You’ve done it. You have officially launched a successful startup logistics company. You have a 3PL service you are proud of and you are financially stable – an impressive feat! Now, after much success and positive feedback, you naturally want to improve and start scaling your enterprise.
The scalability of any startup is based on its ability to grow and readjust to a larger workload without compromising performance or revenue. While your main focus may be on growth, you need to ensure you have the infrastructure to sustain that growth. Making the leap from small-time to big-time is a process that involves reevaluating and redistributing many key aspects of your company.
Here are a few tips to help you start scaling your enterprise.
Delegate and Shift Responsibility
After building a company from scratch it can be difficult to take a step back but when it comes to scalability, but it’s necessary. Your business needs to function successfully without your oversight into as much of the day-to-day tasks that you were responsible for out of the gate. Its growth depends on you shifting from the all-encompassing “doer” to senior management.
In order to do this, you need the right people to replace you. This is where hiring processes and talent becomes important. When writing about talent and scalable teams earlier this year, Alon Alroy stated, “Your product is not innovative; it is the people behind it who are.” And he couldn’t be more correct in his assessment.
Here are a few things to consider during the hiring process:
- They are eager and possess more than one skill. Although it’s helpful to have a few token experts at their craft, it can be equally as beneficial to onboard employees that have multiple skills and a wide range of understanding about the supply chain industry. Even though you are trying to grow at this point, you are still a startup. And startups have an “all hands on deck” sort of atmosphere. When you hire someone with multiple skills, they are able to be agile, moving from one task to the next easily, which facilitates growth and cuts costs.
- They have a good attitude. Stakes are high and at this point in the game, you need champions on your team. Talent, skill set and overall knowledge are important characteristics to consider. But to don’t completely sacrifice good character for talent. You need team members that are with you for the long haul
- Hire leaders and Contributors. Look for those people that are capable of assuming more responsibilities in the future, people that are self-motivated and interested in growing their career.
Remove Manual Labor & Automate
Automate everything you possibly can. When you are in a growth phase, you are balancing limited resources with an increasing demand. In order to do this successfully, it helps to have the manual, tedious tasks automated. One of the most helpful automation tools is freight broker software. Good freight broker software can literally cut time in half by eliminating manual tasks and human error.
Boost Your Content Marketing Efforts
To scale, you need to be able to implement a well-curated content marketing strategy. Amplify your current marketing efforts and use previous data and insights as a guide. Content marketing is the best-known method for gaining leads and facilitating actions from your customers. Build content around the benefits of working with a 3PL and your specific services. What is content marketing? It’s the practice of producing helpful information that potential sales prospects can download and become leads in your marketing and sales pipeline. In essence, you enable yourself to be found by your potential buyers by having helpful content on your blog and website.
Many times as companies begin to expand and grow, the collaborative element can start to vanish. Eliminate unnecessary silos within your company by fostering communication and encouraging feedback. Remember, supply chains are built on relationships. Without open communication, it’s easy to make mistakes that could otherwise have been avoided.
Scaling your 3PL startup and taking it to the next level requires a shift in thinking to create company-wide involvement, communication, and forecasting. As you move into this growth phase remember these tips. With the right processes, automation and overall will to succeed, anything is possible.