3 Important Factors to Consider When Scaling Your Brand

July 27, 2023 - 8 minutes read

Recently, I read a 2018 article in Bloomberg about celebrity chefs losing or closing their restaurants by the dozens. That trend hasn’t changed in the years since. Today, celebrity chefs are still in the news, and they’re still shutting down restaurants that, on paper, should have been wildly successful.

After all, if everyone knows your name, how can your business fail? 

For many chefs, whether celebrity household names or not, growing their brand or restaurant chain has proven to be as challenging as it is for any company or organization seeking to scale. The Bloomberg article cited astronomical overhead costs, including one example of a restaurant with rent of over $100,000 per month.

Aside from the expense of operating from month to month, another major theme stands out to me.

Regardless of industry, it’s universally true that there are pitfalls in duplicating a brand or personality.

When Scaling Your Brand Hits a (Proverbial) Wall

There’s a specific threshold where scaling a brand hits a proverbial wall. As brands expand and consequently dilute, customer experience begins to decline. Point blank, one can only expand so much and teach so many people to do, think, and “cook” like us before quality begins to recede.

It’s true that patrons are willing to pay a premium for the experience of specialty dining. But ultimately, when paying a chunk of dough to eat at Guy Fieri’s restaurant, they want to also see and experience him.

If you’re a small business owner, I’m sure you can relate to this. Chances are, you encountered resistance when you first began to send out your new manager to represent you and your company. No matter how personable or qualified they are, they are still not you.

Certainly, we can’t be everywhere and accessible all the time. So how do we grow our businesses without diluting our brand or the relationship equity we have with our customers and stakeholders?

3 Important Questions to Answer as You Continue to Scale Your Brand

The foundation of your brand should be secure as you scale. Your business plan, communication, processes, timelines, accountability, numbers, and financials must all be up to par–otherwise, you won’t be able to give your brand presence the attention it deserves. Then, you can begin to scale while preserving the essence of your brand in the process.

If this resonates with you, here are 3 essential follow-up questions to answer: 

1. Why are you looking to scale? Is it about serving more people? Is it about generating more revenue? Do you know your numbers? Is scaling the answer? What does scaling look like for you? What will it take for you to scale? Does your current infrastructure support the growth you are looking for?

2. What do people really buy when they work with you? Is it what you do or how you do it? Is it how you deliver it? Be mindful of building upon and not diluting the strengths of your business. And at the same time, it’s critical to explore ways to proliferate your “secret sauce” without you being the bottleneck and choking the growth of your business. In order for your company to grow, your role must also evolve.

3. Do you have processes in place allowing you to delegate repetitive tasks? Are these documented? When was the last time you revisited them? Are you too busy to do this? Before delving into a growth or scale phase, it is paramount that your processes are documented, including data collection and analysis and stakeholder communications. 

Take your time as you work through each question and its follow-ups. You’ll discover so much more about not only your brand’s strengths but the holes in your bucket, too.

If you’d like to talk through any or all of these questions, you can schedule a time for us to do so. We would love to help you as you scale your brand.

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