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‘Tale Means Business: Much Ado About Scaling Your Business

Tale Alimi

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'Tale Alimi

Scale! This is a word that has been made popular by the tech community. It has become a criterion to invest in businesses; their ability to achieve exponential growth.

We have seen popular social media sites grow from a few thousand users to millions of users and now billions of users. This is a typical example of exponential growth that will give investors and founders amazing return on their investment.

A few days ago, I got an email that Paystack, one of the foremost fintech companies in Nigeria, just raised Series A funding of $8 million. I was with a client when the email came in and when I told her, she exclaimed, ‘Can they finish the money?’

I went on to tell her that if a company has a solution that can solve the problems of thousands or millions of people, it is scalable and needs the funds to drive exponential growth.

Is Scaling Possible in Other Industries?
The way tech businesses scale might seem peculiar to these companies that are now seen as more valuable than asset rich companies.

However, a business can scale in other traditional industries with the right business model, timing and investment.

Does Everyone Scale?
When I speak to business owners, they say they want to scale their business. However, when I dig deeper, I find out they really just want to grow their business gradually.

Whilst growth is a gradual increase or improvement, scale is an exponential increase.

You can grow a business by 10 to 20% annually and enjoy a good income.

However, scaling will see your business growing by 100%, 250% and much more.

If your business is growing gradually, that’s okay. However, if you want to make big strides and affect a large number of people significantly, you should aim to scale your business.

So what are the essentials of scaling your business?

Warning. The points I am going to share are not the ‘How Tos’ of scaling your business. They are merely highlights to note if you want to scale your business.

Now, let’s get down to business.

A Big Vision
The bigger your vision and your willingness to do the work, the higher your chances of scaling your business.

I listened to an interview with Aliko Dangote where he was asked if he always thought big. He said, “Yes, I think big, make big moves and execute big. That’s the only way to get massive results.”

I have seen this to be true in life and business. If you don’t expand your mind to think bigger, you will not have the motivation to execute big.

Produce a Service that can Provide a Unique Solution at Scale
For you to have a chance at scaling your business, you must have a product or service that can provide a solution to a large number of people in a sustainable manner.

The reason why social media sites like Instagram and Facebook have scaled to have billions of users is that they have provided platforms for a large number of people to interact, relate and build their personal and business brands.

Your product or service does not have to be technology-based, but should be able to provide either a mass solution for a large number of people or a high-value solution for a small number of people who are willing to pay a premium.

For example, Dangote provides mass solutions through his food products and cement products that serve hundreds of thousands of people. Which is why he is a billionaire.

In the same vein, Apple produces premium devices that serve thousands of people who don’t mind paying a bit extra for their devices, and the company is currently the most valuable company in the world.

So which path will you go? Mass or high value?

The Right Business Model that Guarantees a Predictable Stream of Income
Your business model is important, especially depending on the environment your business operates from. Your business model determines how people will get access to your product or service, which will also determine the adoption of your product.

Recently, Linda Ikeji, a popular blogger, launched LITV, a subscription-based online television channel. She made the subscription fee as low as ₦1,000 or $3 per month to enable easy adoption of the product.

Some statistics that became public information showed that she was adding over 1,000 recurrent subscribers monthly. Some other information said she had over 30,000 subscribers to date.

If the subscriber rate continues to grow, then this business is highly scalable because the content can be consumed by as many people as possible.

So to scale or not to scale your business? And is scaling even possible with your current business model? These are questions you need to take time to answer.

I decided to take some time to dig deeper into scaling your business and I recorded a new video to share my thoughts. It is titled The Essentials of Scaling. You can sign up to watch the full video and see if your business is scalable.

See the video HERE.

We have a 6 to 7-hour workshop titled ‘Ready to Scale’ that will teach you the practical steps to scaling your business. The next workshop will take place in Lagos on the 6th of October.

'Tale Alimi is the Co-founder and current CEO of Owoafara, a fund matching and business support platform for African MSME's. She is also the Lead strategist of Tale Alimi Global; a strategy consulting boutique focused on working with visionary and forward thinking SME's to take their business from small to scale. She is the author of Uplevel and her latest book Small to Scale. She has a Masters in Business Administration from Lagos business school, a certificate in personal coaching from the coaching academy UK. She is a social innovation fellow with the startingbloc institute in the United States. When she is not thinking about innovative business models, she is an avid fitness enthusiast. Learn more about her new startup Owoafara:( owoafara.com/join). Get daily business inspiration when you follow her on twitter (http://twitter.com/talealimi) and get an insight into her life on Instagram ( www.instagram.com/talealimi)

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