Managing a high-functioning team is every manager’s dream, but it’s no easy feat. While your team may be performing well, you may have greater expectations or goals that seem out of reach. If you can’t add resources to your team, it may be time to double down and scale. Scaling your team refers to expanding your company and increasing revenue without investing ample time or resources. In short, scaling your team means increasing output without adding to your team.
Implementing strategies that help you scale with a lean, nimble team will help you achieve growth and increase profits without cutting into your bottom line. In this article, we’ll cover the importance of creating a plan that leads to scalability, while covering tips and tricks for ensuring your plan is foolproof and helps you scale your team the right way.
- What does scaling your team mean?
- The importance of creating a plan for your team
- How to create a plan to scale your team
What does scaling your team mean?
Scalability means having the ability to increase revenue, operations, or output, without expending more resources. Simply put, it’s being able to expand your company without investing ample time or resources into practices that will interrupt your daily operations. Scaling a team happens when revenue increases without team expenses being raised. For example, if your sales team has been able to increase revenue by 30% but you’ve had to add three more employees to your team to do so, you haven’t successfully scaled. If you find a way to increase sales by 30% with your current team, you’ve scaled your team successfully.
Joe Martin, the Vice President of Marketing and Strategy at CloudApp, identified areas in which his team could double down to scale and create a positive impact without expending more resources, serving as an excellent example for creating scalability. In episode 44 of the Supermanagers podcast, he said: “I focused on the things we were really good at first. There were some good organic traffic pieces already in place, and so I scaled those, and we went from 10 SEO pages to 100 SEO pages quickly and 5 to 10x the amount of organic pages.”
The importance of creating a plan for your team
- Increases productivity
- Builds stronger teams
- Retains efficiency
- Brings in more revenue
- Evaluates employee performance
You simply cannot successfully scale your team without productive teammates. Creating a plan will not only provide your teammates with guidance as they grow and take on more responsibility, but it will also ensure productivity. If your teammates know what to expect, they’ll be more likely to work efficiently.
Meetings worth showing up to
A well-run meeting can foster communication and collaboration by including an agenda the whole team can contribute to. Try using a tool like Fellow!
2Builds stronger teams
High-performing teams are often much stronger when compared to their low-performing counterparts. Without structure and in-depth planning, it can be nearly impossible to build a strong team. Providing your teammates with the structure and guidance they need will foster collaboration and consistency while increasing output.
“As a business scales, roles tend to become more specialized. So in the beginning, when there’s kind of a handful of people, everyone’s wearing multiple hats and you need to be super-empowered, because there’s not even that much clarity of what your job is. And then as you grow, things get more specialized.” –Dave Bailey
Increasing efficiency is one thing, but sustaining it is another. If you don’t create a plan that your teammates can follow as you scale, you may end up facing a whole host of issues that make achieving sustainable efficiency difficult. Ensuring your teammates have what they need to scale and take on more responsibility will help your team retain efficiency. If your teammates are overwhelmed by too many new tasks or responsibilities at once, you may not be able to be as efficient as possible.
4Brings in more revenue
One of the major perks of scaling your team is being able to increase revenue without expending more resources on hiring or operations. Creating a plan will allow you to scale your team successfully so you can increase revenue without making new hires or interrupting your current workflow.
5Evaluates employee performance
Tracking success and gauging employee performance is extremely important. If you don’t have a plan, you won’t be able to gauge success or determine how your employees have contributed. A solid plan with goals and benchmarks will make it possible for you to evaluate the performance of each of your employees so you can continue to make iterations and improvements as the plan progresses.
How to create a plan to scale your team
- Be flexible
- Have realistic expectations
- Assemble a strong team
- Create an organizational strategy
- Hire doers
- Learn to delegate
- Prepare for the adjustment period
When creating a plan, it’s important to be flexible in your approach. If you’re stringent, you may ultimately end up creating a plan that proves to be unsuccessful. Being flexible will allow for room for failures, improvements, and the resolution of any hiccups that may arise along the way. Being flexible also means considering your employees’ opinions and concerns. Allowing your teammates to collaborate on the plan will help them feel valued and included. Scaling can be a massive change, so it’s important to make sure everyone is on board and ready to hit the ground running.
2Have realistic expectations
It’s extremely important to be realistic when scaling your team. While you may think your team has the capacity to be lean and scale exponentially, there may be a learning curve, or your team members may already have too many conflicting responsibilities. If your plan is unrealistic, you may end up decreasing morale or discouraging your teammates. Remember that your teammates already have a lot on their plates and scaling without a plan may result in burnout or even an increased turnover rate.
3Assemble a strong team
Nothing can be accomplished alone, especially when it comes to bringing a robust project to fruition. Take everyone’s strengths, weaknesses, and capacities into consideration when formulating a plan. Working backwards and determining which skill sets and experience levels are needed to bring your plan to fruition will help you choose the right people for the job. If you don’t have a strong team that’s capable of multitasking and hitting benchmarks, you won’t be able to scale.
4Create an organizational strategy
An organizational strategy is a plan that specifies how your business will allocate resources like money, labor, or inventory. This strategy proves to be beneficial when determining on what your teammates will need to focus or to what various resources should be allocated. Creating an organizational strategy will make it possible for you and your teammates to form an in-depth understanding of where everyone will need to focus their time and energy to scale successfully.
Without doers, you can’t scale. Doers are people who are able to take an idea or a concept and run with it. If those on your team aren’t willing to get their hands dirty and get involved at the ground level, you won’t be able to churn out results. Not only will your teammates have to manage their regular workloads, but they’ll also be responsible for added responsibilities that enable your team to scale. Individual contributors who specialize in certain niches may be excellent candidates for a position of this magnitude.
6Learn to delegate
One of the most valuable skills that successful managers or leaders possess is the ability to delegate. While you may feel as though you’re capable of taking everything on by yourself, it’s important to remember that you can’t. Surrounding yourself with experts who are able to bring your vision to life is key, and being able to effectively delegate where your talents may fall short is even more powerful. If you’re able to delegate, you’ll be able to increase output while maximizing efficiency.
7Prepare for the adjustment period
Scaling your team won’t happen overnight. There will be an adjustment period during which your teammates may stumble while attempting to find their footing. It’s natural for there to be a learning curve when responsibilities and expectations increase. Remember to be patient and offer assistance or guidance when necessary. Your teammates should feel valued and appreciated, especially when you raise the bar and expect them to increase output.
Create your plan
Ready to increase growth without cutting into your bottom line? It’s time to scale! Creating a plan for scaling your team will ensure you’re able to successfully scale sustainably without adding to your team. Taking these tips, tricks, and best practices into consideration will help you ensure your team is able to scale without facing burnout or a never-ending list of unrealistic tasks.