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The story of scale in marketing

Authored by Rahul Khanna, Founder, Barcode Entertainment - A Phygital Marketing Agency

How do you scale up a bootstrapped business?

Let’s start with understanding what is Scalability in Business? Scalability can be broken down into 2 simple words: capability and capacity. You have to constantly ask yourself 2 questions - Does your business have the capability and the opportunity to grow? And second will your team, network, business strategies and infrastructure be able to withstand this level of growth? The second question requires you to put yourself in your consumers shoes. Are your consumers satisfied by your company's deliverables? Are you able to build long-term relationships and form a successful network? And lastly is your team able to deliver results at ease without any confusion and disorganization?

Scaling up a business is like flying an aircraft, you cannot have it in nosedive position !

Steps to scale your business:

Scale back before you scale up - Always keep in mind that a bigger company does not always mean a better one! Before you think of growth, take a moment to look inside your company. Think Big, assume that if your company's sales doubled overnight would your company have the capability to tackle all your new orders and clients without any hassle? At Barcode Entertainment we have learnt to scale back before we ponder over how to scale up. The first step is to devise a master plan before you begin to move forward. Formulate a plan or strategy based on what marketing tactics have worked in the past and resulted in a positive ROI and simultaneously eliminate the ones that haven’t.

Solve a problem - Ask yourself what is the mission or goal your company is trying to achieve and do you have the ability and resources to solve it? I started Barcode Entertainment with a mission to work on projects that would solve real life marketing problems. I realized that this was a time when several people started their own startups with a heavy expenditure in marketing, so I had to stop and ask myself how would mine stand apart from the rest? I realized that even though most of these startups started off with a high marketing budget they did not have the resources for them to be serviced well enough. This is when I quickly realized my entry point in this market and worked towards delivering my best.

Think about team size - Ask yourself whether your team is trained and prepared enough to manage the escalation in projects and responsibilities without hampering their relationships with existing clients. I believe that evaluating each member's proficiency and skills helped barcode realize in which areas we were lacking and had to invest in hiring more talent.

Utilize the funnel approach - This is perhaps the most important step to ensure growth of a company - Putting yourself in the customer’s shoes. Ask yourself what your target segment is looking for, what does your client care about? On what areas would your client choose to spend money on? And lastly whether your company has the resources to be called a ‘customer centric organization’.  Once you’ve identified what your clientele demands it is easier to decide how to deliver and market to them.  At barcode we realized that our customers demanded absolute transparency, so we established metrics for accurate measurements of parameters like engagement matrix, cost per lead, Cost of acquisition that ensured that 99% of the marketing activities whether offline or digital were trackable !

Growth versus scale - Lastly my final advice to all the marketers who are starting off is understanding the difference between scale and growth.  Growth is when a company invests in capital, services, technology, employees which results in an overall increase in its revenue. While scale is when revenue increases without significant change in resources. The key difference with growth is that scale is achieved by increasing revenue without incurring significant costs. While adding customers and revenue exponentially, costs should only increase incrementally, if at all.

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