Often a times, most startup businesses have steadily reached a point where they no longer fit the definition of being a startup. That is, they no longer can be seen as a company or organization that is in the infant stages. Instead, it has reached the level, one step at a time, to a company that knows the demand of the product in the market place and has a stable economic inflow. In other words, it has reached the stage of Scaling Up.
Now, when you are an owner of a startup business, and have invested a lot of your time, energy and money in that business, then it is only natural for some to forget to take a step back, and evaluate the progress of their companies. All the while, skipping to identify that their companies no longer meet the bench mark of a startup business but have come to a point where they need to think about Scaling Up.
How does one know that their business is now ready for Scaling up? What are the indicators that flash ‘scale up’ all over their businesses? Here is a list of simple indicators to let you know that it is about time, you start working on the scaling up of your startup business ideas.
- Your leadership and their attitude is evidently different when you reach a scale up to when you began as a startup. As the functionality of your company increases, with increase in the number of roles, the job of handling the team becomes hectic. When you feel the need, that you need more experienced individuals to manage the team, that is the point where you can successfully call yourself a scale up.
- You know roughly how much your financial returns are. Simply put, when you reach the economic stability in your businesses and you know roughly how much amount is coming back to you based on the product demand in market or the product-market fit, then that stage is a clear indication for you to begin scaling up of the startup business.
- You are certain that your company guarantees better and stronger prospects to the investors. Having a substantial amount of financial backing with a steady return income, an efficient team and a product that has market demand features, is enough proof that you can start scaling up your business.
- You no longer need to be all over the place. When any business is starting, the funding has to be used sensibly, which is why you end up with a team that is competent enough to handle any challenge that arises. You cannot afford to hire specific people for specific roles. However, when you reach the stage where ‘deletion’ is necessary to cut down on the team and allotting specific roles to members is essentially required, then that is the time for you to scale up the business.
- You have to think twice before you take any risks. When you are a startup, in its initial stages, you do not care about how many or what kinds of risks that you take. You are experimenting and there is no loss in it. However, when you feel like your company has reached a level where taking risks is going to affect not only the company, its members, the customers, the product sales or investors, etc. then your company is on the scale up stage. You need to be careful in experimenting with new ideas.
- You begin to develop a systematic and professional approach. Generally, when you are experimenting different ways in order to see what works best for your company or product campaign then there is very limited systematic approach. There is more variation in handling certain things every time they are dealt with. But, when you reach a level where everything has been organized in to a standard linear form, and has a set pattern to addressing them, then that is the point where you can call yourself as a scale up.
Consequently, if you feel that you check most of the above points, then you can give yourself a pat on the back, because you have come a long from being a startup business to a company that is now a scale up!
Bodilly, S., Keltner, B., Purnell, S., Reichardt, R., & Schuyler, G. (1998). Lessons from New American Schools’ scale-up phase. Santa Monica, CA: Rand, 79-84.