Landscape Architecture Series: Scale

To scale a business requires planning, funding, the right systems, people and processes. Thomas Church, who’s elements of landscape architecture we’ve looking at, wrote that scalability was one of the key elements when creating a garden; it determined the economic and aesthetic success of the garden. When defining scalability from a business perspective, it is much the same. Scalability is the ability of something to adapt to changes over time in a positive way, growing and evolving in order expand.

Much like a business, when designing parks, gardens and outdoor spaces, it is vital for landscape architects to plant with purpose – the consideration of the whole and what the outcome will be when various elements are put together needs to be taken into account. Will beautiful visions of colour coordinated blooms be the end result, or will people see a mess of ill thought out planting? In business management teams must foresee the effects of the seeds they sow, especially as the business looks to scale.

The first step when scaling a business is being committed to growth. Without leaders who are ready and willing to take the necessary steps towards creating solid, scalable operations and processes, then you risk limiting the ability of the business to grow. The right team will be able to set realistic growth targets and development plans in order to reach business targets and inspire internal teams to support the vision.

But it’s not as simple as just having a commitment to growth; scaling a business requires a multi-faceted approach and often the scalability of one area will directly correlate with another. Much like an effective business leader, Church knew that for a garden to be a success it had to work with its surrounds – the house and other landscape elements. This way of thinking set a new standard of dialogue between the client and the landscaper, as it should set the way of thinking for business leaders. Being conscious of your surrounds – sector, macro & micro trends, etc. is vital to be able to continue to meet market demands in order to sustainably scale. As outside conditions change, in order to stay competitive, your business must evolve and adapt with the times too.

The need for a holistic view is not only necessary when it comes to understanding how internal and external elements can work together, but also when it comes to managing the execution of the elements required to scale. Having a broad management skillset is an important component of growing and evolving businesses – the necessary skills required to interpret the market intelligence, set goals and strategy, support teams, create a positive culture, enable & execute changes can sometimes seem hard to muster from one person or one team, but by building a strong network of collaborative partners, be that consultancy services, suppliers and loyal customers you are giving yourself the right tools to scale.

In the spirit of Church who once said “the only limit to your garden is at the boundaries of your imagination,” when the right tools, people and processes are combined with passion and commitment to scaling, growth & evolution can be achieved that ensures the longevity of your business in the digital age.