If you’re a startup founder, it's important to look for opportunities for growing your enterprise in the long term. Scalability is a crucial factor for success. It indicates progress not just in revenue, but also in other factors like risk tolerance, productivity, and innovation.
Still, the challenge can be daunting. According to an article from Investopedia, startups had a failure rate of 90% in 2019. As a matter of fact, only a handful of startups can make it past their 10th year of operation before going bust.
From a lack of research to limited capital, there are various ways your startup can fail. This shouldn't discourage you from making the journey towards startup success. By focusing more on scalability, your startup is guaranteed to thrive past the 10-year mark. Here are a few tips you should keep in mind:
1. Review your business model
Before launching your startup, it's important that you spend time analyzing your business model and checking if it has the potential to support the sustained growth of your startup. The best way to approach this is to use a business model canvas or BMC. This allows you to visualize your startup's potential to scale and develop a unique identity.
Through a BMC, you get to identify key partnerships, revenue streams, cost structures, activities, resources, and other factors that will fuel future growth. Once you have completed your BMC, you can determine what works, plan for the long term, and minimize the risk of failure.
2. Find your key strengths
What does your startup have that other startups lack? Determining key strengths is crucial to know how your startup can compete against other enterprises in your market.
For this, don't just focus on filling up the gap between you and your competitors. Instead, concentrate on enhancing core products and activities. If there's anything you are doing right, look for ways to improve it. Don't rush into new projects just yet. Take time to build on the things that are gaining ground.
Understanding what makes your startup unique can help you focus on concepts that matter in terms of long-term growth.
3. Make the most out of your workforce
Hiring more people doesn't necessarily accelerate the growth of your startup. It only makes core processes more complicated in addition to eating into the bottom line.
When recruiting people to your startup, don't focus too much on filling up empty seats and creating unnecessary positions. During the first months of launching your startup, you need to build a pioneering team that provides the skills and experience that coincide with your business's core activities.
You can reach out to business owners you know and ask for referrals. Also, consider posting job ads on social media platforms like Facebook or LinkedIn. In any case, it's important that you provide a clear description of the kind of employees you will want to hire.
The future of your startup depends heavily on the quality of your human capital. Consider coming up with a detailed profile of an ideal employee for your startup. That way, you won't have to waste time and resources on candidates who won't deliver long-term value.
4. Consider outsourcing
In case you lack the resources to recruit an in-house team, outsourcing would be the best option. Especially if you are operating as a sole proprietorship, hiring a remote worker is a cost-effective way to support your business's growth during the first few months of launching.
You can find freelancers who can handle a range of tasks that in-house employees can handle but at a cheaper cost. If you want to build a marketing campaign, for instance, you can hire independent contractors that have the creative and technical skills you need. Another option is to partner with a marketing agency. There are a number of outsourcing firms that provide teams for a flat rate.
Whether it's a freelancer or an offshore company, outsourcing provides your startup with an affordable way to access skills that are locally unavailable. This also allows you to offload repetitive tasks so you can focus on finding other growth opportunities. Plus, you get to save more money from hiring costs. You can use these savings to strengthen other aspects of your startup and open up new income streams.
5. Channel your resources towards innovation
Your startup has a better chance of success if it's able to provide new concepts to the market. After all, the whole point of building a startup is to drive innovation. Spending less time, money, and effort on research and development will only make it difficult for your startup to scale amid a tech-driven landscape that's constantly changing.
Take the time to learn the issues and problems that are prevalent in your market. How will your startup solve these problems? How can you align your products or services with current trends?
One thing's for sure, you wouldn't want to rely too much on your core activities. As the bottomline grows, you should set aside a portion of your earnings for fueling innovation.
In case you are not sure about starting an innovation program, consider getting a partner who can help you develop an innovation strategy and unlock your startup's potential as a leader for transformative disruption.
6. Forge strategic partnerships
In some cases, startup founders overlook one essential part in scaling their organizations: The need to form partnerships.
While you can relish in the idea that your startup is the product of your own toil, you will still need to find business partners who can be instrumental in helping you find growth opportunities in other areas and locations.
You just need to develop a desire to build alliances with potential growth partners. Look for mentors and industry leaders to connect with and find out how your business can fit into their agenda. From there, introduce your startup and what it is developing recently.
Once you have forged partnerships with important industry figures, you will be able to discover new growth opportunities to leverage.
The need to scale is becoming more important as more startups enter the arena. so put these tips to the test and let your startup thrive for more than a decade!