When you scour the World Wide Web for startup tips, it is often geared towards starting up. It is like everything is all about turning your business idea into reality.
But what if your startup is all up and running? What should be your next step?
Enter: Scaling up.
Scaling is the process of making your startup grow without increasing your resources. It is like sending an email to ten or 100 people using the same effort and energy.
If you are curious how you can make your startup scale successfully, make sure to follow these tips:
Ask Whether Your Business is Scalable
Sure, your product can help solve many people’s problems. However, it is not always the reason your business is growing.
According to Forbes columnist Martin Zwilling, 90% of small businesses are family businesses. They are inherently small by design, but they are also successful and satisfying.
As such, consider whether scaling is right for your startup. If the growth would come at a high cost, perhaps it is not for you. Instead, you can increase your profit and stay successful using lean management.
Remember Not to Go Overboard
In relation to the previous point, you should keep in mind not to go overboard in the following areas:
- It is imperative to stay lean while scaling your business. Only hire the people you need unless you want your people to take away your core competencies.
- When you hire too many people, you need to increase your budget. Instead, focus your finances on enhancing your minimum viable product.
- While it is essential to improve your MVP, you should not go crazy about it. What’s important is your product should do one thing better than its competitors.
Remember: The key to scaling up is growing your business without increasing your resources.
Know the Core of Your Startup before scaling
Before you take your startup to the next level, you must know your core product, target customers, and marketing channels.
Mind you, out of 3,200 startups observed by The Startup Genome, only 26% are able to scale up.
If you want to be one of them, ensure that you have a minimum viable product. Next is to check whether your MVP suits your target market’s needs.
Lastly, identify which marketing channels and strategies are able to bring in more return-on-investment. That way, you can take advantage of the tactics that work for your startup.
Scaling Your Startup: Have you reached a Product-Market Fit?
The product-market fit is when your MVP meets your target customers’ needs. What you need to do is identify your target market and understand their needs.
If you are a life science startup, consider whether your market is end consumers or distributors, or both. From there, you would know whether you should reformulate your cough syrup or improve your fulfillment process.
Creating a product-market fit does not have to be grand. As mentioned earlier, make your product better at one thing compared to your competitors.
Who knows? Offering same-day delivery might be a deal-breaker for your ideal customers.
Secure Your Funding
Now that you know your startup’s core and whether it can meet your customers’ needs, the next step is to secure your funding.
But why should you know the core of your business? That’s because this is one factor that many venture capitalists look into.
A startup’s scalability and potential opportunity size play a role in the amount of funding you can generate.
But that does not mean you should pitch to every VC known to man. Instead, look into equity firms relevant to the niche you are serving or the industry you are in.
If you are in the life science industry, for example, you might want to pitch at Biosprings Partners. It is a private equity firm co-founded by Michelle Dipp and Jennifer Lum, and they invest in growth-stage life sciences technology companies.
Build Your Tech Stack
Here’s the thing: When you are scaling up and securing your funding, you have more to lose if you are not careful. Thus, you should build your tech stack.
These are software and tools that are essential for your startup to grow. However, a tech stack can vary from one startup to another.
In your case, that would mean having a reliable web host, CRM software, and marketing automation platform. And for others, their tech stack could include an e-commerce platform with a dependable fulfillment system.
Automate and Outsource
If you want to scale your startup with ease, one of the things you need to do is streamline your processes. This includes identifying parts of your operation that you can automate or outsource.
For instance, your email marketing campaign is something that you can outsource and automate.
An outsourcing team can handle your email copy. Once it is proofread and good to go, you can plug it into your email marketing platform. You can also schedule when it will be sent to your subscribers.
Automating and outsourcing different parts of your business allows you to focus on things that matter.
Scaling Your Startup Without You
The beauty of automating and outsourcing your process is that you can separate yourself from your systems. This allows you to generate profit while sleeping.
But to do that, you need to streamline and simplify your processes. It must be repeatable and understandable. So, even if you disappear, someone can step in and know exactly what to do.
Without a coherent system that is easy to duplicate, your startup will fall into ruin.
Scaling can be a make-or-break situation for your startup. Do it recklessly, and it can lead to organizational problems. Do it slowly, and you might miss key opportunities.
As such, you need to tread carefully. And you can do that by following these tips:
- Ask whether your business is scalable
- Remember not to go overboard
- Know the core of your startup
- Create a product-market fit
- Secure your funding
- Build your tech stack
- Automate and outsource
- Make your startup work without you
Keep these tips in mind while planning the next step for your business. Doing so ensures that you can scale up successfully. If you’re new in business, learn how to market your startup step by step.