An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Scaling Any Business, Regardless of Size, Footholds, or Previous Mountaineering Experience

Person standing on top of a building in the city
Image via Pexels

How to Scale a Small Business

But trust me, there will be plenty of time for all that later. For now, you’ll be better served by setting your sights on scaling a small business (one or two stories) with a lot of untapped potential.

When it comes to scaling your small business, your structure is everything. Ideally, you’re looking for an older building in a historic business district, something with a name like “Sandy’s Snacks” or “The Emporium.” Those brick facades and ornate, 1930s cornices will offer plenty of handholds should you need them.

But realistically, you won’t. All you’ll need is a little gumption, some American ingenuity, and a 40-foot fiberglass extension ladder.

Also, you’ll want to bring along a grappling hook, a few carabiners, and a safety harness. And it probably wouldn’t hurt to get a membership to one of those trendy rock climbing gyms that have been popping up everywhere.

There’s nothing worse than successfully scaling a business, only to look down and realize you’re trapped because an irate business owner has removed the ladder and called the police.

Trust me, I’ve learned from bitter experience that society, especially our broken criminal justice system, does not appreciate the risks we entrepreneurs take to scale our businesses and keep the economy humming. Society wants us to stay in our lanes, get a “real job”, perform 200 hours of court-mandated community service.

But if everyone were more focused on defining terms like “criminal trespass” than taking risks, the economy would stagnate.

Alas, the odds of getting a judge who has scaled a business before and understands your drive are basically nil, meaning you need to be prepared for a successful “exit” before you start to scale your small business.

How to Scale an Established, Corporate Entity.

Even the most experienced entrepreneurs will find scaling this type of business to be quite the challenge!

Ideally, you want to pick a sleek, gleaming, all-glass building. That way, all you’ll need is five industrial-grade suction cups — one for each appendage, plus an extra emergency cup for your forehead. Careful, it gets blustery up there!

A simple “hack” I learned from a mentor is to apply for a job as a window washer on your target building. With a little luck, you’ll be starting your entrepreneurial journey with a sizable competitive advantage, or “moat,” as Warren Buffet likes to call it.

However, if your attempts to scale a small business have left you unable to pass a background test, then you’ll be starting at the bottom, just like so many great entrepreneurs before you.

Once you’re safely suctioning your way up the building, pausing as needed to brace yourself against the 30-mph gusts that will batter you mercilessly against the glass once you clear the 15th floor, you’re actually in the home stretch. It’s a bad look for the government to interfere with an entrepreneur trying to scale a business, especially if it results in said entrepreneur plummeting several hundred feet to his or her death. Even those pinkos on the coasts know better than to get in the way of a determined businessperson in the U.S.

If you should succeed, take pride in the fact that few have accomplished what you have. As you stand atop the business you’ve just scaled, give a wave to the police and TV news helicopters that have converged on your location. This is called building “brand awareness,” and you’ll only have a few seconds to do it before the SWAT team throws you to the ground like a rag doll.

How to Scale Your Own Business.

Reader, writer, content provider. Fan of hand-made guitars, racket-based sports, and houseplants. You can find me in St. Louie.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store