6 Tips on How to Scale Your Startup

Lynn Bizri, Apr 27 2017

Scaling a business isn’t easy, too fast and the startup could stumble when entering new markets or geographies, too slow and it could mean death. According to ArabNet’s ‘The State of Digital Investments in MENA’ report, the a large number of startups typically become inactive after the their first round of funding, and according to another study by Startup Genome, 74% of startups fail due to scaling prematurely. With a large percentage of startups (around 70%) struggling with scalability, or the ability to multiply revenue with minimal cost, we thought we would share with you 6 tips on how to scale your startup successfully.

1. Clear Vision 
In order to create a sustainable business, entrepreneurs must have a clear vision for the future of their startup and think about the different ways the product or service will be relevant over the next couple of years. Without a clear vision, the startup won’t be able to adjust to new trends or technologies and thus won’t be scalable.

2. Foolproof Fundamentals
Before scaling, entrepreneurs must know their core products, customers, and marketing channels by asking themselves the following questions:

  • Do I have a minimum viable product and achieved product-market fit?
  • Do I know who my primary customers are?
  • Do I know what marketing channels offer the best ROI?
  • Do I have the capital to scale?

If the answer to any of these questions is ‘no’, it’s probably not the right time to scale just yet. 

3. Automate or Outsource
Scaling a labor-intensive startup can be difficult, so entrepreneurs must figure out how to streamline processes and core operational functions such as payroll, data storage, marketing, hiring, etc. Only the most essential roles should stay in-house, and everything not directly related to core competencies should be either automated or outsourced.

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4. Create Management Structure
In order for a CEO to focus on key areas and successfully operate a growing team, a management structure with departments and department heads must be created. Empowering each manager and employee to be able to operate autonomously with only limited strategic guidance is key to transitioning to a growth stage company.

5. Show Restraint
Hiring, spending and building are three areas where entrepreneurs must show restraint while scaling their business. By staying lean, keeping spending focused on growing the business, and doing one thing better than anyone before starting to build new products, entrepreneurs can scale sooner and more effectively.

6. Focus on Marketing
A business cannot scale if no one knows about it. Therefore, entrepreneurs should focus on marketing and specifically content marketing, in order to scale. These days, heavy marketing is required to make a startup visible and scalable amid the floods of information.

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