After a successful launch, startups often find themselves ill-equipped to move ahead to the next phase. In such a situation, leaders need to adopt scaling alternatives and steps to grow the startup into a high-performing company. In simple terms, scaling a startup means setting the stage to enable the growth of the company. It encompasses the startup’s ability to grow without being held back, which in turn necessitates planning, funding, appropriate systems, a well-chosen team, disciplined processes, updated technology support and partners.
Follow these steps to smoothly transition from a startup to scaling up your business to achieve successful growth:
Plan for the future, not immediacy: Make plans based on where you want to see your business instead of where it is at present. Start by definitively setting up an objective, such as a benchmark for your company’s expected turnover per year or its growth. If you want to grow your business like big companies do, you need to think like their leaders.
Ensure you're ready and geared up for growth: When you start to grow and initiate the scale-up process, be ready to tackle any unforeseen event. It could be anything, from an issue with the supply chain or processes or tech. Think very carefully about the path ahead, and be ready with backup and help if required. Keep in mind that the successful scaling up of a startup is dependent on the zeal of the founders’ commitment to growing the business.
Know your competitors that have successfully grown: Study how your most successful competitors gained market share, including the strategies they followed and any setbacks they encountered that you can learn from. By understanding their business model and strategies, you position your own startup for success.
Safeguard your business principles: Situations may change extraordinary fast as you start scaling up your startup, in turn triggering higher workloads, less time and requiring more attention on multiple aspects of the business. Be prepared to safeguard your business values amid the turmoil, as those values have helped you reach this level of success. Keep your opportunities open and principles intact to grow soundly.
Assemble a good team: As the business scales up, you will likely require more team members to handle the growing number of tasks efficiently. It may take a while to build a team dedicated to the growth of your company along with their own. Cultivate a positive environment where the team is engaged, motivated, acknowledged and rewarded. Let experts take care of departments within your business, with the most important positions to consider filling for your startup being:
The CEO to lead decision-making and management
A COO to handle day-to-day operations
A CFO to manage all your company’s finances
A CMO to head product development and work on growth through sales and marketing
Have rules for your employees: Make guidelines for everyone to follow that reflect the values of your company. This creates shared objectives among your workforce and helps recruit talent. Hiring people with the right attitude, skills and experience at all levels is similarly important for scaling up the business. Seek out talented hires who are proactive and ambitious. It is of course a plus point if the attitude of existing staff swings in the same direction.
Get external expertise when required: Hiring people directly may not always be the right answer. Oftentimes outsourcing can produce better results, which is why many companies engage outside help. A third-party service provider can be beneficial by offering specialized resources as well as niche technology that can boost your startup’s efficiency. Outsourcing is also a good option to ramp up processes while lowering operational and labor costs. Prioritize finding a trustworthy outsourcing company to help position your business to grow more quickly and cheaply.
Do not compromise on quality or consistency: Both of these enable and ensure growth. Prioritize aspects that require an immediate response, like customer support, and most importantly focus on your product’s service and quality. Keeping the right people, culture and processes is essential to maintaining quality throughout the lifecycle of your product or service. Also, it is impossible to not make mistakes, but try to look at them as a learning opportunity.
Know your obstacles to growth: Once you‘ve established your goals, review all the aspects of the business carefully. Be pragmatic and honest in assessing factors that are useful and not useful for your business model, instead of merely keeping unnecessary aspects and people around. Focus on aspects that require more attention, setting aside things that can be handled by other leaders in the company.
Try to foresee the potential: Predicting the future is not possible, however, in business it is easy to make forecasts by keeping track of its ups and downs. Keep an eye on the current and developing trends in your sector to shape a better future for your startup. Also, beware of your limitations and keep working on making them your strengths.
Source: Escalon Services