart in this cramped market place?
The answer is trust. What do people hate about department stores? The cavernous warehouse sensation, the time-consuming journey through the wrong aisle, and the often-indignant customer service. A scalable e-commerce business must offer a solid product and a customer oriented business model to match.
Take the fashion startup Indochino for example. The formalwear company focuses solely on giving the modern men—who are often reluctant to get garment measured and tailored—an experience that is worthwhile and enjoyable.
In addition, successful e-commerce startups offer incentives that retail stores often omit. Coupons, discounts, and various other marketing strategies to gain loyalty are ways to turn your savings into new customers.
Social Network and Gamification
Perhaps it is too late to invent Facebook or Twitter, but your scalable startup can still connect people together in different ways.
Two prime examples of scalable businesses that leverage social media for success areFourSquare, a mobile app that learns what you like and suggest places for you to go, and OpenTable, a service that allows you to make dinner reservations quick and easy. Both of these applications fulfill that public demand to explore and evaluate, while providing a gamified element that encourages users to return.
Monotonous and stress-inducing problems seep into our lives constantly. If you can build a company that makes even one of those problems enjoyable (or even bearable), such as finding someone to help you clean your house, like TaskRabbit does, then you are on your way to creating something scalable.