How to effectively scale up your startup

By Lee Hudson

Knowing when to scale up your startup is challenging.

Over the past couple of years, many businesses have had to completely re-work their strategy. From changing their working environment to adopting technologies that had previously been considered unnecessary.

All this, can mean that when it comes to scaling up your startup, knowing the right time can be difficult. When the business landscape is so different now than it was even just a year ago, it’s important to start your scale-up at the right time and with the right knowledge.

There are many things to consider before taking the leap to scale up your startup.

Is your business scalable and do you want to do it?

Some things to consider include:

  • Do you have a viable product, and does it fit the market?
  • Are you financially prepared to take the risk? As with any new business venture, it’s important to have funds available for unexpected costs you may incur.
  • Does your marketing strategy reflect the scale up of your startup? Marketing is important for any business, but if you plan to scale up, your marketing should reflect this. Whether it’s targeting new audiences or launching a product in a different country, your marketing strategy needs to reflect the direction your business is going.

Here are some handy tips when it comes to successfully scaling up.

Outsource where you can

When you decide to scale up, you can easily find yourself being pulled in a million different directions. The chances are, there will be more marketing to do, more hiring, and more business planning.

So, it’s important to outsource and automate where you can. Doing this, means you can ensure whilst the work is getting done, you still have time to focus on your core business aims.

Things you can automate may include social media, payroll and training. But where you can’t, outsourcing may be the best option.

You might think you’re the only person capable enough to do that specific task to the standard you want, but the chances are that isn’t the case. Taking on too much can cause burn out and will only halter your business growth. Knowing when and what to delegate is key to scaling up.

Align your marketing with your goals

The importance of marketing often gets reduced by many businesses. But when you’re scaling up and wanting to reach new customers, it’s vital you’ve got a solid marketing strategy and messaging to reflect this.

Are you on the same platforms as your target audience? Is the content your posting engaging them and helping increase sales? Just because your current marketing may be working, doesn’t mean that it will translate to a wider audience. Not getting this right can have the opposite impact and alienate the market.

So, creating a plan in preparation is important. When done right, marketing can be used to attract partners, investors, and employees.

Hire the right talent

There is never a more important time to bring in the right talent than when you’re scaling up. It’s not just finding the right people who can do the job, it’s finding those who have the same mindset and values that reflect your business.

By using a recruitment partner that understands your business and knows what you want to achieve, it means time and valuable resources can be saved. And:

  • Your recruitment processes can become streamlined and slick (keeping applicants interested)
  • Your ‘message to market’ is concise and mirrors the brand you’ve built
  • You’re guaranteed to find the best applicant through advertising and headhunting (there is no race against other recruiters)
  • Your time spent dealing with recruiters is kept to a minimum

Manage the increase in data flow

The bigger your business, the more data and operations you’ll be required to process and manage. To do this effectively, there are several software solutions. For example, a CRM (customer relationship management) system will store vast amounts data. It helps manage interactions with existing, past and potential customers.

Just like it’s important to introduce processes to help increase efficiency, it’s important to identify processes slowing it down. Consider what could be automated and how much value you gain from each activity. By making room for potential innovation and change, there is opportunity to work more effectively.

Scaling will come with challenges. But, with the right team and processes in place it’s possible to scale up your startup successfully.

At Gibson Watts, we have a passion for helping small business grow. We’re currently working with businesses on their journey to scaling up. If you would like to find out more about how we can help your start-up grow, then please do reach out. We’re always up for a virtual coffee to discuss all things startup!

Written by Lee Hudson, Director at Gibson Watts.

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