Startups and scaleups are not two different types of companies but they are companies at different stages of growth. Scaling is a stage of growth that all successful startups eventually undertake but how do you know when the right time to start scaling is and how do you scale?
Here is what you need to do to start scaling your startup.
Go all in – Scaling is not just about growth, it is a commitment to be transformative to have an impact on your industry or even more broadly. Founders and their startups need to be 100% committed to this challenge. Scaling requires growth in the multiples not just an improvement on last year.
Refine your leadership style – Founders should always be working on improving themselves. To scale, you need to find yourself mentors and peer groups that can help you to improve your skills and abilities.
Build the right team – You need the right team in place before you start scaling. In the day-to-day, your team should operate like a well-oiled machine. Their skills should complement each other, they should effective problem solvers and able to adapt to changing situations.
Create partnerships - Don’t just focus on internal relationships but your external partnerships as well. Build relationships with customers, industry groups, suppliers and anyone else who is interested. Building a strong community around you will strengthen your position as you scale.
Standardise and automate – Scaling is all about repeatable and where possible automated business processes. The more automation and well-defined processes that are in place the easier it is to scale.
Finally, if you are doing all of these things, make sure to avoid these common mistakes that hinder your progress.
Lack of planning.
Delaying hiring or firing.
Management isn’t leadership.
Being too rigid.
TAKEAWAY: Scaling is a growth stage all startups need to go through if they are going to survive long term. However, it is also risky to do if you are not prepared. Surrounding yourself with a great team and well-structured and systemised processes gives you the best chance of success.