Strategies for Scaling Your Business Without Sacrificing Your LifeKatherine Mines
Michele Ruiz is a communication specialist, a bilingual entrepreneur, a bestselling author, and keynote speaker. Michele is also the President & CEO of Ruiz Strategies. She’s started and owned several companies and has a passion for leveraging her expertise to educate and inspire business owners, helping them to scale and grow.
For New Entrepreneurs
The first thing Michele tells aspirational entrepreneurs, or those who are just starting out:
We often forget to think about that our business should support the life that we want, rather than our life supporting the business that we have.
In the beginning, we come up with ideas for a business for one of several reasons:
- We have a passion.
- We figure out a way we can solve something.
- We’re in a job and we think we have a way we can do it better.
Michele says that our downfall comes when “we get into the mode of growing a business and the business ends up consuming every aspect of our lives.” When that happens, the consequences can be huge.
What ends up happening?
- Our relationships suffer
- Our family lives suffer
- We have no joy
- We’re stressed
- We’re overwhelmed
- Our health is impacted
Michele advises entrepreneurs that are just starting out to “think about the life that you want.” Unless you’re clear about the life that you want, the goals that you have, and what that looks like, what’s the experience. Michele says that for some business owners, that might look like taking off early on Fridays to spend more time with family. Once you’re clear on the life that you want, you can start making decisions about the business and how to best scale.
Once you’ve been in business for 3 or 5 years, then it’s time to start thinking about scaling. Michele says that when you think about scaling, there are a few important things to consider. There are 3 kinds of scaling, and as a business owner, you’ll need to decide which method is best for the lifestyle you want and your business.
1. Organic Growth- With this type of scaling, you do well, sell your services or products, and through word of mouth and business development, you just naturally continue to scale.
2. Strategic Alliances or Partnerships– This form of growth is rooted in relationships such as value-added resellers or it can look more like strategically partnering with someone to combine capabilities and then go out and scale.
3.Mergers and Acquisitions- This is the smallest way people tend to think about growing businesses Michele says, in particular, women. Men tend to scale more through mergers and acquisitions, and women, without question, should consider it as well. Reasons for scaling by merger and acquisition can include:
- Trying to scale in a new geography
- Trying to add a new capability
- You want another industry’s customers
Whether you’re just starting out or you’re ready to start scaling your business, remember to clearly define your goals so that your business doesn’t end up consuming your life.