Scaling a business is not for the faint of heart. It's a mind-bending journey that causes millions of business owners around the globe to either throw in the towel--or avoid risk entirely and suffer from smallness and mediocrity.
Most of these businesses fail because they are ill prepared to face the real challenges involved in scaling. Either they don't have the bandwidth to keep up with the sales demand or production, miss out on major opportunities due to fear, or keep making the same mistakes over and over because systems and processes aren't in sync with the rate of growth.
To truly scale, you must upsize your strategic practices, implement new marketing strategies, find new ways to build your team, and expand your mindset to break through whatever is keeping you stuck at the same level. Then you must be willing to take the leap into the giant unknown - to make your impossible possible.
In Scale or Fail, author Allison Maslan--who has successfully scaled ten companies from scratch and has guided thousands of small businesses to do the same--shares her revolutionary SCALEit Method ® for successfully growing, replicating, and expanding your business. She also shares pivotal mindset strategies she's used to break the fear barrier as a trapeze artist so you can move past any obstacle, take strategic Big Picture risks, and fulfill your dreams of business expansion and skyrocketing profit.
Featuring a wealth of real-life success stories, visual tools, and exercises that are prescriptive and inspirational, Scale or Fail offers proven scaling strategies and a proactive approach to:
* Create your Big Picture Vision and build a plan to achieve it
* Produce an ever-flowing stream of cash flow with consistent profits
* Establish a powerhouse team that functions well without you
* Become a true leader and feel like you deserve your success
* Improve systems and processes that facilitate scaling
* Get past the mental and strategic pitfalls that cause revenue bottlenecks
* Scale or Fail is adaptable to any type of business--manufacturing, consumer goods, a brick and mortar, a digital service, a wholesaler, a consulting service, and everything in between. Whether you're six figures and scaling to seven. . . or in the seven figures and scaling to eight or even nine, Scale or Fail provides the roadmap to multiply your business growth--and empower you to soar in the air with the greatest of ease.
Oh, what if I fall?
Oh but my darling, what if you fly?
-Erin Hanson, young poet
Scaling a business has many similarities to swinging on the flying trapeze. I should know - as an adult, I have learned to do both.
On the trapeze, you must climb a 35-foot ladder to reach the top. Yes, it can be terrifying - but, just like growing your business, you must be willing to take many fearful risks in order to achieve your goals.
Once you make it up the ladder, you are standing on a platform that's only a few feet wide. It is nerve wracking and, to some people, paralyzing. People often allow their fear or lack of direction to hold them back, and they are not willing to take the leap.
It is exactly the same in business when you are poised to expand and scale.
You have two choices at this point. One: You can gather your courage and break through to where all the riches are waiting - this experience is exhilarating, enriching, and tremendously rewarding. Or two: You can get stuck on the platform and tell yourself every reason why scaling is not a good idea. In this scenario, you go nowhere.
What will you choose to do?
I chose the first option, though it took some time to get there. I started my first business in college and, by the age of 25, I was already running my own national advertising and public relations firm. My clients included Fortune 100 companies such as Supercuts, Ben & Jerry's, and Charlotte Russe. I was making great money, but I was working night and day. I should have been on top of the world, but I had no life of my own and, honestly, I felt miserable.
I recognized that my business needed a new model to continue its growth beyond my own individual efforts, but I didn't know how. Years later, after a powerful wake-up call resulting from a near-fatal car accident and a failing marriage, I made a life-changing decision to walk away from the lucrative agency that was starving my soul and figure out how to get there - whatever that ultimately was going to mean.
The result was that I developed an innovative method of scaling that led to a much more impactful and meaningful business path, both personally and monetarily. I took a risk and have never looked back. Instead, I've moved forward to achieve even greater success through building and scaling nine additional businesses, generating millions of dollars. It is of even greater personal importance to me that along the way I've developed a business mentoring company that has helped thousands of other business owners around the world realize their full potential.
As many of us know and have already experienced, dreams can easily get shattered. (If you are among the few who haven't yet, trust me when I say that you will. As you'll discover in this book, setbacks and failure are not a bad thing.) Expectations sometimes need flexibility, a willingness to look at a challenge from a new set of eyes. Starting out with an innovative idea, seed money, hard work, hope, and confidence-building pep talks are all great assets - but they are certainly not guarantees for success. There are a great many variables affecting whether you and your business reach their full potential.
Growing your business is an even more daunting endeavor. You've made it through the early stages, you've built a client base, you've established some product recognition, you've seen some decent results, and maybe you've even managed to keep your cash flow somewhat consistent. But soon you find that the business is leveling off. Costs are rising. In order to achieve your long-term financial goals, you know you need to expand existing revenue streams or create new ones, or your company will stagnate and then sink. On the other hand, such expansion involves risk. As a rabbi once said to me, when I was discussing the pains of my marriage at that time, "Nothing worth having is ever easy."
However, there are ways that you can stack the odds heavily in your favor. The scaling model described in this book - which has guided the success of many of my clients - is a practical, proactive approach that can also help you to shift your risk-reward equation. You have nothing to lose except a few hours invested in reading this book and applying its methodology.
What Is Scaling, Exactly?
When founders reach a certain point at which they feel as if they are chasing their tails and putting out fires, have unending To Do lists, and never have any free time, it becomes impossible for them to focus on the things that can actually grow their businesses. They've had success with their companies and with building revenue, but they just can't seem to make the jump to the next level or even to hire the right people. It drives them nuts, taking all the wind out of their sales (pun intended!) and the fun out of their lives.
So, what does the word scaling mean for those founders - perhaps this group includes you - who can't seem to get to that elusive next level? I like to think of this in terms of being able to grow your business while at the same time managing the expanding workload without sacrificing your level of performance, efficiency, and employee safety. In fact, if you are scaling properly, you are creating processes and workflows that improve all areas of your operation and save you a lot of time, money, and headaches. By adopting a scalable business model, you can generate huge profits without all the budgetary strains that overburden traditional growth models.
The goal of scaling is to build a replicable system for delivering products and services that allow businesses to increase their customer base without having to increase their overhead at the same pace. The traditional growth model has fostered a vicious cycle of inefficiency, causing companies to hit a wall that they cannot break through. For instance, a company gains a few new clients, so they hire more people to service those clients, adding costs at nearly the same rate that they're adding revenue. The method in this book will show you how to grow, replicate, and expand while at the same time building a self-managed company that you can step away from for periods of time as it continues to soar. Most Fortune 500 companies are structured in a way that allows the CEOs to come and go without impacting the company's success. This is a mere dream for most business owners, but in this book I am going to show you exactly how it can become your reality.
To me, successful scaling means that you get to a point in your business where you are flying higher with less effort and resistance - like a professional trapeze artist who creates more height, power, and momentum when he allows the physics of his leap, swing, and team to carry him to new heights. Let me explain how this concept works.
Scaling Away with the Greatest of Ease
Let's start with a story, to illustrate my philosophy of scaling and how I find a great metaphor in the exhilarating world of trapeze artistry.
Years ago, when I was at a crossroads in my life, I happened upon the Flying Gaonas - a fifth-generation family of trapeze artists who performed with circuses such as the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey's Circus and the Big Apple Circus. Richie Gaona, a legendary trapeze artist himself, operates a training facility called Gaona's Trapeze Workshop, where people from all over the globe are trained to "fly."
Now, having been a gymnast back in high school, I became exhilarated at the prospect of trying out this physical - and seemingly dangerous - art form. I simply had to try this out for myself and take the leap, as it were. From that very first leap, I was hooked.
More than 18 years later and still going strong, I continue to climb up that 35-foot ladder to a narrow pedestal and stretch out into the air. In my mind I visualize the routine ahead of me as well as my safe landing, sometimes reciting to myself the lyrics from the song "The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze" - probably the most famous circus song ever, and written as a tribute to real-life nineteenth-century French trapeze artist Jules Léotard.
Below, a team of flyers and spectators watch with anticipation as I inch my toes to the edge of the platform. I draw in and release a deep breath and, an instant later, jump into midair. I somersault once . then twice (that is the plan) and, with the goal of just the right timing and finesse, clasp my arms gracefully with those of another trapeze artist, who is appropriately known as the catcher. And, because a trapeze artist should always seek to take her aerial feats to the next level, I repeat all of this motion again - only this time with a jump that is higher up, a swing with more drive, or an additional twist to push myself beyond what I thought I was capable of achieving. The goal in business and trapeze arts is to surpass what your mind wants you to believe you can accomplish while assembling the systems, processes, and team behind you so that you can soar. Like any team sport, it is the union of the individual's determination, persistence, and finesse, intertwined with the right strategies and team to propel from.
Okay, my feet are now firmly back on earth. You are no doubt still wondering: What...