March 02, 2024

Product scaling without losing momentum (or your mind)

A few weeks ago, I had a Digital Native subscriber reach out with a question. They asked:

"I'm swamped with updating my product while juggling endless customer requests, and the product's growing faster than I can keep up. I'm thinking of bringing in more hands to help but worried it'll just mean more back and forth and less action. Any tips on scaling a business without dropping the ball?"

I've heard this concern from product builders before.

In fact, I went through similar growing pains when I was trying to scale up the creative agency I founded, 45royale.

Today, I want to share the three most important things you need to know about product scaling without losing momentum (or your mind.)

The art of strategic hiring

Scaling a business means you will have to hire at some point. And if you haven't experienced the pain of a bad hire, you will someday. And trust me—it's something you'll keep with you forever.

That's why I always tell digital business owners that cultural fit is the most important thing to consider when hiring your first one or two people.

Think about it: If you've worked solo for a while, it's hard to understand the impact another person can have on your business, for better or worse. Bringing someone into the core of your small product or service business can be highly disruptive if not done with care.

Here are a few characteristics and behavioral traits I look for when making a hire for my digital business:

  • Self-starter: Look for someone who can take a problem and move it forward with little to no instruction. Testing, implementing, and evaluating the outcome are half the battle. This is true in all fast-paced digital businesses. Your new hire should embrace this completely.
  • Highly motivated: Finding people who thrive on aligned incentives, whether through compensation, autonomy, or growth opportunities, can ensure that your hire is not just driven by their own goals but a shared vision of your scale growth.
  • Fun to be around: This is a no-brainer. But let's face it—if you're going to be in the trenches with someone building your product day in and day out, you should have fun doing it. Don't hire an energy vampire. Find someone who matches or exceeds your energy so you can draw strength from each other when you need to.

Take the time to hire slowly and intentionally—it will ultimately pay off.

Maintaining momentum by prioritizing correctly

Scaling your business without all the overwhelm starts and ends with prioritization. Since you'll likely spend most of your time balancing your products' and customers' needs, having a method to lean on is vital.

I recommend always prioritizing customer requests and outreach over product updates. Always.


1. Customers are the lifeblood of your business. Without them, you don't have much. It won't matter if the next round of features coming in the product are mind-bending—if there are no customers to see/use/engage with it, it won't matter.

2. The feedback and conversations that stem from customer requests are better than gold. By helping your customers understand your product, you can take their issues/input and push it into future design and development cycles, improving the product over time. A lot of people miss this point—don't be one of those people.

But okay, assuming you take great care of your customers, you should have a ton of new features driven by their feedback waiting in the wings. So, product prioritization is still essential.

Using the Eisenhower Matrix is one way I manage and focus on product updates. I've written about it before, but the Eisenhower Matrix is a task management tool to help prioritize tasks based on their urgency and importance.

Here's an example of what the matrix looks like:

Eisenhower Matrix

I recommend downloading my free Eisenhower Matrix PDF to help you organize and prioritize the best way you can for your product and business.

My favorite thing about this matrix is it helps to clear the playing field so that everything isn't "urgent." It allows you to move forward with what will actually move the needle in your business and avoid getting stuck ticking off boxes that don't matter.

Automation, delegation, and implementation (oh my)

Now, we move on to one of my favorite ways to ensure you have continued product growth without losing momentum—automation, delegation, and implementation.

These techniques take a company of two or three and make it look like a company of ten.

But before you use any of the tactics above, review your workflows with a fine-tooth comb.

  • Where are the bottlenecks?
  • What are the tasks you do over and over every day/month/year?
  • What are the things that would make you way more productive if you removed them from your plate?

Once you locate these life-sucking workflows, do the following:

Automate repetition away

Anything that you find yourself doing more than once, you should automate. For digital product businesses, you could:

  • Set up a knowledge base to answer your most frequently asked questions.
  • Find software that follows up with customers and asks them for a review.
  • Create an email welcome sequence to create a more meaningful relationship between you and your customers.

Delegate for efficiency

There's working on the business and working in the business. Whenever you find yourself doing the latter, there's a high likelihood that you should delegate that task. Here are a few ways to get more of your time back:

  • We already know customer support is essential (see the previous section), but it doesn't mean you need to be in charge of it. Outsource to a trusted organization to log tickets and gather customer feedback so you can focus on longer-term goals/problems.
  • Hire a VA to handle mundane tasks like email management, data entry, and managing SOPs. Knowing you are free of the day-to-day minutiae will clarify where your business is heading and free you up to set goals and milestones.

Implement systems that scale

Even if your product business is small, build with flexibility in mind.

Whether it's a design system for your product, organizational structuring, or even your first hire (it comes full circle!)—make sure you don't box yourself into a corner with unnecessary rigidity.

Implementing scalability, delegating, and automating are some of the hardest things for most digital business owners (myself included.)

I had a tough time letting go of control, but when I did, my business saw more success and reached places I didn't think possible. Verne Harnish said it best:

"Letting go and trusting others to do things well is one of the more challenging aspects of being a leader of a growing organization."

Amen, Verne. Amen.

Cultivate accountability

This is a big one. If you don't cultivate a culture of accountability, it won't matter how many people you add to the company or how many resources you throw at the problem. You'll always have issues.

Seems important, right? So, how do you cultivate accountability without clogging up your progress?

  • Set clear goals: Establishing SMART goals gives everyone on the team a north star. With clear goals, it's easier for everyone to know what's expected of them (and even easier for you to hold them accountable.)
  • Provide continuous feedback: Regular feedback creates an open line of communication. When everyone speaks freely and honestly, they build trust, creating an environment ripe for innovation.
  • Encourage initiative: When people feel a sense of ownership over their work, they'll usually have a stronger sense of personal accountability and pride in what they're creating.

Remember that you won't be able to ask for accountability if you don't deliver it yourself. It starts at the top, so lead with it from day one.

Final thoughts

If your product is lucky enough to have momentum, doing anything that might disturb that success can seem daunting.

But from experience, I can tell you that doing nothing and letting the overwhelm of a successful product slowly rip you apart is not the way.

Hire well, prioritize correctly, and automate away tasks and systems that erode your product's success.

When you do, you'll be able to focus more on what matters—building a better product and better business.

Good luck!