25th of November 2019
Today I want to touch on how to build for scale.
Now, of course, scale means different things for different people. So it’s a personal definition. But now matter how you interpret “scale”, the first step to building for scale is always the same…
Begin with the end in mind.
Visualise what your company looks like at “scale”. Some things to consider:
- What people do you need?
- What tech infrastructure should you build?
- What money considerations do you need to make?
- What legals should you factor in?
- Reporting dashboards?
Take Fubbi for example. Along with crafting monthly blog and social content for companies, we also write books.
On the 25th of November 2019 – when we kicked off the book writing division – I had a target of 20 books by February 2020. By the time the new year came around, we were on target… as we were closing in on 14 books for that month.
Now, to craft 20 books per month and retain quality, there’s a number of things the team and I had to think about:
- What does our standard operating system look like?
- How quick can I get my Head of Content up to speed to drive these projects?
- Do we need a different project tracker? And how quickly can our Quality Assurance Champion get across all the projects?
- What do we do about ISBNs? And Amazon? etc.,
- What’s the cost structure look like so there’s enough margin to make the effort worthwhile?
And on and on.
And you know what? For the most part, the team did fantastic. But in one glorious way I “failed” – I didn’t run the budgets correctly. And so did NOT factor in the cost of FINAL proofing lol.
Which means there were tonnes of projects where we barely made a dime in profit. Of course, that’s silly on my part. But on the other hand, I’m ok with it. That’s because we were forced to move quickly… and get resources lined up to fulfil on the sales we made!
And, yes, whilst there were a bunch of projects where the margin was thin. Within a few months we had a whole new division that’s operating remarkably well.
Months. At no financial risk.
And it’s for a huge market that might be very resilient against a recession… and turned out to be largely COVID proof, too.
Totally worth it!