A guide to scaling for first-time founders
Scaling a startup for the first time can be an intimidating proposition. Success or failure is what awaits during and at the end of the scaling process. So what do founders need to do to maximise their chance of success and limit the chance of failure? Well, you have likely heard of the 5 Ps of marketing well here are the 4 Ps of successful scaling for you to consider.
1) Process – To scale a business you don’t just need processes but those processes need to be documented and well understood. While scaling you will likely need to onboard new staff very quickly. Documented processes speed up onboarding and ensure consistency as you are scaling.
2) Promotion – Probably the most important aspect of scaling is promotion. You need to be a champion for your business and promote it in any and every way you can. Without promotion, without marketing how do you expect to secure the customers you need to scale. Your promotion strategy needs to be equal to the growth you are forecasting to achieve. But most importantly you need to be their biggest promoter of your brand. Promotion drives sales, sales create revenue which generates cashflow which is needed if you want to keep scaling.
3) Profit – Ultimately profit is your goal, but it is not the only option. A lot of startups raise cash to fund growth and delay profits until they are much larger. Another option however is to achieve slightly slower but also more sustainable growth and fund that growth with profits.
4) People – Once you have the first 3 completed you can finally start to add people. You will need people to scale and a lot of them if you are going to scale big. If you start growing your people count ahead of the business being ready to scale you risk putting the cart before the horse.
TAKEAWAY: Scaling is a scary and intimidating process, especially the first time around. Experience makes the process easier but being prepared to scale makes it even easier. Having your process, promotion, profit and people sorted streamlines your growth.