Scaling

Once you get to this point, you have proven your product market fit, and now it’s time to scale your startup.

This scaling effort can be accelerated by reinvesting profits or obtaining external funding.

Overview

At all prior stages you accumulated “debt” by making decisions about tradeoffs. You will have technical debt and debt in other areas such as business processes, marketing, business development, product management and many other areas.  

Milestones

Define a strategy on how you will improve sustainability of your business, eliminate bottlenecks, manage risks, manage technical dept, make it more resilient, and more process focused. This is also a good time to refine your company culture and launch transformational processes to adopt best HR practices and procedures.

Depending on your aspirations you could put together a strategy to on how you plan to grow your business. Below are some ideas around that: 

  • Expand marketing efforts 
  • Expand outbound sales efforts 
  • Build derivative products 
  • Build new product lines  
  • Consider mergers and acquisitions 
  • Consider spinouts into separate entities that could grow more quickly

This could also be a good time to consider if you could extend your ICP or add an additional ICP you hadn’t previously considered. Any adjustments require proper market research and market validation to ensure efforts won’ be wasted.

Warnings

Don’t neglect managing your budget and finances

Accounting will get more complicated at this point. You need to ensure you maintain healthy cashflow for both scaling and slow seasons. We recommend maintaining 3-4 months of cashflow. And of course, don’t spend more than you can afford to spend. 

Don’t scale via new hires too quickly

This could lead to inefficiencies and lack of time to manage the new hires. You must focus on building a sustainable hierarchy / organizational structure.

Don't underestimate the cost (in terms of time and money) to mature and scale your business

Don’t spin up more initiatives that you could afford to spend time or money on and lose focus 

Don’t rely on processes and procedures that brought you to the current stage

You will need to constantly refine and improve your processes as you scale. 

Required Expertise

  • CFO (Chief Financial Officer)
  • COO (Chief Operating Officer)
  • Advanced digital marketing
  • Advanced business development
  • Advanced financial analysis
  • Advanced product management
  • Advanced cybersecurity
  • Manual & automated QA
  • Program management / Project management office
  • Project management
  • DevOps
  • Business analysis
  • Development

Need help with challenges at this stage?

Startup Stages Guide Copilot

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