What Does Scaling in Business Mean? Real Offline and Online Strategies Revealed.

Recently I had a comment regarding scaling, but the question was about how to do it for their website. I gave a pretty descriptive answer, but decided to elaborate on it more on this post because this topic is one of grave importance to businesses, both off and online. 

So what does scaling actually mean?

I have a subjective understanding of it. To me, it means that you perform things to your business that make it grow, but at the same time are able to keep the performance proportionally high with the expansion, meaning as your business grows, the profits do as well. 

To some, the term is also described as “scalability”. 

Now I’d like to point to specific examples of when this applies to offline and online businesses as well as explain when it’s smart to scale and when it isn’t…

Examples of scaling in offline businesses:

The most general is when a store exists at a certain physical location customers can visit. That is our frame. How can this business grow? 

  • Depending on what it’s selling of specializing at (say organic foods), it can advertise itself to local customers.
  • It can also offer delivery options to customers within an X distance. 
  • It can offer bonus coupons to incentivize it’s customers to keep coming back to it.
  • If profits from these and other strategies rise, the store can invest into a website and start selling it’s products to more than just local customers.
  • It can also open up a chain.

Now with these strategies that CAN lead to growth, the most obvious way the business can scale, is to:

Hire more workers to perform the new service/s. Example: Hire people to deliver the food/work the other location/s, hire a website designer to create the website and create a checkout cart.

In short, the owner of the store has created a method by which these new services can be delivered and the expansion of the business is met with an adequate hiring of people to help the expansion continue. 

That is the most basic concept of scaling, but for a regular business. This is all considering that whatever is being sold is being done at a profit. If you are a store owner, you may want to consider some of the ideas I provided above for your own location.

Examples of scaling in online business (website: 

Now this is going to be different because the strategies for which a website grows is very different.

An website’s profits come from traffic coming to the site and that traffic buying something on the site. Whether or not the products being sold on the website are affiliate promotions or actual vendor products owned by the site owner is not that relevant here, what is relevant is that the traffic and numbers of sales made.

First and foremost, before any talk of scaling can begin for a website, what needs to be addressed is the following:

The niche topic of the website, the content of that website and the aim of the website.

If the niche topic of a website is specific enough, as is the content addressing that niche and the aim is to solve the niche’s issues/problems/questions, then this the foundation of the website to being seeing profit.

The goal then is to have the owner of the site create content, niche related content that is. The more content that is created, the more traffic will come to the site. Traffic is basically the customer coming to your store.

The following are general guidelines for getting traffic. It is also a form of scaling because as traffic comes to the site, the website’s profits can potentially rise (more customers can lead to more sales). If you need an example of how an online business works, see this tutorial.

Anyway, suppose your niche site is on helping people work from home, something I am doing on this site for instance. This is a topic which gets millions in searches on Google monthly and we’ll only focus on Google (for now).

As a person who owns the work at home site, you have to find keywords and write about different organizations that help people work from home, which ones work and which ones don’t, talk about strategies people can use to actually stay at home and make money, and basically devote the entire site to this topic and ANY branches of the topic that can come up.

The more articles you write about working from home, the better. And with each new one, you will be attracting Google to visit your site and RANK your content, which will eventually lead to visitors who seek work at home opportunities to visit the page. Again, the whole blueprint is in the tutorial I linked above.

Now provided you have this FUNDAMENTAL understanding of growing a website down, THEN and only then can we talk about scaling…

5 different ways you can scale your website:

Now not all of these ideas are completely necessary, but they are based on what I would personally do in the example of a person who owned a site on helping people work from home.

Note: Should your niche topic be something different and you’re lost on how to scale it, please leave your comment below with details on the niche and I’ll help you come up with ideas on building it up.

1) Write more content. There is absolutely NO better way for a site to grow further and further than through having it display more content.

In the case of a work at home site, like I said above, write more stuff on products that teach people to work from home. Help people avoid getting scammed by informing them of what is good and what isn’t. 

Write about different experiments you personally have tried to help you do work from home. Anything and everything related = more content you can place on the site, on new blog posts and any new piece of content carries with the leverage to get Google’s attention and thereby getting it more traffic.

As with traffic, the more you get, the more you’ll make. 

2) Upgrade to doing paid advertising. Bing is your best bet here, but you may want to try Adwords if they’ll let you (they are much more difficult to work with than Bing).

Paid advertising, specifically on Bing carries a gigantic scaling opportunity, that being that you can get more traffic and more business while waiting less for something like Google to rank you high.

Just write an ad, put up a bid, rank high for it and get nearly instantaneous traffic in some cases. Again, you already know what more traffic equals…

3) Collect an email list. Email collectors rejoice! By gathering and “capturing” traffic coming to your site, the people who sign up can become future prospects for you to make more money through and possibly create future projects with which the people who are on your email list will gladly join. 

This can expand your website’s profits drastically. But read these warnings about email lists and don’t make common mistakes!

4) Start a social media following. In this case, a fan page. And one thing you can do is ask your email sign ups to like the page and share it with their friends for greater exposure on the social media networks. Again ALL of this is about getting more traffic.

5) Invest money made from your 1st niche site into a second. What better way to grow than to repeat the same success formula on a different site?

Which of the 5 scaling ideas is best?

#1 without a doubt and that’s why I put it there first. No matter what your site’s topic, traffic is the lifeblood of your site. Without it, none of the other 4 ideas or any other great idea matters.

Understand that scaling is a secondary worry. Until you have a formula for your physical or online business working, scaling should not the primary concern. That only begins when you have something working and making profit, then it’s a question of what you do with the profit to help things grow, and that’s when talks of scaling can begin.

While I am not a physical business owner, I do have multiple websites that make money. If you also wish to have something like this, then follow the same program I did to reach that point: Wealthy Affiliate!

I’ve provided several examples of what people can do with this and if you have your own, please share!

9 thoughts on “What Does Scaling in Business Mean? Real Offline and Online Strategies Revealed.”

  1. I find scaling an online business in principle is very simple. Just like with most things the method is simple but putting it to action is another story. Paid advertising is probably the easy way to get your content out there.

    Most websites that use paid advertising often get a lot of traffic which helps scale their website rankings. But as you said content being number 1 is needed, without quality content visitors wont want to come back.

    Reply
  2. Hi Vitaliy,

    Thanks for this much needed article regarding scalability. I am involved in a rather difficult niche in regards to social media. The first one, creating more content, I do that religiously 15x monthly and recently complimented strategy no 5, although not quite investing profits, but my time.

    Paid advertising is certainly on my mind and I have taken on a writer that ghost writes for me for my older niche site which is great as naturally she will write using different vocabulary and words from that I would and possibly help me rank for more LSI keywords (I believe this is growth also) .

    Reply
    • As long as that writer is being productive and helping your site grow, while your new free time is spent on growing another aspect of your site or maybe another, that is still a build up and a form of scalability Derek so you’re on the right track.

      Reply
  3. Although i agree with this article I think the best thing I ever did and continue to do is to use technology that will allow your business to grow and support more customers without you having to work more. By using software to handle all my different sales platforms(eBay,Amazon etc) and pulling the orders into one central place has allowed me to work on other parts of my business.

    Reply
  4. Thank you for a very comprehensive post on scaling a business. I was interested that you are very adamant about writing quality material as being the number one method of scaling. I know we are taught that in WA but I’ve recently been doing a course with Aweber and someone there said that he’s a firm believer in the 20/80 rule. I’ve heard of 20/80 rules before but this one is that we should be spending 20% of our time creating content and 80% of our time promoting it. It’s a very difficult thing to split test of course, unless you have two sites and apply one philosophy to each site.

    Reply
    • The problem with this rule, at least from the way you explained it Deb, is that it doesn’t consider that writing content is actually a form of marketing it. Remember if Google is picking it up and ranking it, isn’t that marketing in action?

      And in terms of list building, again, all of this depends on the initial content creation that leads to the traffic that allows for the list to even begin and start growing from there.

      When the site is big enough and you get a following of people, then marketing your content to them through say social media and emails totally makes sense, but my whole thesis comes from the starting point of the online business, what this Aweber author describes is something that is more further down the line of the business cycle.

      Reply
  5. Hello Vitally,
    As always, you have provided a lot of useful information in your article. One of the things you mentioned was email marketing. Do you have an email collector you would recommend? This is all new to me, and I don’t have a lot of funds to invest. I would appreciate any recommendation you can give. Thanks in advance,
    Kathy

    Reply
    • Hi Kathy, I have only ever used Aweber for list building, but in your case, being new, this is simply NOT necessary yet. If you follow a basic approach to gathering traffic to your site and that makes you money, then it’s smart to start thinking about list building, but not before, so save your money and hold of on this investment…

      Reply

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