Before we look at how to scale a start-up, we must first understand what it means to “scale.” When someone finds their start-up, they do it with the intention that it will “scale.” Meaning what? Simply that it will grow exponentially in time—that it can go from handling ten clients to a thousand simultaneously.
If your start-up cannot scale, then you are going to get stuck at that size with the same ten clients and with that unchanging revenue for as long as the market will let you survive.
So, you think your start-up has got what it takes? Then, let us figure out together.
You do not start a business without having a plan for future growth. Every step you take, every decision you make, should ideally be working towards that growth. Time is a precious, fixed commodity. And you cannot waste it on a business with no potential for growth or spend all of it without making a move.
If something is not working, change it now.
Set goals on a fixed timeline if that is how you work.
Manage your time, prioritise your tasks, and discard what is unnecessary. You need to make a few sacrifices to make it work.
There are loopholes in every system. There are always shortcuts you can take and ambiguities you can exploit. But all these things have long-term consequences that you might neglect at the moment? The thinking is this: I can make money now, so let me make money now. But what about in a year, two years, three years when people find out how you made your money, and it tanks your reputation?
Every action has its equal and opposite reaction. Unfortunately, it is not just a law of physics. You can duck and weave now, but how long can you keep it up?
You cannot really scale until you have the customers to show. Customer acquisition is essential for all businesses. But it needs to be your focus if this is your goal.
You need to keep your customers happy—all the time. Your business runs because you can satisfy them and provide them with a service better than anyone else can. If they doubt the quality of your services, your products, or your professionalism, it can break your business. You will find no more references coming your way. But if you put in the effort to satisfy them, they will sing like a canary.
You might have come up with the idea for your business, worked day and night to get it off the ground, but in the end, your business is only as good as the employees in it.
So, it is time to start investing in them. It is not just an act of charity to give them bonuses or perks, paid parental leave, and medical insurance. It is a pragmatic move: you are showing them you know their worth. And in turn, they will work harder to prove that, yes, they are worth that and more.
Satisfied hard-working employees also make for an excellent work environment. These employees share your vision for the future and want to do their best and contribute to the workflow. Thus, they will create a positive, productive environment with everything giving it their all to accomplish business goals.
Once a businessman, always a businessman. You are always going to be evaluating your business, your product, your clients, and the market looking for ways to go big. The best way to do it: adapt to changing circumstances, and figure out ways to meet the market’s demands. Otherwise, you will fall into obscurity and become a nostalgic monument that people will like to remember now and then—that is if they remember you.
Focus on continuous improvement, optimizing your business, and make yourself valuable in the market, and you will grow. You will
reach new heights you have never seen before. Visualize the future. Now, work towards it.