Starting a business is one thing; adapting to a more significant workload without compromising on your qualities is another, entirely. A lot of small businesses reach a comfortable stage pretty quickly, but when it comes to achieving that massive growth, many will fall at the first hurdle.
Primarily, this is due to unpreparedness. Running a company with a team of ten is a vastly different experience than running a business with multiple offices and hundreds of staff, for example – yet despite this, few inexperienced startup owners with the right systems, people, and ideas in place to make it happen.
With this in mind, here are some handy hints to show you the right way to go about creating a scalable startup.
Given that almost three-quarters of all startups fail because they try and scale too early, it’s essential to get the basics right. First of all, there are a few things to get to grips with before you even launch your product. Is there a genuine market for your idea, or are you creating something there isn’t a demand for? Which marketing channels offer your highest possible returns on your investment? And do you have the resources available to scale quickly – we’re talking people, money, and materials?
As discussed at entrepreneur.com, it takes a long time to set up a robust business. You need a lot of systems and processes installed to ensure that everything one person can do now, can be replicated by multiple people at a later date. You might benefit from using the cloud, too – take your IT systems as the perfect example. As refreshtech.com point out, using an in-house system might work fine when you are operating on a small scale. But you need to plan for explosive growth, or you just won’t be able to meet demand. Using something like cloud services is the perfect solution for startups, so take advantage wherever possible.
Outsource what you can
It’s not just IT that needs outsourcing. While the big firms are getting into ‘in-house everything’ these days, the reality for startups is that unless you have an unlimited budget, it’s a costly exercise that is unlikely to pay off. The solution is to outsource as many non-essential roles as possible. Take a graphic designer, for example. You don’t need them every day of the year, so only use a freelancer or third-party studio as and when you need them. It’s important to be as lean as possible, at least until you reach a particular size.
Get used to delegation.
When you build a business from the ground up, there is a real temptation to take on everything yourself – it kind of goes with the territory. But it’s also a danger sign, because if you are micromanaging everyone now, it’s going to be impossible when you grow. It’s crucial to start delegating at an early stage, so that your key team members are all comfortable with their work, and happy to take the reins when you aren’t around.
Do you have any tips for scaling a startup? Share your knowledge below in the comments!