How to Scale a Business in 9 Steps

Gijs Ooijen
July 5, 2023
min read
February 13, 2024
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From setting clear goals to embracing technology, learn the key steps to scale your business and outpace the competition.
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Scaling a business is no easy feat. In fact, only eight percent of businesses manage to scale successfully. But in today's competitive markets, it's crucial for long-term success and survival. 

This article will take you through a step-by-step process to unlock your desired growth. 

Here are the steps and secrets to scale your business to new heights.

TL;DR: How to scale a business

  • Scaling a business is crucial for long-term success, but only 8 percent of businesses manage to do it successfully.
  • This article provides a step-by-step process for scaling your business, including setting clear goals, streamlining processes, expanding market reach, building a strong team, fostering strategic partnerships, embracing technology, monitoring performance, nurturing customer relationships, and iterating and innovating.
  • Small businesses can also leverage scaling strategies to compete with larger competitors by implementing automation and digital tools.
  • You can optimize the scaling process by increasing efficiency, forming strategic partnerships, pursuing mergers and acquisitions, and embracing technological advancements.
  • Scribe is a valuable tool for optimizing business processes by automatically generating step-by-step guides, SOPs and training manuals.

10 Solid Business Process Software Options for Smarter Workflows

Understanding how to scale your business

Scaling a business is like adding rocket fuel to your growth trajectory. It's not just about expanding but also about achieving substantial and sustainable progress. Imagine your business as a high-performing athlete at the gym. Scaling is like optimizing your nutrition plan to accelerate your performance and crush your fitness goals consistently.

For example, let's consider a local bakery that wants to scale its operations. By implementing effective scaling strategies, the bakery can experience remarkable growth. Scaling allows them to bake more cookies, reach more customers and ultimately, turn their neighborhood bakery into a worldwide hit.

Growth is the key to scaling. There are four commonly recognized growth strategies, which are:

  • Market penetration: This strategy focuses on capturing a larger share of the existing market by enticing existing customers to buy more or attracting new customers with compelling offers and marketing campaigns.
  • Market development: The goal is to expand into new markets or customer segments by identifying untapped opportunities. 
  • Product development: Introduce new or enhance current products to innovate and meet evolving customer needs while increasing market presence.
  • Diversification: This strategy involves diversifying into new products or even unrelated industries to spread risk and capitalize on new opportunities. 

So, whether you're ramping up your business or powering through your workouts, remember that scaling is like the secret sauce that takes your performance to the next level. 

💡 Scribe tip: You can use your business plan as a roadmap to successfully scale your company. Try one of our 5 free business plan templates to build a foundation for growth.

9 steps to scaling your business

  1. Set clear goals.
  2. Streamline processes.
  3. Expand market reach.
  4. Build a strong team.
  5. Foster strategic partnerships.
  6. Embrace technology.
  7. Monitor and measure performance.
  8. Nurture customer relationships.
  9. Iterate and innovate.

Scaling your business might initially look like an overwhelming task. However, the process becomes much more manageable and attainable when you break it down into simple, actionable steps. By following these nine steps, you can confidently start scaling your business.

1. Set clear goals

Hubspot SMART goals: How to Scale a Business
(Source: HubSpot)

‎Setting clear goals is the true foundation of successful business scaling. It provides direction and focus for your efforts, ensuring everyone in your organization is aligned and working towards a shared vision. Studies show that employees with well-defined goals are 3.6 times more likely to be committed to their organization. 

Begin by outlining your long-term objectives, then break them down into smaller, actionable goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound (SMART). Communicate these goals to your team, track progress and celebrate milestones along the way, fostering a sense of purpose and motivation.

💡Develop and implement strategic plans with our business action plan template

2. Streamline processes

Smartsheet Invoice approval process example: How to Scale a Business
(Source: Smartsheet)

‎Efficiency is the name of the game when it comes to scaling your business. Streamlining processes allows you to eliminate business bottlenecks, reduce waste and maximize productivity. 

Ask yourself: are there any redundant tasks or approvals? Can specific steps be automated? Streamlining the process can save time and resources, allowing your team to focus on more value-added activities.

Continuously review and optimize your processes, seeking feedback from employees and customers to ensure you're operating at peak efficiency and able to handle increased demands as you scale.

🎓 What is a Business Process? The ABCs of Running a Successful Business

3. Expand market reach

(Source: Chisel)

‎To achieve sustainable growth, you need to tap into new customer segments, markets or geographic areas. Conduct market research to identify untapped opportunities, understand your target audience's needs and preferences, and develop targeted marketing and sales strategies to effectively reach these new markets. 

This could involve creating tailored marketing campaigns, exploring new distribution channels or even considering partnerships with complementary businesses. By expanding your market reach, you open up avenues for increased revenue and brand recognition.

4. Build a strong team

Collaborative and high-performing teams are the driving force behind innovation and growth. To cultivate a strong team, hire individuals who align with your company's values and possess the necessary skills for your growth goals. 

Foster a positive work culture that encourages open communication, trust and continuous learning. Invest in team development through training programs, workshops and team-building activities. A strong team is the best foundation for a scalable business.

🎓 How to Build a Team: 6 Steps to Success

5. Foster strategic partnerships

Collaborating with like-minded businesses or industry partners can provide access to new markets, resources, expertise and customer bases. Seek out potential partners whose strengths complement your own, creating a win-win situation for both parties. 

Establish mutually beneficial agreements or joint ventures that leverage each other's capabilities. By forming strategic partnerships, you can expand your reach and tap into new opportunities that may have been challenging or even impossible to pursue independently.

6. Embrace technology

In today's increasingly digital era, embracing technology is a key driver of business scalability. One notable example is the integration of AI solutions. For example, it's estimated that 40 percent of the work salespeople do during the sales process can be automated using current AI solutions. 

Leveraging AI can streamline tasks like lead qualification, data analysis and customer support, freeing up valuable time for your team to focus on higher-value activities. 

Another perfect example: technologies like Scribe can revolutionize your business processes by automatically generating SOPs, training materials, manual templates, process overviews, and so much more.


With Scribe, documenting processes becomes effortless, saving time all across your organization. Here’s an example:

‎7. Monitor & measure performance

If you want to scale effectively, you need to make data-driven decisions. Establish key performance indicators (KPIs) that align with your goals and regularly assess your team's performance against these metrics. 

Use analytics tools and software to gather real-time data on sales, customer engagement, website traffic or any other relevant metric. This will enable you to identify areas of improvement, uncover trends and make informed adjustments to your strategies.

8. Nurture customer relationships

The customer is king. Surprisingly, research shows that approximately 42 percent of companies don't survey their customers or collect feedback. To stand out from the competition, prioritize the customer experience. 

Actively seek feedback, listen to their needs and respond promptly to inquiries or concerns. Implement customer loyalty programs and exceptional customer service. 

According to research from Deloitte, companies that put the customer experience first are 60 percent more profitable than their competitors. By nurturing customer relationships, you foster loyalty and unlock valuable opportunities for repeat business and positive word-of-mouth.

9. Iterate and innovate

Embrace a culture of continuous improvement and adaptability. Regularly assess your products, services and business model to stay ahead of market trends and meet changing customer needs. Encourage your team to think creatively and generate new ideas. 

Don't be afraid to experiment and take calculated risks. Learn from your mistakes and use them as stepping stones for innovation. By constantly iterating and innovating, you can stay competitive and seize emerging opportunities in the marketplace.

How to scale a small business

Even small businesses have the opportunity to leverage scaling strategies and achieve sustainable growth, enabling them to compete with larger competitors. The digital revolution has opened up new avenues for small businesses to expand operations and reach a broader customer base. 

But there are so many questions. What software do you need to scale a small business? Is my business ready? How will scaling affect my current business operations? And more.

Research indicates that 62 percent of businesses that shifted to digital during the recent shift plan to continue expanding their digital operations in the future. Additionally, nearly half of small and SMBs are eager to embark on their digital journey, highlighting the immense potential for small businesses to tap into the power of technology and gain a competitive edge.

As a small business owner, the weight of responsibility falls on your shoulders as you single-handedly manage multiple aspects of your business. Over 70 percent of business owners directly oversee sales, client management, hiring and onboarding and team performance simultaneously. 

Small businesses can optimize operations by implementing scaling strategies and free up valuable time. Automation and digital tools can reduce manual workloads, allowing you to delegate tasks and empower your team to take on more responsibilities. Building a strong team enables you to trust your employees to handle day-to-day operations.

With scalable systems in place, small business owners can confidently take breaks, pursue growth opportunities, and strategically plan for the future. Ultimately, it enables you to compete with larger competitors and sets you on a path to long-term success. 

📌 10 Best Small Business Software & Tools

Leveling up the scaling process

Scaling a business requires strategic maneuvers that unlock its full potential. Understanding how strategies can work in different stages of the scaling process is essential for maximizing their impact.

1. Increasing efficiency

Statistics reveal that companies lose up to 30 percent in revenue each year due to inefficiencies. You can optimize operations and improve productivity by streamlining processes and leveraging automation. 

This strategy is particularly beneficial in the early stages of scaling, as it creates the building blocks for growth by allowing the business to handle increased demand and focus on value-added activities.

2. Strategic partnerships

Strategic partnerships are a powerful scaling strategy that can be pursued at all stages of growth. Collaborating with complementary businesses or industry leaders can provide access to new markets, resources and expertise. Through strategic partnerships, businesses can do what they’d usually do in a year in just a few months.

3. Mergers and acquisitions

Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) are another scaling strategy that can propel businesses forward. By acquiring or merging with other companies, businesses can consolidate their market position and expand their customer base at a pace that is not achievable in any other way. 

According to a recent KPMG study, 87 percent of CEO respondents are seeking to improve their digital capabilities through merger and acquisition strategies within the next three years. The same KPMG study indicates that 50 percent of CEOs consider M&A a priority for improving their business velocity. 

M&A is often pursued during the later stages of scaling when businesses have established a strong foundation and seek rapid growth through market consolidation or diversification.

4. Technological advancements

Businesses that fail to embrace technology risk falling behind their competitors. According to research, the average company loses over 25 percent of its productive power to organizational drag. 

By integrating the newest technologies, such as Scribe and other tools that automate small business processes, you can enhance operations and even create space for new opportunities. Technological advancements are relevant throughout the entire scaling journey, from a business in the early stages to even giants such as Google or Apple.

How to start optimizing your business today

When it comes to optimizing your business, the possibilities are endless. With the coming up of AI, there are now countless ways to make an immediate impact. A great example is Scribe. Ninety-nine percent of employees say they never want to document a process again( that’s not an actual statistic, but you believe it, right? 😉)

‎Scribe, powered by ChatGPT, takes on the task of documenting processes, creating SOPs, training manuals and process overviews automatically for any business process.

With Scribe, you can effortlessly create step-by-step guides and let AI write process documents for you. Share your knowledge in seconds without the hassle. 

‎Wrapping it up

Scaling a business requires planning, strategic execution and adopting effective growth strategies. By following the strategies we discussed in this article, you can reach levels you couldn’t have imagined before.

A crucial part of scaling is efficiently recording your processes. This is where Scribe comes in. Scribe’s AI takes care of the most dreaded part of your job by automatically generating step-by-step guides, SOPs and training manuals for any process in your business.

With Scribe, you can save valuable time and effort while ensuring your processes are well-documented and easily accessible.

So, why struggle with manual documentation when Scribe can do it for you? Sign up for Scribe today and never worry about process documentation again.


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