Six tips for scaling up your start-up

Six tips for scaling up your start-up

Scaling a business carries a host of potential pitfalls. Where there is growth,there are inevitably growing pains.The good news is many can be avoided with the correct planning. Below are some tips to successfully scale a business.

Get your spreadsheet out – Gut feeling is key,but knowing the potential full cost of your decisions is important too.Running out of cash before a milestone is reached can destroy your start up.You need to stress test scenarios – don’t assume you’ve properly forecasted all your costs and customers.

Grow people from within – Make sure that those taking on people management roles know how to do it. It’s too easy to think that just because you know how to do something that your team does too. Keeping the opportunities flowing at a small company is important too. When expanding a team, consider promoting the best in the team to manager.

Hire people from without – Admit when you are missing key skills within the company and be open to help from those that have done it before. However, when hired, make sure they are flexible enough to think about how their new position is different from the one they had before.

Remember where you have been – We review our progress against key stats with the entire company once a quarter. It’s always a morale boost for people to see how their hard work has paid off and to remember how far we’ve come. Celebrating milestones keeps up momentum and engagement.

Focus on the future – Don’t let the day-to-day running of the company mean your leadership team is too busy to consider the future. Learn lessons from mistakes, consider re-organisations when necessary, listen to customers and be mindful of the market. Remember what the end goals of the business are and ensure that all boats are rowing in that direction.

Take responsibility – Remember that you need to be responsible and accountable for all decisions. Nothing should ever just happen – everything should be a result of conscious decisions about your people, products and processes. Growth is a balancing act, deciding which department needs the most investment and what the business priorities are.

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