Small Business

Building a Scalable Startup

You have a business idea that you believe has the potential to be the next big thing. The only problem is that you don’t have experience putting together a successful startup operation.

With so many outstanding variables, you don’t really know where to dive into the process. For many startups, the end goal is to get as big as possible as quickly as possible. But this kind of scalability can’t happen on its own. If you want to be among the 3 percent of startups that make it past five years, you need to be resourceful. In order to succeed, you need to know how to make your startup scalable.

Make Sure Your Concept Is Scalable

You’re not going to have much luck scaling up your startup if your idea isn’t compatible with the concept of scalability. Some businesses are simply easier to scale than others. Investors aren’t going to be as interested in yours if they don’t see that X-factor that allows it to quickly grow.

The most scalable startups are ones that offer a product or service that’s appealing to a vast number of people. If your idea is too niche, you will have a limited growth ceiling—so scalability will be directly related to sales. The most scalable startups will sell themselves because so many people will be interested in the service. Overhead and production costs are another important element to the scalability of an idea. You need to have the potential for high margins, or a low overhead requirement if you want your startup to rapidly scale.

Put Together a Team of People with a Strong Track Record

People with a lot of experience in the business world will tell you that management makes a company successful. This same principle should be applied to startups as well. You can’t expect to take a startup from zero to 100 by surrounding yourself with amateurs. To scale a business, you need to hire people who have done it before. Doing anything less isn’t an option—especially in the beginning phases when your team is small and every decision is critical.

Optimize and Automate Processes

To quickly scale your startup, you want to have the highest quality outputs with the least possible input. In other words, you need to do things as efficiently as possible. Consider any ways that you can automate your processes. This can be in your factories, or even in administrative roles such as payroll.

How Marketable Is It?

Even if you have a great product, people won’t be interested if it can’t be marketed well. This is just an unfortunate reality many startups experience the hard way. A marketable product has to fill a need in the marketplace and do it in a way that’s attractive to consumers. This doesn’t necessarily mean that it has to be dumbed down. For example, a startup selling B2B software should market itself in a way that makes sense for its unique set of potential clients.

Make sure your website clearly explains your offerings in a way that is relevant and meaningful to potential customers. If you don’t yet have a website, search through web hosting listings to get started.

Create a Minimum Viable Product

Before you can scale anything, you need to show that there’s actually a potential for your goods or service to thrive in the marketplace. This can be accomplished by building a minimum viable product (MVP). Essentially, this is a way for startups to test a stripped-down version of their offering before spending the time and money on producing the full thing. If you have success with your MVP, you might just be ready to build your full product and start scaling up.

There’s no easy route to scaling up a startup. No matter the industry, it’s going to require a lot of hard work. Most people will give up before they succeed. Follow these tips if you want to have a better basis for scaling your startup.

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