Episode 40: What is Required to Play with the Big Brands
If scaling is unclear to you and you're wondering how to get your eCommerce business from 10K to 30K monthly with scientific precision, you will find this article illuminating. This post explores seven considerations if you want to play in the space, dominate your market, address your customers' problems, and create a community around your brand.
7 requirements of scaling your business
- Be decisive
Before you reached the point where you had consistent sales, a lot of it felt like a happy accident. It felt like you were just creating a product to help your niece, nephew, or yourself. Then everybody told you that you needed to start selling. So now you're turning your hobby into a purpose, but you're wondering if you should take it to the next level.
One thing that allows people to scale to the level they want is being decisive, but more importantly, having the right resolution that they're willing to do this no matter what.
In the HBO documentary, Being Serena, Episode 5, Serena Williams was faced with a choice to stop breastfeeding and move to a French tennis academy with her eight-month-old baby to stand a chance at winning the Grand Slam. She wanted to win so bad. She had previously lost to her sister and other players in different competing spaces. This was her time, and she wanted to win. At this moment, she had to question if she was willing to pack her bags with her eight-month-old baby and move to the French tennis academy.
When you say you are ready to scale, are you prepared to give up some of the things you've been holding onto to achieve success? Are you ready to shift from maybe to yes? Decisiveness allows you to take risks required to grow your business.
Many of us consciously say we want to scale, but we're not willing to fail and risk our lives to achieve our dreams or desires.
If you're not willing to risk losing 15,000 or 20,000 to grow your business, are you genuinely wanting to scale? Are you ready to scale if you're unwilling to put yourself in uncomfortable situations to attract your audience, be vulnerable, and show up for your brand? This is the thing. Many of us consciously say we want to scale, but we're not willing to fail and risk our lives to achieve our dreams or desires.
So underneath, it's a maybe. I will not do this as long as I'm not willing to lose this amount of money. That shows that you're not fully committed. You're one foot in, one foot out. Businesspeople, CEOs, and founders of brands that you really admire were willing to put themselves in situations where they could fail. And they were okay with failing because they understood that this would not be a failure. So it was a situation where they would learn something and turn that lesson into a win.
So do you want to scale and dominate your market? Don't give me a maybe. If you give me a maybe, it means you're not all in. You want to have a yes or no answer because indecisiveness is what kills your dreams. When you're indecisive, you become very impatient. When you become impatient, you start comparing yourself to others and wallow in overwhelm and confusion. But the reason why you're in this situation is because of two things. First, a, you're tolerating something that you shouldn't tolerate, or B, you're resisting something good.
…indecisiveness is what kills your dreams. When you're indecisive, you become very impatient. When you become impatient, you start comparing yourself to others and wallow in overwhelm and confusion.
- Don't pull out at the growth stage
From a financial standpoint, your revenues and sales are increasing at the same pace as your expenses. The reason for this is that at this stage, you're trying to create an operational infrastructure so that when you're scaling, your revenues are increasing but your costs remain the same. So every time you're in the growth stage, you'll feel like you're strapped for cash because that's your business's stage.
This is not the stage to pull things out. If you're investing in the right things, your expenses will go up. If your investment is helping you increase your sales and revenue, you're trending on the right path. Eventually, the part you're finally going to get to from a financial standpoint is that your costs will remain flat, but your sales will increase. But before you get to that exponential growth, everything will feel like it's moving parallel.
Many people pull out when their revenues and expenses are increasing at the same time. And often, they pull out on the activities and the investments that are supposed to help improve their top line. Instead, they work on things on the back end that are increasing the operating expenses but is not increasing their revenue.
- Investment in yourself
As a solo entrepreneur, you're doing everything on your own to eventually hire a team in the scaling stage to support the demand of your business. In companies that scaled remarkably, the CEO understood how each department worked, drafted SOPs (standard operating measures), hired somebody, trained them, and delegated that task. So how did that CEO master that level of efficiency in each department? They learned the process themselves. Some probably ground their way out, made mistakes, and learned from them.
In companies that scaled remarkably, the CEO understood how each department worked, drafted SOPs (standard operating measures), hired somebody, trained them, and delegated that task.
The majority of the people that invest in learning know how to do something. Once they invested in learning how to do that, they became a master at that process. Once they became a master at that process, they could document what they were doing and delegate it to the team.
But what happens at this stage? The first thing most people do is delegate their marketing. This is bad for your business. So you've reached a point in the growth phase where you have no clarity on what you need to focus on next. You have no clarity of what messaging is sticking, who your audience is, and how to follow up with your audience. So you want to delegate the number one thing that will make or break your business, which is marketing, yet you don't have the clarity. How counterintuitive!
You need to get a strategist, an advisor, or a set of peers to guide you through this journey. Wondering why you're stuck? First of all, you don't understand your cash flow. Second, you don't understand your expenses. Third, people say you need to invest in a marketing agency or a marketing team.
A few marketing agencies are excellent, but others will get another audience that they used for brands synonymous with yours, lift and ship that same thing to your brand, which is wrong. It's wrong because nobody has the exact same audience they're targeting, and nobody has the exact same brand value proposition that they're selling. They may look similar, but they're targeting a different audience, or their messaging is also very different. So when you delegate this, you've increased your expenses. Your revenue is not growing. Your profits and margins become thin, and you're on that hamster wheel. That's why you must understand that your most significant investment is in yourself.
I say this because for us women, subconsciously, we go, You know what, I can do it on my own. I can figure it out. Granted, you will do it on your own, but you also have to ask yourself if you desire to have a business that generates 300K, 500K, and eventually a million dollars or gets into retail. Am I going to guesstimate my way through this? I can tell you for sure that scaling is a science. It's not guesswork. And if this feels very foggy and unclear, book a call with me, and let us chat. If you don't do things right in this stage, you quickly return to where you were before. Then this thing constantly feels like a hobby. You don't know what sales levers you need to pull. You don't understand what messaging resonates. You don't know how many quantities you want to be sold per month for you to consider running ads. So even before you start running ads, you're probably thinking about running ads because you're not breaking even or getting customers, but nobody's coming back. So that's a sure sign that your follow-up strategy is not in place.
So you see a symptom in your business and don't have the correct problem of what's happening. So you're not able to diagnose accurately what's going on in your business. So you go and fix the symptom instead of fixing the problem. That's why you need somebody to tell you, Hey, this is how you look at things. If you want to be the smartest CEO, know how things work. Know what the numbers in your balance sheets mean, what the numbers in your profit and loss statement mean, and what your marketing numbers mean because nobody will fool you. And if you end up losing your team, you'll still be able to pick up the slack, and things will run, and nobody will notice anything went wrong.
But if you don't invest in yourself, if you don't have this knowledge, if you don't have this level of mastery, you'll always find solutions outside of yourself when in reality, the answers are inside of you if you do this level of work.
- Get clear on your numbers
If you want to scale, start loving profits. Many of us get caught up in revenue and sales. And of course, in this stage, you started this thing on the side. So it gained traction, and now you're getting consistent sales. But before, you just wanted to see sales. But now the question I usually ask is, what are your profits? Profit will allow you, first of all, to have the mental sanity as the CEO. Second, it is what's going to allow you to continue being creative. It will enable you to innovate appropriately and eventually create a new product that ultimately scales your business rather than keeping your revenue stuck.
You can only learn how to love your profits by getting clear on your numbers.
You can only learn how to love your profits by getting clear on your numbers. Many people will tell me that I don't like looking at my numbers. But my question is, is it that you don't like looking at your numbers or don't know what those numbers mean. And if you don't know what those numbers mean, learn. So hire somebody to teach you how to do this.
A great example is Kim Lewis, the CEO of CurlMix, which sells hair products for women with curly hair. Kim invested in somebody to teach her how to understand her numbers. She made this expense nonnegotiable in her business. So they started off monthly, and it shifted into a bi-weekly basis. She said that if she knew what those numbers meant, it would be easy to reverse engineer and steer her business where she wanted to go.
You avoiding your numbers is like not wanting to know how much gas you have in your car because you're busily joyriding. At the end of the day, scaling is done through scientific precision. So what does scientific precision mean? Looking and understanding your metrics, duplicating those efforts that worked, multiplying that, and then amplifying the results.
You avoiding your numbers is like not wanting to know how much gas you have in your car because you're busily joyriding.
Before you got to 100K, you just wanted to make money. You wanted to see if you could have a proven concept. Now, once you learn how to make money, the next thing you have to learn how to do is to manage that money. You need to reward yourself when you start making money. When you reward yourself, what do you want to do? Buy an expensive bag, buy an expensive shoe, increase your expenses at home and get a bigger house. So you get a bigger car. Why? Because before you never had money, and now you have money. But the thing is that's increasing your expenses and cost of living. Eventually, you lose everything that you had made.
So instead, the next level is learning how to manage your money. Do you know how to live a life with 100K sitting in your bank account, or do you see 100K in your bank account and rush to spend it? You have to now learn to sit in that financial abundance. Then once you've managed your money, you're like, you know what, I have enough money, my personal and business savings all around me. I'm secure.
Do you know how to live a life with 100K sitting in your bank account, or do you see 100K in your bank account and rush to spend it?
Then next thing, you learn how to multiply. So what efforts do you need to put into your business to multiply your managed money? Now, you're in an excellent stable position. And then now you shift into investing.
That is the process of this whole entrepreneurship journey. At the end of the day, financial literacy—a deeper understanding of our finances—allows us to create sustainable, scalable businesses. You cannot sustain a business if you've not learned how to manage your money, investments, and costs.
Once you've multiplied your money, you move into investing. You may consider investing in a new channel, the right people, a building, or increasing your network. Unfortunately, many of us don't know this. We quickly make money. We see 25K in our account, and we spend it. If you're not spending it accurately, you feel like you're constantly doing the same thing repeatedly in your business and not getting the growth you want. We all must understand that your mind leads, and your body follows.
- Focus on personal growth—your mind leads, and your body follows
All of this happens at the same time with our personal growth. When we are driving our businesses, our energy, mindset, and state of being are our most significant assets. So if all that is not in place, no matter what you do, whether you keep ticking the boxes that I'm showing up, keep posting, or keep tinkering in your website, nothing will move. This is a personal development journey, and you have to be willing to grow. You have to be ready to better yourself, and you have to be willing to believe bigger for you to attract that. So when you work on that, everything else becomes second nature.
If you've not gotten to work on yourself, you may see a negative in your bank account and freak out and shut everything down. Understand that it means nothing. This just means that my marketing and sales have not worked well enough. So I need to go and double down on that.
You need to start thinking about this process bigger than yourself. I believe that if you allow God to come in and step into what you truly want, he will clear that path for you. But if you stay in this process of trying to control everything, you get tired. And that's why you also have to lean into this as a spiritual experience.
If you're attaching your success to your accolades and the money you have in your bank account, you feel like a nobody when those things are stripped away. When you feel like a nobody, it manifests in your business. Why? Because when somebody comes and tells you that they didn't like the quality of your product, you beat yourself up. And if you've not even sold anything, you don't believe you'll sell anything because you don't know what people will say.
At the end of it all, your business growth cannot outpace your personal growth.
At the end of it all, your business growth cannot outpace your personal growth. And your personal growth, if you're a believer, is a deep spiritual relationship and journey. And that is why in business, every successful person talks about leaping forward in faith. It's not a cute word. It's not a buzzword; it's the reality. We have all gone through challenges, but what you're trying to put out here is more significant than you and has nothing to do with you. And because of the big vision, you cannot do it by your own power.
- Take the step of faith
Everything is a step-by-step thing. It's a step of faith. It's like Peter walking on the water. He took the first step, it got stormy, and he was terrified. Jesus said to him, "Why were you afraid? Be courageous." That's the same process. You will feel that 89% of the time in the growth stage. And that is why it's vital to get somebody who can see the mistakes, guide you from your mistakes, and support you.
- Get into a supportive community
Sometimes it's not about the strategy. One thing I love about the community I've created is we are okay with supporting each other and okay when things don't work well. We know that we must go through personal development first, and everything will work. That's why we lean a lot into our feminine energy. Businesses are built and run by human beings. They're not made and run by machines. And so, we need to honor our season and identify the areas we need to work on from a personal level so that the strategic level can work.
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So for anyone looking to grow beyond the $10,000 per month in your e-commerce business, I invite you to book a call with me.
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