There is plenty of help and advice available for start-ups, but for businesses that have entered a ‘scale-up’ phase of rapid growth, success can bring a new set of challenges.
Hiring the right people
As the size of your workforce increases and the influence of each new employee on the business as a whole decreases, it becomes easier for people less well-suited to be hired. It will also become more difficult to maintain a good balance in your workforce as different areas grow and develop their own requirements.
Having a long-term plan and investing in a proper recruitment process are crucial in helping you to find the right people, as well as in avoiding ‘knee-jerk’ hiring to fix short-term issues in problem areas.
Finance and cashflow
When it comes to funding, the level and sources available are likely to be very different to the ones you used to start the business. Whether you choose to raise funds by taking on debt (and the associated pressures of meeting repayment demands) or releasing equity (and thereby possibly relinquishing full control), this is a complex matter that will require careful thought and professional advice.
Systems and IT
Having the right IT systems in place is essential – without them an increase in orders can quickly become a major headache. As a business owner, you will also find it much harder to keep track of how the business is doing than you did in the early stages and you will increasingly rely on good data and management information systems.
Sales and marketing
As you scale upwards you may find that your focus has to move away from straightforward sales and order-taking and towards indirect marketing and promotional activities, geared towards educating your customers and building your brand.
Vision and leadership
In a scale-up phase you may need to delegate a great deal of the day-to-day running of the business. As well as the additional time pressures, it is essential that you have the energy to maintain the business’s values and culture, and the flexibility to seize new opportunities.
If you’d like to talk about any aspect of growing your business, please contact us.