By Anthony Coggine
Scaling your startup can be extremely exciting. However, it also can be a nerve-wracking process if you aren’t prepared for growth or experienced with scaling a product or service.
Growing your startup the smart way through good budgets, expert consultations, freelance talent, and vigilant marketing will make your company a hallmark in no time. In order to facilitate growth, startup leaders should be open to continuously updating the business plan. This can mean anything from a flexible development window to integrating an entirely new product feature.
Here’s how to grow your startup the smart way:
Update Your Business Plan Continuously
Before you started your business, you (hopefully) created a comprehensive business plan that outlines your company’s mission, your market analysis, and your financial forecasts.
As you begin business operations and start selling your products and services, your business plan may start collecting dust. Don’t let your business plan turn into an ancient document. Revisit your business plan over and over again, tweaking it, revising it, and appending new goals and strategies to it as your startup evolves.
Before you make any big decisions or make an important hire, revisit your business plan and put your news plans on paper.
Keep A Strict Budget
When you’re looking to grow your startup, you have to be smart about how you allocate your resources. The unfortunate truth is that many startups overextend themselves. With too few resources and sources of revenue, startups can easily bite off more than they can chew.
Keeping a strict, conservative budget can help you scale appropriately. By being wary of unnecessary costs and vigilant when it comes to financial risk, your startup can avoid taking on too much, too quickly.
Make sure that every purchase or hire you make is one that is validated by your team and by the data. Only spend where you need to and be sure you don’t neglect any area of your startup to accommodate rapid growth.
Scale With Freelance Talent
An affordable way to scale is to hire freelance talent. Freelance professionals are flexible, their hours can easily be adjusted to your company’s needs. In addition, it’s easier to bring on more freelancers at any time without disrupting business operations.
With curated freelance marketplaces, startups also can save time and money on hiring and recruiting costs.
Often making the right hire can take months and months. Using a pre-vetted pool of freelance talent (like freelance product managers and developers) allows startups to scale within days (and without exorbitant costs).
Consult With Experts
When you’re looking to scale, it’s best to look to experienced experts for help. Hiring a business consultant or even a management leader can help you grow your startup safely and efficiently.
When you’re looking to scale and you don’t have a great deal of experience, an outside perspective can be enormously helpful. In addition to giving you tailored advice based on your startup’s specific situation, they also can provide you with assurance and confidence, which can aid the growth process immeasurably.
Being open to a changing plan will allow your company to shift focus and organization at a moment's notice allowing the startup to be flexible and firm. To that end, it is absolutely vital that startups keep firm budgets that are only adjusted in absolutely necessary situations. Keeping a strict budget also will ensure that the development process does not fall victim to runaway or feature loading.
A great way to ensure your company's budget stays accurate is to use a variety of metrics to determine relevancy. Analyzing how much a group of consumers invests in your brand is a great way to determine your startup's target audience which will help with the design of whatever products are being developed.
Connecting with your audience is the best way to develop a product. Another great resource for growing startups is the freelance marketplace which offers great talent at flexible rates and schedules. Freelancers are a particularly experienced group who have seen it all. They make great additions to teams during the growth phase, and if necessary, make wonderful employees long term.
There are also talent matching services who will find you the perfect candidate so that your startup can save money and time. Most importantly, growing startups should consult with experts who have been through it all before, to acquire a deeper understanding of business and growth. Using these methods will ensure that your business grows forward instead of stumbling back.
About The Author
Anthony Coggine is a HR professional turned business analyst. He has spent more than 5 years as a recruitment consultant in a variety of industries, primarily focused on consumer technology and research. You may connect with him on Twitter