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How Scalable is Your Business?

In February of 2018, 6P’s fearless leader, Paul, took some time during a well-earned vacation to join the Western Canadian Trade Delegation in Barcelona for the 2018 Mobile World Congress.

The following are Paul’s topline takeaways for businesses – not just tech companies – taken from Felix Peterson’s session.

If you are thinking of scaling your business, here are 3 scenarios that may apply to you and your business:

Scenario 1. The Lifestyle Company

A lifestyle company is a company which is primarily aiming to sustain a particular level of income; or to provide a foundation from which the founder can simply enjoy a particular lifestyle.

Who does this apply to?

  • Businesses with less than 20 employees, managed by one leader.
  • This business is not actively trying to scale. Their goal is current revenue, profit and building a company that is able to operate in the present without over-investing on the future.
  • Likely not a saleable business, as its size, structure and operating practices make it highly dependent on key personnel.
  • Business is cash-flow positive.

If you see yourself in the business described above and you want to take it a step further in scale, ask yourself: Are you really prepared to delegate true authority (and live with the consequences) to others so that the company can grow? If not, remaining a lifestyle company is the right choice for you.

Scenario 2. The Rocket Scientist

If your business has certain expertise in one or a few vertical subjects, and is good at using this expertise to create value, you likely fall into the category of Rocket Scientist.

Who does this apply to?

  • Businesses that want to continue to grow.
  • Businesses that know what they are really good at and can do what no one else can do and / or have special expertise or intellectual property.
  • They require an inordinate investment of resources (time / $) in systems, processes and people.

If this scenario applies to you and you want to scale your business, ask yourself: What special insights and information do you or your business have that others would see as valuable? The answer to this question should provide you with direction to your scaled business plan.

Scenario 3. Betting on the next Step-Change

A step change is a sudden or major change in the market which could cause an evolution in consumers’ behaviour. If your company is leading an industry and pioneering new products, services or technology, you may belong in this category.

Who does this apply to?

  • Businesses that are at the front of an industry and pioneering a new product, service or technology. These businesses are in the right place, at the right time.
  • Businesses that are capable of investing significant time and/or resources to the cause.
  • Overall, the market they’re working in feels like the Wild West or is rapidly changing in an excessively chaotic manner (a step-change environment).

If you are one of these businesses, ask yourself: What is the next major disruption and how does this align with what your prospective audience and the value they’d be willing to pay for this service?

As a general note:

There is no wrong way to build / scale your business. It is about understanding your abilities and interests and resources and being purposeful in your decision.

If you’d like to discuss this article, scalable solutions or the 4YFN / MWC conferences, feel free to contact Paul Provost at 204.474.1654.

Per session held Feb 28, 2018 at Mobile World Congress 2018
Presenter: Felix Petersen, Managing Director Europe, VP – Samsung Next

By Paul Provost, President