We have all gotten inspired by speakers on large stages showing us the ease, impact and riches that come from scaling our business.
The promise of passive revenue, productized services and steady and scaleable cash flow is alluring, but can feel totally out of reach when you are in the middle of balancing a million plates in a rapidly growing service business.
To organize yourself for action, you need to understand the stages of scaling, and the activities required to move from one stage to another.
The Four Stages of Scaling A Business:
The SCCS Model
Stage 1: SPECIALIZE
Goal: “I show up with the client and magic happens!”
Task: Select a specific audience, defined by problem, challenge or aspiration
When you begin to pick up steam in your service business, you can feel the magic that happens when you are working with your clients. No longer unsure of what you are doing, you know that what you have is special, and can solve many problems with great results.
Usually at this stage, you may be doing a lot of different things — work you have been known for in the past, current work, and work you are developing for the future of your business.
This is a time to carefully prune what you are doing, who you are doing it for, and how you are doing it. The key is to subtract, not add.
Stage 2: CODIFY
Goal: “My team makes magic happen even if I am not in the room”
Task: Translate ideas into words, images, models and methods that others besides the creator can utilize.
While making magic is intoxicating, it can also be exhausting.
If you are not available to do the work, work doesn’t happen, which means your income is dependent on your time, energy and attention.
The goal at the Codify stage is to get models, ideas and frameworks out of your head and into a form that other people on your team can use. We call this your Thumbprint Method.
The three parts of your Thumbprint Method are:
Market Fit: Will it Sell?
Method: Will it Work?
Model: Will it Stick?
Once this is complete, you are ready to move to the next stage.
Stage 3: CONNECT
Goal: “People know about and want our magic”
Task: Build an audience who uses your method and a brand to magnetize interest
In order to ensure that you can scale effectively, you need to build your visibility, reputation and audience. You want to appear on stages, in the press, on podcasts and on social media sharing the good news and promise about your unique IP.
You need a method that will put you strategically in the right places, at a level of consistency that will cement your reputation and generate demand for your method.
The work your firm is doing at this stage is delivering consistently excellent results, creating an upward spiral of referrals and kudos, contributing to your reputation.
In case you want to know how to do this, I wrote a whole book on this topic, and have tools and workbooks here: https://pamelaslim.com/the-widest-net/
Stage 4: SCALE
Goal: “Practitioners and organizations have embedded our magic into their business”
Task: Create a framework for teaching others to use the material (certification) and an agreement that outlines how they may use it for how long and how much (licensing)
There comes a time when demand for your materials brings real opportunity for scale in your service business.
This is a time to build certification and licensing programs that will allow your materials to be delivered outside the walls of your business.
You have a number of options for how to do this, given choices you make about which markets you will focus on, and who you want to have as licensing clients.
Our agency builds four levels of certification programs:
Level 1: Certificate
Participant receives a certificate that they passed the knowledge-based exam.
Level 2: Practitioner Certification
The certified practitioner will be licensed to use the process or method for their clients.
Level 3: Trainer Certification
The certified trainer will be licensed to train others on the program, process, or method.
Level 4: Association Certification
The participant will be certified as an expert in the association.
When you execute this stage well, you can set yourself up for a final stage we can talk about in a future post: selling your business. Tune in to this episode of The Widest Net Podcast with John Warrillow to get warmed up for that topic.
No matter where you are in the process, or how far you aspire to grow and scale your business, organizing your work in these stages and simplifying, codifying and amplifying your work will make your service business stronger, more effective and more resilient.