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Merging Traffic Staff

June 5, 2017

How to Scale Up Your Startup

There’s an old saying in business, “grow or die,” that people have been throwing around for years. In principle, it makes sense to continue expanding services and client bases, but it’s just not always that practical. But if you’re finding that your startup is beginning to plateau, it may be time to consider how to scale up your startup.

Growing your startup from a fledgling company to a functioning business is called scaling. The idea is that once your company has become proficient at creating your product or service, it can be multiplied rapidly to increase the user or customer base.

When to Scale

Knowing when to scale is one of the hardest parts of the game. Too early, and you’ll have an underdeveloped product that can’t compete. Too late, and it’s very likely that other competitors will have taken the lead in the field, cutting into your competitive advantage. Here are a few signs that it’s getting close to time to begin scaling your startup.
  1. You can sell your product or service repeatedly without major modification.
  2. The marginal costs of attracting new customers is beginning to diminish.
  3. The business has the potential for market disruption in your modeling.
  4. The market has the room and longevity to support your product for many years.

Now these aren’t the only criteria for knowing when to scale, but if these ring true, it’s a sign that you’re on the right track. If you’re planning to grow your startup, then you’ll need the people who can make it happen. Finding the right talent and maintaining your culture can be one of the biggest challenges.

Finding Good Employees

The good news is that top talent is just as interested in working for startups as it is for long-established companies. So the right compensation package can attract the right people, and those people will ultimately be responsible for the success of your startup.

Hiring with the long term in mind is a great way to ensure the talent fits your needs. It can be an easy solution to hire just for your current needs, but that short-term thinking won’t do your business any favors. In addition, design the roles of your new hires in a scalable manner so what the employee is doing right now may grow into something else within a year’s time that fits your company’s needs.

Turnover can be very fast and loose within a new and growing startup. While you shouldn’t go around firing people for nothing, a fledgling company cannot support employees who drain resources without contributing very much.

Analyze This, That and Everything Else

As your team expands, you’ll no longer have such a close idea of what everyone is working on and the results of their efforts. That’s why it’s so important to get as much data as possible and analyze everything. Data, if properly collected, can give you great insight into what is working, what isn’t and where you can do better. Constantly assessing your market position will keep your strategy honed, your employees on task and your precious dollars well spent.
Scaling isn’t an easy task, but neither is starting a business. With the right people on your team, a solid vision and a demonstrably effective service or product, the hardest part is already done.

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