Signposts On The Road To Scaling A Startup

scaling startup success strategies

For a startup, success and scaling are two sides of the same coin. As the business evolves and meets, or even surpasses, its manageable objectives, scaling it becomes the next step on the road to market dominance. Although the metrics vary from one startup to the next, depending on the niche and market size, there are common denominators that tell the entrepreneur that it is about time they have scaled up the startup and turned it into a full-fledged business. 

These common denominators which translate into an upward-pointing arrow on the performance graph include revenue, number of new and returning customers, cash flow, and the size of the workforce, among others. When the metrics are large enough and represent a far cry from the modest beginnings of the startup, then scaling is the next order of business. 

Scaling a startup is a challenging prospect. More so, if the business niche is complex or specialized. However, whether you have a tech startup or one that deals with commodities, scaling such a budding business entity follows a well-defined path that takes into account these considerations. 

Here are the most important signposts while traveling on the road of startup scaling success.

Personnel And Tech Advances 

At the risk of stating the obvious, your personnel are the backbone of your startup. It doesn’t matter if you, as an entrepreneur, have enough skills to have a hands-on approach to every part of the day-to-day business of the company. By the end of the day, it is your staff who do the heavy lifting. While your team so far has done an excellent job taking the startup to this point of its success story, your first concern when scaling the business is to add the right skills and talents to an existing and highly functional workforce. 

You have many options when it comes to hiring talent. Freelancers are a good, and affordable, option and so is outsourcing parts of your operations to specialized business entities. Or you could take the more conventional approach of developing your in-house team. Each option has its upsides and drawbacks. Freelancers are not as loyal as having your own in-house team. But even with a full-time team at your disposal, personnel poaching is a serious threat to be wary of. If your startup is in Silicon Valley, for example, poaching is a commonplace practice among businesses. On the other hand, and unlike other markets in the US, startups from the UK have it relatively easy as far as personnel and poaching are concerned. 

As much time and hard work you put into building your personnel, your strategy should always incorporate technological advances. Technology is no longer a luxury when running a startup. Software advances and cutting-edge technical equipment are not just flashy accessories to impress would-be business partners and investors. These tools cut down on operational time and costs and give you an edge over your competitors. Hence, new innovations in your niche should fuel your growth and maintain your onward momentum. 

Customer Focused Design 

The customer remains the number one priority of every business, be it a startup or a mega-corporation. In your endeavor to scale up your startup, customer retention, customer base expansion, and customer satisfaction should all be your ultimate goal as well as your guiding light. It was user growth that first triggered the whole startup scaling process in the first place. So keeping that customer at the heart of your thinking, strategy, and design is paramount for the success of the business. 

This is where customer-focused design comes into play. Whether you are reaching out to your target users through a website or a phone app, you should take into account the user experience (UX in tech parlance). It is easy to fall for the temptation of a sleek design or an elaborate style that dazzles the first-time visitor. But if that design comes in the way of the user’s interaction with the app or makes it difficult to navigate it, then that alluring design becomes a hurdle that should be removed or simplified. 

Not to mention that a convoluted design wastes precious resources and achieves little to no goal. It is off-putting to the new visitor and chases away a returning customer. Usability should be the main guideline when creating an app to interact with the user. The goal of such a business tool is to interact with the customer, convey the concept of the startup in easy terms, and collect feedback. The website is also an adequate way to get the purpose of the startup across to early adaptors. So it should make providing that information front and center of its interface design. 

Smart Startup Scaling

When scaling a startup, regardless of its business niche, the entrepreneur should think about the personnel and how to build a heterogeneous team that takes on the new responsibilities and keeps the growth momentum going at a good and steady pace. An in-house team is usually the best option in terms of stability, resilience, and productivity. However, that type of workforce is often costly to maintain and more prone to common problems such as personnel poaching. 


Besides a well-oiled team, the customer should be at the heart of the scaling process for startups. The work to gain new customers should go hand in hand with maintaining a loyal customer base. By listening to users’ feedback and making it easier for them to interact with the website or phone app, the user base will grow, and scaling the startup will go without a hitch.

The Lean Startup Life Media Network Newest Blog Posts: