Ask any investor out there about what attracts them to a startup company, and most will include the ability to scale up as one of their top priorities. The trouble for many startup owners is that they don’t quite understand what this means, or, indeed, how to go about it. The good news is that there are some common characteristics of scalable startups that you can take note from and use in your initial business plans. Let’s take a closer look.
A big idea
You might have an idea for a business that you, your family and friends all love. But unless you have a lot of market research that proves that idea is in with a shout, the chances are you will never impress an investor or bank manager who you will rely on to give you funding. Your idea has to be big – we’re talking double digit, rapid growth, here – and original, if you want it to scale up fast.
Unless you have 100% belief in your product, and 100% commitment to bringing it to the market, the chances are you will fail. Starting a business is an incredibly draining experience, and your passion for whatever it is you are doing will see you through the rough periods. Not only will your belief help you drive you through walls to succeed, but it will also do the same for the employees and teams that you lead.
You have to think one step ahead when you are building a scalable business, and that involves taking a lot of brave decisions. Should you start hiring people now, even though you can’t quite afford it yet? The simple answer is yes, you should – getting an assistant, for example, will help you free up time and energy to focus on growing your business right from the off.
No matter how much belief you have in your product, the simple truth is that you will fail without a robust and sound strategy. You will need to think carefully and deeply about planning your business if you want to take your business up a level successfully. Document your processes, account for every cent you spend and make sure everyone on your team is signing from the same hymn sheet.
Your business will have limited success if you aren’t prepared to look over the horizon. There are only so many people in your locality, and successful, scalable startups need to take a national – or international – approach. You will need to develop relationships with all kinds of people, from companies providing translation services to companies all over the world through to international business lawyers. You’ll need the ability to move quickly, too, as your competitors will take advantage if you don’t.
A solid team
You need people around you that you can trust to deliver the goods when you are a startup with plans to scale. Your team also needs experience of managing the huge change that can occur when a small business explodes in size. Hiring the right people at the right time will allow you to delegate better and spend more time working on your business, rather than working in it.
Hope this helps – good luck with the startup!