This article was originally posted on the Tech City UK website.
Solon Sasson, MD at Bouncepad, provides some tips and opinions on how companies can successfully scale
Assuming they’re not among the 90 percent of startups that fail, every budding business will find itself facing the dilemma of how to successfully scale up.
It was a challenge that Bouncepad faced ourselves. Four years ago we were just another startup on the London tech scene. Since then we’ve established the tablet and iPad kiosk product category, shipped to more than 45 countries, and have big brand clients including Adidas, McDonald’s, Ralph Lauren and Visa. We couldn’t have navigated this journey successfully without taking strategic and deliberate steps towards scale.
There are many factors that contribute to a business’s success, but scalable growth takes planning and careful consideration. Here are a few tips on scaling up your business:
Learn to say ‘no’ and stay the course
Decision makers are constantly being bombarded by a never-ending stream of questions, opportunities and requests from the people around them. While this may all be well intentioned, these shiny new ideas can become a distraction and can actually prevent a business from achieving its goals.
The key to any company’s success is identifying and executing against its vision and purpose. Problems arise when a business loses focus and is spending time on projects that don’t align with its goals – it’s critical to know when to say no and to be comfortable doing so.
Hire for the future
There will be instances where you need to make a hiring decision that creates an immediate impact and fulfils a specific need, but it’s critical to hire talent that can help you scale and expand further down the road. This doesn’t mean hiring a senior level sales associate that can grow into a management position; it means forecasting a true business need like an accounting and finance department, for example, and creating that position to solve an operational need for your business moving forward.
Understand where to invest
Throughout a company’s growth and maturation, cyclical investments are required between core departments. Flexibility and agility are a necessity if you want to be responsive and adapt quickly to the sea changes within your industry. By providing each of your teams with proper tools and resources, you’re enabling each business arm to propel the business forward– growth is synonymous with development.
Future-proof your systems
Big ideas may be the driving force behind your start up, but you also need to be practical in how you plan for success. Are the software solutions and tools your team uses going to support you over the next few years, or is your IT infrastructure a short-term fix that is going to slow you down in the long run?
Migrating to the cloud or using an on-premise solution, for example, may seem like a mundane decision, but it could be the difference in saving or spending thousands of dollars months down the road. Take the time to set yourself up for success and envision the future needs of your company, so you can focus on more pertinent business decisions and tasks tomorrow.
There are countless variations on the successful startup recipe, and entrepreneurs are endlessly innovating to create their own secret sauce. Those that succeed will discover that beyond the big idea, foresight, focus and plenty of planning are the essential ingredients.
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