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  • Writer's pictureTerry Fisher

Create A System That Gives You The Basis For Scale

Updated: Sep 22, 2023

As this is the first article of 2022 I would like to start by wishing you a very Happy New Year. As I mentioned in a previous post, 2021 was a year of great stability and sowing seeds. I am excited to drive forward on some very exciting projects in this next 12 months to make 2022 the most successful year of my career so far - and I wish the same for you; health, success and - ultimately - happiness.

So, if scaling your enterprise is one of your goals for this year let me try and give you some advisory guidance to assist in your acceleration. I get asked - a lot - how I was able to scale my first major business into such a disruptive brand that dominated such a large chunk of market share. The answer, as unsexy as it might sound, is that we created a replicable system that could be emulated again and again, across multiple locations.

We had a unique offering, with a hungry target market who came into our stores actively wanting to spend their money. We had an amazing team - who our customers loved - that we had been able to recruit due to uniquely incentivising their success. We had seriously preferable terms with tour operators because they knew we offered them so much value.

Essentially, we built a systemised process.

Now, systems and processes are not the sort of thing that get most entrepreneurs hot under the collar but, let me assure you, they are absolutely imperative in your ability to scale.

Of course you can be a great solopreneur without needing many systems, you might even get lucky and be able to open a few stores and have a few staff that will join you for the ride without needing a whole heap of processes, but scale requires consistency.

We tested, measured, refined, tweaked, reassessed and doing that - constantly - enabled us to focus on finding good locations that met our predetermined requirements. It was then a simple process to place our team, systems and processes into that unit and create another successful ‘jewel in the crown’.

Now, of course, not every store will be a smash hit, not every staff member will work out, not every offer will grab massive adoption from your client base, but a system gives you the best chance of making those things happen.

For context, our speciality was last minute holidays - which might sound like a standard thing these days, but was actually an innovative and untapped market back then - and within that business we built such strong systems and processes that people would proactively want to be our customers, which meant we could actually add an additional element of uniqueness into our offering.

Let me explain, due to the deals we were able to get (or create if need be!) from the tour operators, people would travel from far and wide to visit our stores. This enabled us to secure sites in out of town locations - away from the main high streets that came with such huge rents and rates - which meant we could pass on these savings to customers, whilst still increasing the profit margins of the company. Think about it; we were able to offer cheaper holidays to happier customers whilst making higher margins... win win win, right?

And, what was it that made this possible, sorry to bash you over the head with this but, once again, it was the systems and processes.

Why am I so passionate about systems? Because in my guise as a Scale Up Mentor to a number of exciting businesses and funds, I know it is the system that helps my clients win. I am aware that it is those process-driven brands that can genuinely achieve notable scale. The strength of the system is one of the first things I am looking for when I look to vastly accelerate the growth of those that I advise and consult to.

In summary, systems might not be a sexy topic but they can create very attractive outcomes.

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