What Challenges Do Leaders Face When Scaling a Client's Business?


    What Challenges Do Leaders Face When Scaling a Client's Business?

    Scaling a client's business comes with unique hurdles, as revealed by presidents and CEOs who've navigated these waters. From addressing budget constraints to securing stakeholder buy-in for scaling, we've compiled fifteen distinct challenges and strategic solutions shared by top executives and client-facing professionals.

    • Address Budget Constraints Honestly
    • Develop a Strategic Growth Plan
    • Unite Teams Post-Acquisition
    • Innovate with Creative Partnerships
    • Integrate AI for Customer Support
    • Be Selective in Rapid Hiring
    • Analyze Past Challenges for Growth
    • Maximize Impact with Low-Cost Strategies
    • Segment Market for Targeted Marketing
    • Enhance Supply Chain for Demand
    • Advocate for Marketing During Sales Lulls
    • Manage Online Reputation During Growth
    • Optimize Google Ads for Market Expansion
    • Overcome Internal Resistance to Change
    • Secure Stakeholder Buy-In for Scaling

    Address Budget Constraints Honestly

    In nearly every marketing medium, there is a minimum effective dose in terms of both time and financial investment. In the past, I've accepted clients on a shoestring budget, and at the end of the day, it wasn't enough to create traction. Now, I'm just plain honest with them: they would be better off focusing exclusively on reputation management by asking for reviews and surprising their existing customers with unexpected perks. This will drive them more business than a $100 SEO or ad spend budget.

    Jason Vaught
    Jason VaughtPresident, 805 SEO

    Develop a Strategic Growth Plan

    In my experience as an attorney at MAH Advising PLLC, one of the challenges I faced was while providing strategic business planning services to a client with an ambitious growth strategy. They had intentions to rapidly scale up their operations. However, their ambitious plans put their internal resources under significant strain, mainly because they lacked a comprehensive strategic plan that could deal with such intense growth scenarios.

    To address this, we collaborated and developed a detailed strategic growth plan, which included a detailed analysis of their business model, identifying potential challenges, and developing strategies for managing these challenges. One potential challenge that we identified was the burden their existing staffing structure would face as a result of the rapid growth, with the possibilities of overworking or losing staff due to the increased workload.

    Considering this, we suggested a gradual recruitment strategy, where staff members would be brought on board in phases, allowing the existing employees time to adapt and cope with the increased operations and ensuring that the company’s growth did not negatively impact the workforce dynamics.

    In addition, we developed clear protocols and guidelines that defined the revised roles and responsibilities and provided training to the staff to ensure that they were equipped with the knowledge and skills to handle the company's growth phase.

    This experience with strategic business planning for scaling businesses has taught me the significance of creating comprehensive strategic plans and its role in managing business growth. It's shown me the importance of both short- and long-term planning, how these plans help a business to navigate its way through scaling up, the challenges that might be encountered, and their potential solutions.

    Michael Hurckes
    Michael HurckesManaging Partner, MAH Advising PLLC

    Unite Teams Post-Acquisition

    In thinking about the work we did with a Fortune 50 technology company, integrating two large teams post-acquisition, the overarching challenge was around culture. The leadership team faced two very different paces, political currencies, and recognition structures. We needed to unite these teams and ensure they were working cohesively. To do this, we conducted a listening tour across the organization to bring in diverse voices. Together, we built team values and a North Star, and we worked to update the internal communications channels for transparency and consistency.

    Brea Starmer
    Brea StarmerCEO/Founder, Lions & Tigers

    Innovate with Creative Partnerships

    One of the most unique scaling hurdles I encountered was with a client who had built a thriving life-coaching practice but was hesitant to create her own digital courses. She felt most impactful in live sessions but couldn't reach everyone one-on-one. My unconventional suggestion was to partner creatively with a mobile gaming company.

    Together, we transformed her core teachings into an interactive, emotionally resonant casual game experience. This allowed her methods to extend to a hard-to-reach younger female demographic. The game design focused on self-discovery, goal achievement, and a supportive community—gamifying her coaching concepts.

    It was a big risk to pivot her expertise into gaming rather than a traditional course format. But it unlocked a new Gen Z revenue stream while staying fiercely authentic to her message rather than diluting it through standard replication at scale. And once her brand recognition grew through the game, it became a pipeline driving traffic to her live programs.

    The key for service-based female founders is scaling impact while avoiding burnout. Sometimes the answer lies in unexpected vehicles reaching untapped audiences outside assumed niches. Innovative partnerships, formats, and platforms can transform outreach if the core essence shines through. Amplifying female voices demands the amplification of creativity too!

    Mona Kirstein, Ph.D.
    Mona Kirstein, Ph.D.Digital Strategist, Holistic Coach & Consultant, The Wholehearted Path

    Integrate AI for Customer Support

    A major hurdle was scaling customer support as a client's business grew rapidly. Their team was swamped, and customer satisfaction was slipping—not the vibe we wanted. We implemented a smart combination of AI chatbots for basic queries and a streamlined ticketing system for complex issues. This technological touch freed up the human touch for where it mattered most. Plus, we trained the support team on empathy and problem-solving, turning every customer interaction into a relationship-building moment.

    The impact was that response times improved, customer satisfaction scores bounced back, and the support team wasn’t in constant firefight mode. By integrating technology and training, we turned a scaling challenge into a customer satisfaction win.

    Zephyr Chan
    Zephyr ChanFounder and Growth Marketer, Living The Good Life

    Be Selective in Rapid Hiring

    One of the biggest challenges I've faced when trying to scale a client's business is finding the right talent. As a company grows quickly, there's often a need to rapidly expand the team. However, it can be difficult to find people with the right skill sets who are also a cultural fit.

    Rather than trying to fill roles as quickly as possible, I've learned the importance of being selective and strategic in hiring. The first step is getting crystal clear on the must-have qualities and skills for each role. Then, I tap into my network and leverage referrals to find qualified candidates. I also make sure to thoroughly vet each potential hire through skills assessments and multiple interviews.

    Even when we find great people, there's still an onboarding and training process to ensure new hires learn our systems and understand the company culture. By taking a methodical approach to recruiting and onboarding, I'm able to build a strong, scalable team that can support a client's growth goals.

    Sai Blackbyrn
    Sai BlackbyrnCEO, Coach Foundation

    Analyze Past Challenges for Growth

    One significant challenge I encountered while scaling a client's business was the oversight of not considering their previous challenges. At first, there was a tendency to focus solely on growth strategies without a comprehensive review of historical hurdles. To address this, I conducted a thorough analysis of the client's past obstacles, identifying patterns and root causes. By integrating these insights into our scaling approach, we were able to implement targeted solutions that not only addressed current issues but also mitigated the potential recurrence of past challenges.

    Johannes Larsson
    Johannes LarssonFounder and CEO, JohannesLarsson.com

    Maximize Impact with Low-Cost Strategies

    One particular challenge I encountered was dealing with a client's strict budget while scaling their business. Their financial constraints limited marketing and expansion efforts. To address this, we pivoted to a strategy focusing on high-return and low-cost initiatives. We leveraged organic social media growth and targeted content marketing, maximizing the impact of each dollar spent. By carefully analyzing and reallocating resources toward the most efficient channels, we managed to sustain growth without overextending the client's budget.

    As a leader in this field, it's essential to be able to adapt and find solutions that work within constraints. As such, I utilized my personal experiences and expertise to develop an innovative strategy tailored to the client's needs. This approach not only helped us achieve our goals but also showcased our ability to think outside the box and provide effective solutions.

    Tristan Harris
    Tristan HarrisDemand Generation Senior Marketing Manager, Thrive Digital Marketing Agency

    Segment Market for Targeted Marketing

    In my experience, one of the biggest challenges when trying to scale a client's business is figuring out the right marketing strategy and channels. When a business is just starting out, the founder usually has a good handle on their ideal customers and how to reach them. But as the business grows, suddenly they need to expand their audience and diversify their marketing efforts.

    I've found the key is taking a very strategic approach. First, I work closely with the client to segment their total addressable market and identify the different personas they want to target as they scale up. Then, for each persona, we map out the ideal marketing channels - where do these people congregate online? What content and messaging will resonate with them? From there, we build out a comprehensive marketing plan across multiple channels, from SEO to social media to email.

    The biggest mistake I see businesses make is trying to 'boil the ocean' and be everywhere at once. A targeted, persona-based approach ensures we're using our limited resources and budgets to the best effect and not wasting time on marketing tactics that don't move the needle. While it's certainly challenging to develop that level of marketing strategy, I've found it's essential to cost-effectively reach the right audiences at scale.

    Gert Kulla
    Gert KullaCEO, RedBat.Agency

    Enhance Supply Chain for Demand

    A client in the e-commerce sector wanted to significantly expand their market reach, but they faced a major hurdle: Their supply chain was not equipped to handle the increased demand they anticipated. This was a critical issue because scaling their sales and marketing efforts without addressing the supply chain limitations would have led to customer dissatisfaction and potential damage to the brand.

    To address this, we first conducted a thorough analysis of their existing supply chain processes. We identified bottlenecks, such as limited storage capacity and inefficient inventory management, which could hinder the scaling process. The key was to enhance their supply chain resilience and flexibility to handle the increased load.


    We recommended implementing an advanced inventory management system, which used predictive analytics to forecast demand and optimize stock levels. This technology allowed for real-time tracking of inventory, reducing overstock and stockouts, and ensuring products were available when needed. Additionally, we advised diversifying their supplier base to reduce dependence on a single source, which increased their supply chain's robustness against disruptions.

    Parallel to these improvements, we also optimized their digital marketing campaigns to ensure that the increase in demand was gradual and manageable. This phased scaling approach allowed the client to test and refine their supply chain improvements in real time, avoiding a situation where they were overwhelmed by a sudden spike in orders. As a result of these interventions, the client was able to smoothly scale their operations. They experienced a significant increase in sales, while maintaining high customer satisfaction levels.

    Bruno Gavino
    Bruno GavinoFounder, CEO, CodeDesign

    Advocate for Marketing During Sales Lulls

    I recently worked with a B2G company with a 5+ year buying cycle. The mistake I saw my client make was cutting the marketing budget when sales were low.

    So I had to convince him that just because people aren't buying his product doesn't mean there's nobody considering it.

    By cutting the marketing budget, his company essentially lost visibility during these periods of consideration, leading prospects to go with the competition.

    Fortunately, I was able to convince the CEO to spend money on marketing during these sales lulls, which allowed us to bring in record sales when the buying cycle was over.

    Scott Lieberman
    Scott LiebermanOwner, Touchdown Money

    Manage Online Reputation During Growth

    One specific challenge I faced while scaling a client's business was managing their online reputation during rapid growth. The client, a small but burgeoning e-commerce platform, experienced a sudden surge in customer traffic and sales. However, with this growth came an influx of customer service inquiries and online reviews, both positive and negative. The challenge was to maintain a positive brand image while addressing the increased volume of customer interactions.

    To tackle this, I focused on enhancing the client's customer service capabilities. We implemented a robust customer relationship management (CRM) system to efficiently track and respond to customer inquiries. Additionally, we developed a proactive strategy for managing online reviews, encouraging satisfied customers to share their experiences while promptly addressing any negative feedback. The end result was a win-win as we managed to maintain a positive brand image and increase customer loyalty with all the added attention given, which is crucial for sustainable growth in any business.

    Shane Mcevoy
    Shane McevoyMD, Flycast Media

    Optimize Google Ads for Market Expansion

    As a Google Ads consultant, a primary challenge in scaling a client's business is managing the increased budget and campaign complexity efficiently. This involves segmenting campaigns to target new markets or products, while also ensuring a high ROI. The approach includes refining keyword targeting to capture broader market segments, optimizing ad copy and landing pages for diverse audiences, and employing advanced bid strategies to maximize budget efficiency.

    John Cammidge
    John CammidgePPC Consultant, JTC

    Overcome Internal Resistance to Change

    A challenge we encountered was overcoming internal resistance to change. Sometimes, scaling a business requires implementing new processes and technologies that can be met with skepticism or even fear from employees who are comfortable with the status quo. To address this, we emphasized the benefits of the changes and provided training and support to ensure a smooth transition. We also encouraged open communication and collaboration between teams to create a sense of ownership and alignment towards the goal of scaling.

    Personal experience has taught us that effective communication and understanding are crucial when it comes to scaling a client's business. We listen attentively, ask probing questions, and share our knowledge and expertise with the client to ensure their expectations align with reality. We also make sure to provide regular updates and progress reports, so the client is always informed and involved.

    David Rubie-Todd
    David Rubie-ToddCo-Founder & Marketing Director, Glide

    Secure Stakeholder Buy-In for Scaling

    A specific challenge I've come across recently in working with a client to scale their business is ensuring that there is significant buy-in across the stakeholders. Strategizing and drawing up plans are essential components of a scaling strategy, but without the willingness and openness of all stakeholders to embrace the process, it's an uphill battle. I've learned recently that involving stakeholders across different levels—management, operations, employees—ensures that everyone can see where we're headed, what we're doing, and gives us the opportunity to be aligned.

    Matthew Sanjari
    Matthew SanjariFounder and Business Coach, PRIME Consulting