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Business Scaling: Lessons From Marathon Athletes

Running a business is like attempting a marathon race. An experienced athlete knows that the idea is to start at a slow pace and maintaining...

Running a business is like attempting a marathon race.

An experienced athlete knows that the idea is to start at a slow pace and maintaining it to preserve energy for the last part of the race when you need it most towards the finishing point.

Regular exercise and having the right diet are crucial to achieving the best results. On the other hand, in a sprint race, you are determined to outwit your opponents from the word go. 

The same applies in business. Getting off the starting point is often exciting for many entrepreneurs.
 Along the way, you get a lot of cheerleaders who will urge you on. If you are not cautious, the same cheerleaders will become your biggest critics when you fail.

When you begin to run a business, you might experience rapid growth that you had never anticipated before. Soon you may see your business being ranked highly and getting rave reviews.

However, you must not throw caution to the wind. If you grow before your time, you can make a lot of mistakes because you are not yet ready for growth. So you need to stay focused and concentrate on scaling and take time to grow. But can you scale before you grow?

According to a writeup in the Startup Donut, you must be ready for growth before it happens. “Make sure you’re ready and prepared for growth. When your business starts to scale up, things can begin to creak,” the article said.
Soon you may see your business being ranked highly and getting rave reviews. (Image: 

The article added: “Weaknesses can be exposed, and you can't always fix them once the journey’s started. You could be held back by your IT system, processes, cash flow, team, weaknesses in your supply chain, or all of the above.

Think very carefully about how scaling up and growing your business will affect your company - you must be ready and your processes must be robust.”

The article shows that if growth precedes scaling, you might fall into a trap that can cause the business to fail. For you to be ready for the next level of growth, you need to invest time in planning before you implement.

How many companies can maintain their original purpose and also satisfy customers' demands in the process? The answers to these questions might surprise you. Top business strategist, Tony Robbins, however, maintains that loyalty is key to the survival of business.

“Scaling a business is reliant on creating customer loyalty. The best way to create customer loyalty? Focus on employee loyalty first so they can spread the word and pass their enthusiasm for your company on to those they serve,” Robbins said, adding that, businesses must invest in their employees.

“Employees are loyal to companies whose purpose and values align with their own so they can feel their careers have a higher purpose,” wrote Robbins. If you carefully manage your cash flow, your company will scale, Philip Salter mentioned in his article for Forbes magazine.

“To manage the growth of your company, manage cash flow. If you are upside down on your finances, review cash flow weekly to understand where the gaps are and solve them,” wrote Salter.

It added, “Watch your AR, AP, inventory, and hiring like a hawk. Look for more ways for revenue to flow better to the bottom line. Make sure you have a cadence of incoming sales before increasing overhead,” added Salter.

Entrepreneurs are creative people, according to Salter's observation. They must use that creativity to find cashflow sources and launch a successful business.

Recruitment must be done right to avoid high turnover that will affect the smooth running of the business. In an article carried by the Entrepreneur, Allen Brouwer and Cathryn Lavery wrote extensively on cash flow.

“Overcome cash constraints creatively. Regardless of your scale strategy, you will need cash to fund your growth and help you implement the actions necessary to take you to the next step,” wrote Allen Brouwer and Cathryn Lavery in the Entrepreneur magazine.

“Lack of cash can be a big hurdle for growing businesses, but fortunately, there are plenty of creative options you can explore before seeking investment and sacrificing equity,” the Entrepreneur article said.

A business must invest in the right people who are fully committed to the growth of the business, observed Grace Lau in her piece for the Ring central.

“The right people. Any time you try to grow your business, you’ll find that having the right people on your team makes all the difference.”

Lau added: “When you have people committed to the success of your business, everything else just comes easier. Scaling often requires new marketing executives and sales professionals to attract prospects’ attention and close deals.”

With the right people in your business, your vision will be known because employees are convinced that you have a great idea that will solve problems.

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