Scale your business with these proven tips

Principal Budget Officer at the African Development Bank Naomi Wanjiru Njeri Monobolou. lFile, Standard]

Scaling your business depends on the careful execution of three principles.

First, what is your number one priority over the next 90 days? If you are not scaling enough, it could be because you have too many priorities or you have the wrong priority and it comes down to, do you have the right question, what is the purpose of your business?

The second is that you have the right data, quantitative and qualitative, are you getting enough information from your customers and the market to inform you on what you need to work on next?

Third, do you walk into a room and talk about it, which is a bit like an hour-long marketing meeting with your team to energize the business? If you don’t know what’s the first thing you need to work on next, you may not have the right data or walk into the room and talk about it.

And those are the three fundamental principles of Rockefeller habits.

The Ivy Lee Method

As the saying goes, “Goals without routines are wishes and routines without goals are purposeless.”

You need to understand that establishing routines sets you free. And if you think rationally, success comes down to something very simple: Goals + Routines.

Remember that it is the establishment of routines that is essential. The coach of legendary 19th century American business magnate John D Rockefeller was a man named Ivy Lee who was also the coach of many industrial age titans.

During a coaching session, Lee shared what he considered a key ingredient for success.

He taught his followers to consider the most important thing for an entrepreneur, which is that you and everyone in the organization set the top priorities for the next day, week, month, quarter and year. year.

He argued that you can’t just make a random list, you have to prioritize them, say, from one to six, and the key is to follow that order wisely. You cannot move to three if one and two are not completed.

As the famous story goes, Lee said, “Listen, I’m not going to charge you anything for this advice, use it for a month and pay me what you think it’s worth.” Charles Schwab, a shipping tycoon and then one of the richest men in the world, wrote him a check for $25,000 which, in today’s dollars, would equate to nearly half a million for this advice alone.


Execution helps you drive profits, if you want your execution to be right you have to be aware of when to say no and that’s hard for entrepreneurs because you are enthusiastic and have lots of ideas.

Get into the rhythm of good execution by starting with two to three big priorities that you can achieve over the next three months. Align everyone in the organization to help achieve the organization’s mission and vision.

At the end of the quarter, measure success and learn from your performance, recalibrate or pivot as needed to stay on your priorities and move the business forward. Be clear about who is responsible for these priorities, even if many employees contribute to them.


If you want to scale, you need to know how to access top influencers and create a list of the top 25 influencers you should meet.

Then you need to set aside an hour a week for marketing, regardless of sales or product or service design, and connect with these top 25 influencers who are going to help you scale your business.

List your top five and spend an hour each week figuring out how to reach those people and convince them to support and sign up for your product or business.

What you want to skip is the power of the influencer in the business. The list of top 25 people in the industry could include, for example, presidents, socialites, YouTubers, magazines, bloggers, etc. with whom you need to build close relationships and keep up to date with what you are doing.

Make the list and start reaching out, you might not know these influencers but don’t worry, you might know someone who knows someone and start there. To stay in touch with the best influencers, you can, for example, offer an article or a book that particularly touched you with your influencers or you can memorize their birthdays and children’s birthdays and send a personalized card on this important day.

Another way to stay in touch is to set up a google alert if you don’t know what google alerts are, then google, google alerts and stay in touch with your top influencers.

Google Alerts monitors when their names appear on media and uses that time to connect with them.

Call and get to know their assistants and at least get the assistant email and start sending emails when a big issue comes up and start nature those relationships and you will be surprised how far you will go.

Public relations

To scale your business you need to build good PR, develop great press materials and be prepared to build good PR, the more you can be the more you the press will follow.

Get the press to write about your business, even if you don’t have the money, try to be creative and innovative about how to attract the press.

You need to figure out how to get people interested in your business, figure out what will get people to use your product, what will get them to invest money and time with you, and then wrap that up with creative way.

Host story-worthy events and come up with creative ideas.

Watch out for icebergs

In business, you always have to be on the lookout for icebergs – looming threats that could come and wipe out your business or wipe out an entire industry as we have seen with the Covid-19 pandemic.

All kinds of changes, including technological changes, legislative changes, competitive changes, or even geopolitical conflicts or tensions. If you can learn to spot the iceberg ahead of time and you can learn to see it far ahead of everyone, then you gain two big things which are (i) avoiding danger and (ii) allowing you to take advantage of the situation in many ways, for example, if a big change happens, for example like the pandemic and you could see it, you have a vast blue ocean where you can innovate and come up with cool products.

Credit line

The next thing you want to do is build your relationship with a bank and establish yourself well enough to even have the opportunity to go to lunch with your bank’s CEO.

Your bank should be big enough to grow with you. Build your relationship early when things are going well because you mostly need the bank when things are not going well.

Treat your bankers as if they were partners and not just suppliers. Remember that bank debt gives you leverage that allows you to reinvest in your business. You must have access to the necessary liquidity when you want to scale.

If you look at companies that can thrive and survive in any operating environment from a cash point of view, they have about three to six times more cash reserves or access to lines of credit than their competitors.

As a general rule, make sure you have at least six months of operating cash reserves, this will allow you to focus on the success of your business. A trusted banking relationship will serve you well in your business.

And in business, always remember, “People don’t buy what you do; people buy why you do. As author and inspirational speaker Simon Sinek puts it. Create a compelling goal for your business.

-The author is a senior budget officer at the African Development Bank and the author of Unlock Your Body Budget.