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A Strategy For A Scalable Business

Written by: Jean-Paul Urlings, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


How do you create a strategy for a scalable business? To answer this question, you have to be clear about what it means to have a scalable business. Our definition of a scalable business is:

“A scalable business is a business that is able to grow independently of the entrepreneur”

Why should a business be scalable without the perpetual involvement of the entrepreneur? Isn’t the entrepreneur the most important driver of growth for a business? In the early stages of development, the entrepreneur is critical for growth. In fact, most businesses start with a single employee: the entrepreneur. The business becomes more scalable by hiring employees, working with the right partners, becoming more visible in the market, etc. Every phase is organized by the entrepreneur – at first. But the entrepreneur can’t sustain managing all the details when the business evolves (scales). It’s simply not humanly possible for the one person to handle all aspects of the scaling business as it progresses. When the entrepreneur retires, the business shouldn’t evaporate into thin air. The business should survive the entrepreneur. Organized in the right way, the business can be sold to create additional value for the entrepreneur. A company that is dependent on the entrepreneur can’t be sold or won’t be worth very much. The business that depends on the entrepreneur, can’t function without that one person at the helm. Therefore, we define a scalable business is a business that is able to grow independently of the entrepreneur.

Developing a strategy to create a scalable business from inception is an essential early objective. Strategy development starts with the right perspective, which is depicted by a very firm, solid dot on the horizon that will never be reached by the business in its earliest stages. But the dot on the horizon will help evolve the business in a way that the dot will be achievable.

For example, the core business of my company, BizzDom is helping entrepreneurs achieve their desired future. The means to that goal is via the Business Roadmaps program. The dot on the horizon my company has had from the start is to ‘help 100 entrepreneurs a month’. That goal that was not reachable at the start of BizzDom. However, it shaped the development of the company in the following way:

  • The key activities of the company evolved from tailor-made coaching services to a coaching program called Business Roadmaps.

  • The coaching program could be transferred to a website, which made the coaching process more efficient (both for the company and for the customers). The website became a key resource in the business of BizzDom.

  • Because of the coaching method and the website, the Business Roadmaps method could be transferred to other coaches, making it possible to guide more customers. Because the coaches have to use the website of Business Roadmaps, it made quality control possible in an effective, efficient way. In addition, the business became more scalable by making it possible to work with several key partners (the coaches). The coaches pay a fee to use the Business Roadmaps method, which further enhances the revenue model.

  • To further boost scalability, external visibility was strengthened by creating an offer the customers couldn’t refuse. Bizzdom made it very clear what the customers would get, and added a voucher (subsidy) to lower the financial barrier to entry. This served to enhance the value proposition, the irresistible offer, and the revenue model.

  • To further grow revenue, additional key partners were organized in a new key resource: an online academy. The online academy offers an online network and an educational course environment. The network is a means for customers to find new interesting partners to find or ask for additional support. For BizzDom, the online network is a new kind of customer relationship, creating a stronger connection with customers. It also provides a method to complement skills (a key resource of the customer) via the course environment. Courses are offered by key partners, who pay a fee per customer that participates in their courses. This further enhances the revenue model and value proposition of BizzDom.

  • And so on, and so on...

As shown in the steps above, the firm and solid dot on the horizon boosts creativity to shape the company. The dot on the horizon represents a ‘future back mentality’. This is starkly contrasted with the common ‘present forward mentality’ of trying to gradually take the business a step forward. Instead, we aim directly toward the desired future. In this way, a growth mindset is created and perpetuated.

What about the strategy mentioned in the title? The bold items in the text above are all part of the strategy: the Business Model Canvas, the Strategy Model Canvas, the ambition, etc. These steps, plus a plan for the future (the Roadmap) form the strategy as developed in the Business Roadmaps program. Our previous articles more thoroughly explain our unique way of developing strategy. The above example illustrates a strategy being transformed into a kind of storytelling that describes the development of a company. This is how a strategy should become alive. The strategy shouldn’t (only) be a sequential process of setting up future plans of a company. It should be a way of thinking about a company and pave the way to the future.

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Jean-Paul Urlings, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Jean-Paul and Yoshi are partners and business coaches of Business Roadmaps, a practical strategic framework method and coaching service that helps entrepreneurs to develop a strategy in 5 steps, on 5 sheets of paper.

Jean-Paul is passionate to support SME entrepreneurs to achieve continuity, success and entrepreneurial freedom that made him found this practical business implementation service. So far for more than 15 years Jean-Paul has effectively supported over 1,000 entrepreneurs and high potentials in their development to become leaders of their companies.

Yoshi has worked in the product and communication design field for over 15 years, crossing 3 continents. Yoshi is motivated to transplant his unique experience over guiding business implementation in terms of branding, product and communication.



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