Janelle Desrosiers, the Founder & CEO of the intersectional and Indigenous feminist-led digital design agency Bloom + Brilliance, shares their story of growing their business and the hard-won lessons learned along the way. Janelle emphasizes the importance of scaling sustainably and holistically, focusing on the well-being of you, your team, and your business. Here are some of the main points she covered:
- Ask yourself important questions before scaling your business: Why do you want to scale? How will scaling benefit you, and how could it impact you negatively? Are you being pressured externally, or is it natural growth? Are you ready for a challenge, or are you already on the verge of burnout? Will you be taking on tasks that suit your skill set, or will it require you to develop new skills? Do you have experience doing what will be required of you, or can you hire someone to show you the ropes? Will you have to give up the parts of your business that you love and excel at? Do you have the resiliency built in and the rest opportunities as well?
- Document your systems and processes: Document everything in detail, including every task, any staff, vendors, and software that you use. This could take anywhere from a week to several months, depending on the nature and stage of your business. This will give you a clear picture of what you need to do to grow your business.
- Create growth scenarios: Experiment with timelines, roles to hire out for, and areas of your business that you'd like to grow. Then, review your growth scenarios and identify what kind of support you'll need for each to happen, including digital tools and staff.
- Growing your business is a learning curve: At first, scaling will take much more out of you than it will give back. Depending on your business, it can take 3 to 12 months of extra effort before you ease into a comfortable rhythm. However, growing slowly gives you a better chance of dealing with unexpected challenges and curveballs.
Sustainable scaling requires a lot of effort, but it's ultimately worth it. Take it slow, document your systems and processes, and create growth scenarios that are right for you and your business. Remember to prioritize your well-being, that of your team, and your business.