Statistics show that only half of startups will survive the first year of doing business, while Deloitte’s study finds the odds of such enterprises ascending to a scale-up is around 0.5, or 1 in 200.
While a startup is a new company with big growth plans, still experimenting with its product features, customer acquisition and segmentation, a scaleup has already proven its business model and has scalable revenue, customer growth, infrastructure and product.
Even though creating a scaleup may seem difficult to achieve, there are things you can do to push your startup in the right direction.
Be a leader
If you want your startup to rise to a scaleup, as a founder or a CEO or your company, you need to be the right kind of leader, dedicated to growth. This means you need to know how to set realistic growth goals and plan concrete actions to achieve them.
As scaling up requires an expanded skill set, try advancing your current skills as well as the skillset of your management team and your employees.
You can improve your own skills by finding a mentor, joining peers and professional groups, reading books, and using numerous online resources such as web portals and podcasts.
If your business plans include expanding to international markets, you should prepare yourself properly for such a step by learning the best ways to localize your offers, as well as the marketing and support systems. International trading and investing have their country-specific rules and laws your company needs to follow, so make sure to do proper research.
Getting legal advice from professionals in this area is highly recommended. Fortunately, you can easily get in touch with professionals who have expertise in international markets.
For example, if you’re considering investment in Indonesia, contact Invest Islands to get legal information and find more about investment opportunities. Delloite can be of incredible help when considering expanding to Central Europen and East European Markets. Focus on the markets you plan to expand to and gather all the relevant information.
Hire the right people
You can’t scale your growth if you don’t have the right people in your company. In other words, you need to hire for growth.
When considering your new hires, focus only on those who are necessary for the operation, and outsource all the rest. Your startup needs to stay flexible and agile to be able to quickly adapt to changes, so your employees need to be people with multifaceted skills, that can be easily transferred to different tasks.
So you would rather look for someone who wants to prove themselves, who is ready to put in extra hours and extra work than a well-experienced veteran in their niche, who is looking for peace and stability.
Also, consider the tasks you can outsource externally. Third parties can often be more efficient in handling some of the most demanding or time-consuming tasks, and trying to replicate such practices in your own company can take too much of your time and money.
Secure the sales
Scaling your business means you will sell more, so you need to ensure that you have the right structures in place to generate more sales. For starters you’ll need:
- An adequate lead flow so that you can generate the desired number of leads.
- Well-developed marketing systems that can track and manage the leads.
- Enough sales reps to follow the leads and close the deals.
- A perfectly functional system that can execute the orders efficiently.
- Efficient billing system.
With more sales, you’ll also need to scale your customer support. This means you’ll either need to hire new staff or outsource some of these tasks to an external agency.
You can also consider implementing new technology solutions, such as chatbots. When aiming at scalability, you can’t afford unhappy customers. Ensuring your customer support provides the best possible customer experience.
Go hard with marketing
Many startups are so preoccupied with technicalities that they don’t pay enough attention to their marketing strategies. But, for the growth and scaling of your business, your products and services need to become visible to your target audience.
Your unique value proposition also needs to be very clear to your prospective customers, as this is how you will differentiate your business from your competitors and start building your brand. This means you’ll need a thorough marketing plan, based on data and research, with clear objectives and defined actions.
To get the most out of your marketing campaigns, you need to find out what works best with your prospects and which marketing channels bring you the best ROI.
Take full advantage of various digital media channels, such as paid advertising, social media marketing, email marketing, SEO and content marketing.
Invest in technology
An important step in scaling your business is a shift from manual business practices. Try to standardize repeatable processes in your business and automate them with the help of new technologies. Such a shift can free up the time of your employees as well as your other resources.
You will have to make some investments initially, as you will need proper IT solutions and trained personnel, but the investment will soon pay off. According to Xero’s latest report, startups that invest in technology can expect much faster growth.
Think about automating some administrative tasks first, such as payments, customer data collection, scheduling appointments, and move on to automating other processes as well, by using chatbots, CRM, email automation etc.
If you play your cards right and approach your growth efforts strategically and professionally, scalability will follow.