Author: Rajesh Razdan, Founder and CEO, mCarbon
While starting a startup requires getting the basics right, scaling up needs precision with right systems, processes, people and plan. Not every business is constructed to be big. It is important to understand the right time for growing a business without incurring losses. Assuming a startup identifies when to cross the chasm, here are some practical techniques for building an industry dominating business.
1. Clarity of goal and vision
It will guide every choice that is made, both strategic and tactical, as you scale up to deliver broader and deeper impact. It must be clearly understood and stated explicitly as it is your compass. This is especially true in times of stress or when tough decisions are called for.
2. Building accountability
There may be nothing more crucial to a scaling organization than creating a strong sense of accountability, the idea that “I own the place and the place owns me.” You can create urgent, all-hands-on-deck accountability in any number of ways, but the goal is always the same: to bake in that constant pressure to do the right thing. Your specific solutions will depend on your company and the challenges you overcome as you scale. That’s what we mean by stamina. Scaling requires consistently taking many small actions that reinforce the qualities you want to scale, and taking those actions over and over again.
3. Hire the right people / collaborative leadership team
Hiring the right people is where most start-ups are likely to struggle. A weak or destructive team will always drain energy and will lead to slowing the processes. Your culture will change as you start managing through others; some of your original team members may not scale or like this environment. Connect people and cascade excellence. Exposing people to a conference, a few speeches, or a bit of training isn’t enough to fuel scaling. It requires building or finding pockets of excellence and, in turn, using them to guide and inspire the creation of more such pockets.
Build organizations where people feel “I own the place, and the place owns me.” Scaling starts and ends with individuals. Effectiveness spreads and sticks when people feel obligated to live the right mindset and equally compelled to hold others to the same standards.
4. Stretch your marketing dollars
Scaling a marketing team isn’t just about marketing. It’s about business requirements and the overall vision for the company. Many start-ups focus on their marketing plan (“sell it, then we can build it”). Once a concept is proven, however, scaling up a start-up requires careful attention to the operational details within the company. Only then will serious investors be convinced that the venture can deliver on its growth prospects. Also is equally important is the aspect of building the thought leadership and public relations.
5. Plan including goals, metrics and value identification
Create a steering group that tracks and meets the progress. These leaders may include board members and other critical players outside the day-to-day activity of the scale-up effort. Every member must understand and support the potential positive impact of the scaling opportunity. This group is responsible for big picture oversight, helping to make critical strategic decisions during implementation, as circumstances will inevitably change midstream.
6. Learn from other organisations
Find enterprises that are a good match your critical factors and have succeeded in their own growth. Conduct a real search to find these parallels in your industry or circumstances. Engage in face-to-face knowledge sharing. The value is stunning. You can expect to glean lessons learned on scope, execution, trouble spots, strategy, and tactics… plus get some really good guidance from people who have paid their dues.
7. Partnership and alliances
Identify the right partners for various reasons like market alliances, technology, strategic, depending upon the business plan that you are executing and actively seeking one. Scaling up means one needs to look at right partners, which can trigger in organic growth than merely the organic growth levers.
8. Progressive culture
Organizations are made up of people, inside and outside the org-chart. Regardless of imposed structure, these people work in communities and ultimately they contribute according to the social rules they have established. Therefore, every plan regardless of its logical excellence relies on engagement, support, and contribution, or it will fail.
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