Every entrepreneur knows that a company's success relies on how well you can scale the business. A business that cannot be scaled is not a business worth pursuing, and those who grow their companies understand that scaling is all about longevity. Securing your place in the market is one thing, but growing and conquering that market is an entirely different ball game that can only be played by those brave enough to scale. E-commerce specialist and entrepreneur, Barrett Shepherd, shares his five tips for scaling your e-commerce business from experience.
Born December 21, 1995, in Dallas, Barrett Shepherd is the owner of Simpl Fulfillment, an e-commerce and operations business in Austin, Texas. Having grown the company from $7000 in debt to an astonishing 7-figure business, Barrett understands the right way to scale a business. "Growth is important," says Barrett. "But it cannot be done at the expense of your business. You have to do it the right way." Barrett knows that growth at any cost is an unreliable strategy and enjoys sharing his real-life advice for other entrepreneurs.
1. Get a handle on the current state of your business
"Take a good hard look at your business and where you are now," says Barrett.
"Ask yourself if you are in a good place to scale, or do you have problems you need to address before you go bigger." Barrett maintains that if you are mentally in a place where you want to grow, ensure your business is ready. You don't want to take any issues with you.
2. If you've found some problems, fix them
"Every business has problems. No one is perfect," states Barrett. "But as an entrepreneur, you understand what the big problems are. Make your first step setting out to fix them. You don't want them hanging on like dead weight and preventing your company from scaling and meeting goals."
3. Define your goals
Barrett explains that defining your goals is easier said than done. "It's easy to say that you want to triple your business in the next year," says Barrett. "What you have to do is put your money down on aggressive goals that you know you can achieve. Set your sights on attainable goals that are just outside your comfort zone. That's how you start to effectively scale a business and make sure they are specific."
4. Make sure your goals are measurable
"You will not achieve something if you can't measure it," explains Barrett. "This is about creating finite goals, supported and backed by action and data." Barrett knows that profitable growth is measurable. "You have to understand what's going in and what's going out. You are looking for that increase in business coming it. When it comes to scaling, that's the bottom line."
5. Communicate with your team
Open communication is vital. "Make sure that your team understands the goals and where they fall into them," says Barrett. "If your employee goals are not created with an overall impact in mind, the business won't scale. Tie your employees into the bigger picture and include them. This way, everyone is working towards the same end-goal."
Barrett openly shares his advice because he knows how hard it can be for an e-commerce entrepreneur. "E-commerce is an aggressive business," explains Barrett. "With the rise of online sales, fulfillment services while imperative serve behind the scenes and are often left out of the entrepreneurial conversation." Barrett is working hard to change that narrative by putting e-commerce goals front and center, helping other entrepreneurs build the businesses they've always wanted.