If you’re going to scale up your startup, here is bad news for you:
70% of startups scale up prematurely along some dimension. What’s the impact of premature scaling up?
My friend, 74 % of high growth Internet startups fail due to premature scaling, as found in the Startup Genome Report that analyzed 3200+ high growth startups on premature scaling.
So scaling a startup is a scary business. If you want your startup to get off the ground, you should be well prepared.
In today’s post, I’m going to discuss the ten-point checklist for scaling up your startup.
Without further ado, let’s dive in:
1. Core Products Reached Market Fit?
According to Andreessen, “product/market fit means being in a good market with a product that can satisfy that market.”
My friend, product market fit is the first thing you should check even before you think scaling up your startup.
Business gurus have referred market fit as a first step to creating a successful venture in which a startup meets early adopters, gets feedbacks, and gauges customers’ interest in its products.
Have your core products reached market fit? If the answer is ‘No’, you should wait for more time to scale up your startup.
2. Found Your Largest Core Users?
Who are the largest core users of your products? Do you have the complete data of such customers? Do you know what their pain points are?
Knowing your largest core users is a must if you are thinking about scaling up your startup. You should research everything you possibly can about your core users.
Understand the buyer’s journey and create a customer empathy map to get the insight into your customers’ minds.
Without founding your largest core users, scaling up your startup business will be futile.
3. Discovered Marketing Channels with The Highest ROI?
When a business expands, the marketing budget also goes up to meet the business objectives. It’s very important for every business to discover the market channel that offers the highest return on investment.
My friends, not all marketing channels, be it email or search engine marketing, equally perform when it comes to getting the ROI.
Have you discovered yet the marketing channel with the best return on your investment?
Is it email marketing, is it search engine marketing, or is it social media marketing? Be sure about it before scaling up your startup.
4. Marketing Automation in Place?
Being a startup owner, you might not be having the mammoth marketing budget. That is why marketing automation is a game changer for startups and small businesses.
Here are the top benefits of marketing automation:
- You can focus on the right buyers
- You can align sales and marketing
- You can reach buyers wherever they are
- You can achieve a new level of efficiency
Marketing automation will also reduce the sales cycle and improve lead management.
So, my friend, before taking any step to scale up your startup, you should check whether marketing automation is in place or not.
5. Plan to Tap a New Market?
You cannot rely totally on your existing market and products if you have a desire to scale up your business.
You must have a strategy to tap a new market. Whether you plan to explore a new market with your existing product or you think about creating a new product for the different market, a plan must be there.
Are you ready with your plan to tap a new market?
6. Set up HR department and Payroll Processing?
When you consider scaling up your business, it simply means you need to cover a bigger landscape. And to do so, you will need to hire skilled people. This simply means you will have to set up an effective HR department and hassle-free payroll processing. Have you thought it out?
Many startups struggle to streamline their operations after scaling up just because there is the scarcity of good people.
So, my friend, set up HR department and payroll processing before you scale up your business.
7. Set up Training Process for New Hires?
Well, the people you are going to hire during the scale up of your startup might need brief training. I agree with you that you will look for the skilled people. But the whole startup business is your unique idea. And you understand it more than body else.
So, sometimes, you may need to train the new joinees to align them to your objective. Have you set up a training process for the new hires? Have you prepared training modules? If not, then you must complete this task first before thinking about scaling up your business.
8. Chosen a partner to outsource non-core tasks?
Even if you are thinking about scaling up your business, you are still a startup. And being a startup means crunched for time and stripped for cash.
Instead of hiring people for each and every task in your office, it is better that you should outsource non-core tasks like data entry work to other company. This will not only save you time but also save you money.
Tell me, my friend, have you chosen a partner to outsource non-core tasks?
9. Excuse Yourself?
Even though you have planted the seed of your business, your business is not about you. It is about an idea and to make this idea a reality. If you are thinking about scaling up, your business should be able to function without you.
Your business should be able to make money when you are sleeping, relaxing or building something new.
If it is true for your business, you can go ahead with scale up.
10. Ensured Enough Funding?
With the growth of a business grows the need for investment to keep things on the track. Whether it is hiring the skilled people or market automation, you will need more money to get going. Have you found investors?
Funding works as a fuel to scale up a business. My friend, never, I mean never, think about scaling up your business if you haven’t ensured enough funding for the business.
Scaling up a startup is a double-edged sword. You need to make a calculative decision. Follow this checklist, and you will know when it is the right time to go off the ground.