All businesses can scale one way or another, but some are more scalable than others. A business that can duplicate its product or service without significant expenditure has an advantage. The advantage is the business’s potential to increase its sales exponentially in a short period of time. The easier it is to duplicate your product or service, the faster your business can grow.
A restaurant business for example has expenses directly proportional to the number of meals it can prepare. More meals mean more customers, but also higher costs for staff, rent and raw food supply. The ongoing expense typically grows proportionally to the profit made by the restaurant. Owning multiple restaurants carries even a bigger expense due to additional management tasks and quality control. Ask anyone in the hospitality industry, is tough and not easily scalable.
In comparison, a business that has a digital product can scale its sales without additional expenses. Take for example an English teacher who is developing an online course. The expense of this project is the teacher’s time, which probably will take several weeks. Once the course is complete, it can be launched in the marketplace and promoted. Regardless of the result, this course is scalable and does not require any further work after its completion. Technically, the teacher can sell the course to millions without doing any more work.
Whichever business venture or career path you embark on, focusing on a scalable product or service is a faster track to success, period.
Book writing has been around for thousands of years and is a fantastic example of a business with scalable potential. If the writer creates a popular novel, it can be published and copied many times over to meet demand. The writer does not actually need to build the infrastructure to publish the book. This service is done by a third party for a percentage of the total book sale. This percentage can mean big money if millions of book copies are sold. Additionally, a book can be scaled further on marketplace platforms in the form of eBooks and audio books.
If you are not already subscribed to some sort of service, some people might say you are still living in the stone age. The likes of Netflix, LinkedIn, Disney+, Adobe, Canva and many other subscription-based software have been growing exponentially in the last decade. People no longer want to pay a large cost upfront for an ongoing service, they would rather pay monthly with no lock-in contract.
Digital subscription based services are easily scalable and can reach millions online with ease and low upkeep costs. Note that some subscription-based businesses may have higher upkeep costs associated with server capacity, customer support and maintenance.
Building online courses is a terrific way to scale your business as an educator, teacher, or expert of a particular field. As opposed to a physical face-to-face course, an online course has no limit on how many students you can educate at once, making this business opportunity easily scalable.
Although there are many courses out there, don’t be intimidated. Every educator has their niche audiences that appreciate their content, communication style and personality. You will always find someone that has achieved what you are planning to do, but they will never be able to do it your way.
It’s the best time to be a graphic designer now more than ever. If you have talent designing templates, you could now sell it with ease. The internet has opened the door for graphic designers to sell templates, logos and other elements in the open market. There are literally dozens of marketplace platforms where you can display, promote and sell your craft such as Canva and Creative Market.
Sales of your digital designs can happen while you sleep and do not require further work hours. Making this business an appealing scalable opportunity. The only challenges you may face are reaching your desired audience and standing out from your competitors.
Microsoft is probably one of the best examples of a business that scaled exponentially. In the 80s and 90s computers were finally affordable for the average household, selling to the masses. At the time there was unquestionable demand for intuitive software to interface with computer. Microsoft was one of the first to reach the cookie jar.
Between 1985 to 1990 the company only sold about 2 million copies of their Windows software. Although this doesn’t sound that impressive, the fact is they could easily have sold more if the demand was there. At the time, creating software copies on a disc was cheap and easily scalable. Which is the reason this business model did very well and was able to grow quickly. It’s no surprise that in 1995 they made a killing, selling over 40 million copies of Windows 95. Today, software is much more accessible and scalable as it can be subscription based or downloaded online, making CD/DVD obsolete.
Video content is king, especially if anyone with an internet connection can see it. There is no limit to how many people can watch your YouTube videos, making it super scalable. There are literally hundreds of examples of content creators on YouTube making a full time living out of this business. And they do it all on their own from the comfort of their home.
YouTube is a fantastic way to scale a business if you are in the right industry. YouTube can also be complimentary to an existing brick and mortar business. For example, if you sell a physical product, you can have a YouTube channel that provides quality content about selecting, maintaining and operating that product. There are dozens of YouTube channels dedicated to this business model for the benefit of customers seeking educational information.