New York City

Off the scale

John Warrillow, President of The Sellability Score, outlines some basic ways to grow your business and why scalability should be key to decision-making.

Scalability is key to the ongoing success of most businesses. As you contemplate what it would take to do this, consider these four basic ways to grow:

Geographic scalability

Will your business concept work in another city? New York-based Mia and Jason Bauer started selling $4 cupcakes on Manhattan’s Upper West Side in 2003. Realising there were other well-to-do communities of people who would like to splurge on a pink lemonade or chocolate sundae cupcake, they expanded geographically and now run Crumbs Bake Shop, with 30 stores across the US.

Horizontal scalability

Do you have a brand which resonates with a specific audience? If so, you may have the raw material to scale up your business by selling more things to your existing customers. For example, Richard Branson’s Virgin brand resonates with a certain psychographic. He has offered his target market everything from train travel to mobile phones to credit cards and now owns over 400 companies.

Vertical scalability

If your existing infrastructure (office space, machinery, staff) could handle more customers without adding much to your variable costs, you have the ability to scale vertically. For example, a 200-room hotel averaging 75 guests per night has the potential to be scaled up more than two times before its owners would have to make any significant infrastructure investments.

Cultural scalability

If your success works in one culture, could it achieve the same success in other cultures? Paul Bakery, founded in Croix, France, in 1889, is now ubiquitous in France and has spread to 19 other countries.

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John Carroll - Helping businesses achieve International success. Head of Product Management & International Business, Santander UK