Home Columnists  Karani Nyamu on 5 Essential Steps to Successfully Scale Up Your Startup

 Karani Nyamu on 5 Essential Steps to Successfully Scale Up Your Startup

by Karani Nyamu
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Many companies start out as small or medium sized businesses. Along the way, few will go on to become multinationals while many will either close down or remain mediocre for years or even decades to come. There are several means you can use to scale up your firm.

Remember, as you expand, you are also trying to make the business self-sufficient. A scaled up company, which is still dependent on you will make you burn out soon enough. A scaled up firm is one that eventually develops self-sustaining systems and departments within itself.

Prioritize: At any point in time you have to decide what is actually critical to the growth of the business and what is not. Scaling up is not about doing more, it’s about doing better with lesser effort. It’s critical to list down the top 3-5 key objectives and pursue them with single-minded determination. A well-designed goal ensures the firm reaps disproportionately large rewards from the lesser effort.

Mindset and Culture: Scaling up means responsibility increases and scope of responsibilities expands. It’s possible for employees to continue reasoning with the small business mentality even at the point where the range has tripled or quadrupled. As you scale up, take the time to have a conversation with each employee to explain to them what the scaling up will mean to them and require of them.

Systematise Everything:  Scaling up will mean the quality, standardisation, and volume expected from the firm increases. The foremost thing to do is to mechanise and systemize as many company processes as possible. Creating systems within the enterprise ensures that processes are not dependent on any individual. Meanwhile, controls ensure that there are metrics for each process. It also creates a means for feedback, boundaries and self-management.

Managing Synergy: The chances are that as you scale up different systems will lose sight of what other systems do within the same firm. This silo-thinking with destroy any sense of synergy within the organisation. From the get-go, be deliberate about creating points of synergy and feedback loops between different systems. Synergy is a momentum booster that when it lost systems start destroying each other rather than cooperating for the greater good.

Selecting Your Team: One of the toughest truths you’ll have to face is that not everyone you’ve worked with will be able to function in a scaled up position. It’s critical for you to interview everyone afresh based on the new job descriptions. Those who are out of their depth can be let go, as newer talents come in to take their space. For the loyal, diligent but ill-equipped employees you can retrain, change their positions or help them transition.

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