The Challenge of Scaling Up [Forbes]

Scaling a start up is a real trick. Scale at a speed beyond your company’s capabilities and you can end up in over your head. Scale too slowly and you risk losing momentum and vital opportunities. But it is a trick that any entrepreneur with vision must learn to pull off.

Fairbairn says: “Each time your business doubles everything seems to break; your sales process, finance processes, management information flow, so every time your company doubles in size, you end up re-designing every process you have.

“The challenge lies in predicting this and updating your processes before they break, but when scaling really quickly, all your processes and procedures are under pressure all the time, so it is hard to spot which one is about to fail next.”

“Start-ups, even well funded ones, need to conserve cash and spend smart. Most companies have multiple ‘engines’ such as sales, marketing, production, and customer support.  We decided to ‘scale-up’ our sales organisation and used progress KPIs to determine when we needed to scale up the other ‘engines’ of the business. Some were faster to scale up than others and in some cases the lag negatively impacted customer experience.”

Three ‘Must Dos’ For A Smooth Scale Up

  1. Hire well.
  2. Fire well.
  3. Hire great managers early.

Curated from “The Challenge of Scaling Up [Forbes]


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