How to Scale a Business in Cameroon
One of the lenses every entrepreneur or business man in Cameroon should be wearing is what I call “Scalability lens”. This is a lens where an entrepreneur or business executive is always looking ways to scale the business to another level.
What does it mean to scale a business?
To scale means, to increase revenue at a faster rate than costs. Scaling also means proportional growth especially in terms of profitability and or larger market share.
According to Grace Lau, scaling your business also means “Scaling your business means that while you’re increasing sales and bringing on new employees, you also have workload, processes, and production strategies in place to properly manage that growth”
Ways You Can Scale Your Business In Cameroon
- Recruit the right people in key departments of your business
When you feel like you are ready to scale your business one of the best decisions to make is to recruit the right people in key departments. What do I mean the right people? Recruit people that have the right attitude, skill and understand the vision of your business.
What do I mean by key departments? Every successful business has key departments that drive the growth of that business. For example if a fashion entrepreneur is ready to scale her business she will have to recruit people in two key departments that is production and marketing/sales
- Invest in assets/machinery/tools that will directly increase your production.
It is difficult to scale a business to the desired level without the right assets especially machinery and tools that you use in production or to serve your customers and to be efficient.
For example, for a restaurant owner to scale his/her business, he/she must increase the clients seating space, more cooking pots, more cutleries.
- Replicate what is already working into many locations
I always tell my consulting clients, “You can only replicate what is working and producing tangible outcomes” One of the best ways to scale is when you have proven your product has a market, you have the right marketing, sales and distribution system, you can replicate all these systems already working in another community or town. Replication does not mean you cannot customize to fit the new location if necessary.
- Leverage on technology
An entrepreneur can leverage on technology in a few ways to scale. Leverage can be in the form of automating certain tasks for example UBA Cameroon has automated the printing of bank statement and checking account balance by using their social media Chabot LEO. Leverage can be in the form of using digital technology like social media and email marketing to reach a larger audience.
- Collaboration/Partnership agreement
One of the best ways to scale your business is to partner and or merge with another business. Bringing financial resources, teams, products, systems etc. into one to serve a larger market size in multiple locations. For example, today’s UBA emerged from the merger of the dynamic and fast growing Standard Trust Bank, incorporated in 1990 and UBA, one of the biggest and oldest banks in Nigeria. The merger was consummated on August 1, 2005; one of the biggest mergers done on the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE). Following that merger, UBA went ahead to acquire Continental Trust Bank in the same year, further expanding the UBA brand. UBA also subsequently acquired Trade Bank in 2006 which was under liquidation by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). This is a strong example for SMEs in Cameroon to collaborate and scale.
In conclusion, as an entrepreneur who desires to scale later in the future, I will strong recommend you do not make decisions based on where you are right but you should make them base on what you want to become. You cannot scale when you are not ready, it is your responsibility to make sure you are ready before you scale. To be ready, make sure you have the right tools, IT system, processes, financial resources, human resources among others.
Kindly note, what is recommended here are general strategies and your business may require specific strategies to scale. Feel free to contact me for a session email@example.com or tel +237 656140207