Can You Handle Success? Scaling Your Business

If your start-up takes off as quickly as you hope, will you be able to handle the growth? How can you prepare to scale?

Everyone hopes that their start-up will grow into a large, profitable company, but accomplishing that takes time and planning. Don't try to grow your business too quickly without a plan. Ensure that your path is smooth even if it means going slowly. Rapid growth without the necessary manpower and funds leads to overworked, dissatisfied employees, and ultimately heightens the chance of bankruptcy.

To avoid creating an overwhelming amount of work or having to hire a larger team, look for every opportunity to automate. This includes everything from emails to production to shipping. While certain points may require individual attention, automation for routine tasks will reduce your workload and the possibility of human error. For example, a person might forget to send out a shipping notification, but if notifications are an automated process, they'll always go out.

When in the planning stages, make sure you have the capacity to change easily. For example, if you're planning to release more products down the line, don't build the website around your initial product so you have to completely redesign it before you can release a new product. Make sure it's also easy to add new customers or improved features.

As you prepare to scale, look at your initial data on customer demand and production time. Make reasonable predictions on the targets you can expect to hit at certain milestones. Set clear goals with everyone on your team as to how to reach these targets.

Finally, thoroughly test your system to make sure it can handle it. Will it crash if you suddenly get double the traffic to your website? How about if you get 10 times as much traffic? Find out whether you can handle it before you actually scale to that level.


Don't go out too fast
Look for ways to automate
Ensure that you have the capacity for change
Analyse your data and make realistic projections
Test that your system can handle it