Fundamentally, scalability refers to a company’s ability to expand. To put it another way, a company that is scaling up can adjust to a larger workload without jeopardising its performance or losing money.
Let’s face it: no matter how scalable your business is, not every startup can grow to be a multimillion-pound operation. The fatal blunders almost always occur at ground zero. In the sense that some businesses get off the ground without the proper systems, people, or mentality. Trying to expand a business in this manner is like driving with the brakes applied.
So, how can you get your startup ready for scaling up at an early stage?
Lay solid foundations
Before you ever consider scaling up, make sure you have a solid foundation in place. According to a survey of 3,200+ firms conducted by StartupGenom, early scaling is responsible for 74% of startup failures. So, what are your options for avoiding this?
Ensure that your core product is in demand
It must be ‘market suitable.’ Yes, you can improve along the way, but you must ensure that you cover all of your bases, such as:
- Know who your most important customers are.
- Experiment to figure out which marketing channels have the most ROI and scalability potential.
- Plan and have the necessary cash flow to scale. You simply do not want to run out of money during the scaling stage, whether you need to seek new investment or not.
- Provide real value to your customers. It’s a lot easier to scale if you can provide a solution to a real problem that people care about.
Automation is vital at the early-stages
If you’re discovering that you’re spending an inordinate amount of time on inefficient processes, you’re most likely on the right path. I’m referring to:
- Organising and storing data in the cloud
- Developing new hire training protocols
- Automated digital marketing
These are only a few examples. It may take a long time and be difficult, but the long-term benefits will be enormous. Follow the rule of thumb that if you can code it, you should code it!
Surround yourself with the right people:
In many ways, technology is replacing roles that we used to have people for, and it’s sped up the growth process. However, scaling your firm in 2022 is fundamentally the same as it was 50 years ago.
My best piece of advice is to network with others who have done it before. They’ve been there, made mistakes, and paid the price for it.
Create an attractive corporate culture:
A winning culture encourages tremendous expansion. When everyone has the ability to “own” their domain, magic happens. Allow your team to explore freely, and recognise and reward creativity and collaboration. This 360-degree accountability creates respect and camaraderie.
Physical and mental stamina, emotional intelligence, and powerful habits that are reinforced every day across the company are all required for success. Determine why you exist as a company, and then set quantifiable objectives to achieve that aim. That’s how you get a laser-like focus. Translate a unified vision into a shared language, such as a mantra or phrase to properly understand its power.
The three core pillars of growth
The singularity of focus, the cadence of accountability, and strong procedures are the three key pillars of growth. This is part of the scaling formula.
Having a clear focus can be transformative because it unites you and your team behind a lofty goal. Everything you do should be filtered with that purpose in mind. The idea behind a cadence of accountability is to break down a huge objective into monthly, weekly, and daily actions, then track your success to keep things moving forward. The hustle and grind will only leave you exhausted and resentful. Because systems drive scalability, a good process will always produce good results.
If no one knows about your company, how can you expect it to grow? Concentrate on marketing, namely growth hacking and content marketing. The former consists primarily of data-driven/repeatable solutions, whereas the latter has both long-term value and viral potential. For streetwise startups, the two are frequently the go-to solutions. Also, don’t forget to devote a significant amount of time to social media platforms, as here is where content lives, breathes (and performs) the best.
These are some important tips I believe can help take a startup global. One overarching mental tip for anyone looking to scale up is to move with urgency. Set specific timelines for action and achievements. One of the biggest mistakes startups make is not operating with enough urgency. You’re in a marathon, but it includes many sprints. Start winning the little races and you’ll create momentum!
Amit Khanna is the founder of www.7startup.vc and has 19 years of experience with Startups and the Enterprise, holds an MBA, focusing on Growth and Investments. Amit supports Startups, Family offices, and VCs as an Advisor.