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  • Writer's pictureBarsha Singh

Scaling up and Growth strategies for a start-up

So, you've started a new company, secured finance, developed a product, and established a brand. However, it is not scaling after some early success. So, what exactly do you do?

You are not alone if you find yourself in this scenario. In reality, only one out of every five incumbents are able to scale their firm following early success. That's not surprising in the tumultuous world of start-ups, but it's still a depressing failure rate—and it doesn't have to be that way.

More than 60% of scaling initiatives can succeed, based on our experience with hundreds of organizations creating enterprises. This huge increase in success rates should be encouraging news for major incumbents seeking fresh growth in the face of extraordinary economic problems.

Businesses prosper by controlling costs and promoting innovation, as we've seen in previous economic downturns. Given the massive digital migration that happened during COVID-19, digital innovation—from direct-to-consumer models to remote services—must be prioritized.

It's not only about growth when it comes to running a successful business; it's also about size.

Growth entails increasing resources at the same pace as income. Consider a corporation that gets a client, employs additional personnel to serve them, and increases revenue at the same time that it increases costs. This is a common occurrence in many professional service-based company structures. The firm is theoretically expanding, but it is not scaling.

Scale refers to rapidly increasing income while gradually increasing resources. Google,, and Citirx are examples of companies that have expanded successfully. They've figured out how to swiftly increase customers while requiring fewer new resources, resulting in continuous growth and improving margins over time.

Scaling growth entails developing business models and constructing your organization in such a manner that it can readily expand in order to create constant revenue growth and prevent stalls without incurring significant additional costs and/or resources.

The value is in scaling new firms.

While most businesses concentrate on starting new ones, the true value comes from the ability to grow them up. According to a study of US venture capital (VC) statistics, when a firm expands up to reach a major section of the target market, it creates two-thirds of its value. Venture Capitalist companies are well aware of the value of their investments. 63 percent of the $135 billion invested by US venture capital companies in 2018 was used to help successful start-ups grow their product or service (series C funding and later)

Let us walk you through a 5-step process for determining your company's strategic direction:

1. Begin with the "big picture" of your objectives. Your company's goal, vision, and purpose - where you want to be in three years, for example.

2. Make a list of the goals you wish to attain. Your goal, vision, and purpose will be shown through the "stepping stones." In terms of your markets, people, and money, as well as your goods, services, and innovation, make your goals SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.

3. Determine which members of your team (the "doers") will be responsible for achieving each goal. Those who are most equipped, capable, and enthusiastic about the goals and the portion of the vision that they fulfill.

4. Determine what you need to accomplish, as well as your tactics for achieving those goals. Those goals, if you've established them, aren't being met right now! What must your company and its "doers" do differently to achieve those goals? Sub-strategies must be described in depth in action plans.

5. Identify additional resources and supporters that will be necessary to carry out the strategy. This is included into the strategy and business plan budget.

As thorough as it is, this procedure may be completed in as little as four days for a small business, particularly when aided by an impartial third party.

Make sure you address the following 8 factors that optimize corporate value throughout the above strategy process, especially given the uncertainties of today's economic and political climate:

1. Financial performance - to boost earnings and make future profit streams more predictable.

2. Growth potential — your company's capacity to grow regionally, horizontally, and vertically.

3. Resilience - decreasing dependence on a single customer, supplier, financial source, or individual

4. Cash creation - this is accomplished via effective working capital management.

5. Recurring income - so you don't have to start from beginning each month.

6. Long-term competitive advantage, or a protective'moat,' as Warren Buffett calls it.

7. Customer satisfaction - sought with zeal, discipline, and enthusiasm; objectively measured

8. Independence from "owners" or single persons - systematizing your firm and building a high-performing management team that can work in a transparent and accountable manner.

Here are six things to explore when you contemplate growing your startup or early-stage company.

  • Put together a fantastic team.

CEOs and founders often attribute their firms' success to their top-notch employees. Scaling up takes a lot of effort from devoted individuals. Your core team members are undoubtedly rock stars at their professions if you've progressed beyond the start-up phase.

When interviewing and hiring new workers in the growth stage, seek for persons who will be your "hidden gems" or employees who are much superior to their peers. Make sure you're assessing potential workers on their competencies, how well they correspond with key values, whether they'll fit into your business culture, and if they have the same character qualities as your present team members.

This individual should have the entrepreneurial attributes that typical Venture Capitalists seek for when evaluating start-up CEOs—risk taking, starting new projects, test-and-learn approach, charismatic leadership.

  • Stay Focused on Your Business Goals

Ensure that your personal and corporate objectives are in harmony. It might be tough to keep track of what's going on across your company when the number of people grows and you build specialized divisions.

To avoid misalignment, maintain a regular communication rhythm to keep informed about what everyone is working on. Goal-oriented communication, in particular, may assist keep everyone in your firm focused on your goals and more likely to execute strategically as you grow.

Set objectives for each quarter, year, and many years in the future. Include a brief market study as well as a pitch for investors (VCs/ Angel Investors)

  • Maintain Your Values Taking Control of Your Interactions

Keep in mind what makes your firm unique. It might be tempting to break from your declared ideals in order to take advantage of new possibilities when a company grows fast. Keep your company's values "alive" by ensuring that your leadership team refers to and demonstrates them often.

You can scale up without sacrificing your mission, but it will need great thought and attention on the part of the leadership team.

You can set your firm up for high levels of development even after you've passed the start-up stage if you keep these three things in mind. Use these strategies to avoid being held back by the growth stage, and you may join the 4% of American businesses that generate more than $1 million in sales.

  • Learn How to Lead A Team.

"The bottleneck is usually at the very top of the bottle," says the narrator. — Drucker, Peter

Delegation is a skill that great leaders possess. You can't (and won't) accomplish everything on your own. People and their changing roles in the organization, especially within the leadership team, are the most difficult decisions to make as your company grows.

Invest time and effort in understanding how to successfully manage your team so you don't become entangled in duties that should be handled by others.

The following are five actions that effective managers engage in:

  • Assist others in maximizing their talents.

  • Don't become demotivated; instead, begin "dehassling."

  • Set clear expectations for employees and provide them with a clear line of sight.

  • Recognize and thank those who have helped you.

  • Employ fewer people but compensate them better.

  • Consider money from outside investors.

While investor (VCs/ Angel Investors) money sounds nice, you should also explore for methods to get money from sources other than investors. There are now additional options to test your proposal to determine whether it is practical as well as generate money without involving investors.

  • There Are Business Opportunities Everywhere

Don't let trends blind you to the fact that there are business possibilities everywhere. With the emergence of several technological businesses in recent years, it may seem that this area is the only route to succeed. But this is just not the case.

Kimbal Musk, Elon Musk's younger brother, opted to join the food sector and is presently creating waves in the United States and throughout the globe by transforming the way people perceive, create, and consume food.

It's better to keep your eyes open for opportunities rather than simply following what's popular right now.

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