How to Rapidly Scale Your Startup: Tips From Experienced Entrepreneurs

The goal of any entrepreneur is to grow their business, and there are many ways for them do that. One popular way in recent

If you're like most entrepreneurs, you're always looking for ways to scale your business more rapidly. It can be tough to know where to start, however – especially if you're new to the game. That's why we've asked experienced entrepreneurs for their advice on scaling quickly. In this blog post, you'll learn tips and tactics for expanding your business at a fast pace!

Building a global tech company requires an ambitious spirit, unwavering perseverance and a global perspective. As an immigrant who had never built a big company before, I followed these tips below to transition our organization from a startup into an international company with team members in several countries where we help students from all over the world on their study abroad journey.

• Invest in yourself.

As a founder grows a startup, it’s important to reflect on what is needed to effectively lead a larger company. Challenges don’t necessarily lead to growth—it’s about how you approach the challenges that you’re working with. The first step is to ensure that any founder prepares, and is on track, to personally develop faster than the company itself grows. Leaders need to expand their knowledge and skill sets as fast as they can. Founders should consider an executive coach and spend at least 25% of their time reading and training to learn more about the industry. Investing in leadership, mentorship, mindset and technical skills helps founders avoid outgrowing their own company.

Get comfortable with ambiguity and be okay with not having all the answers. Leaders need to embrace the fact that there will always be more questions than answers, especially in fast-growing startups. They need to learn to make decisions quickly and efficiently, without overthinking or overanalyzing. Have a clear vision for the company and be able to articulate it succinctly. This isn’t just a “nice to have”—a shared vision is critical for keeping everyone aligned and motivated, especially as a company scales. The best founders are able to distill their vision down to one or two sentences that can be easily understood and remembered by everyone on the team.

Be able to delegate and trust your team. As a startup grows, the founder’s role will shift from being the “doer” to being the “leader.” This can be a difficult transition for many founders, who are used to being in control of everything. But it’s important to learn to delegate tasks and give your team the autonomy to do their jobs. This will free up your time to focus on more strategic initiatives and help the company scale more effectively. Be open to feedback and willing to change course when necessary. The best startups are agile and adaptable, which means they’re constantly learning and evolving based on feedback from customers and employees. Founders need to have thick skin and be comfortable with change, even if it means making major pivots.

• Proactively plan for the changes ahead.

Embracing the changes that come with a growing business is table stakes. Planning and preparation are what sets one company apart from its competition. Instead of reacting to change as the company grows, it’s important to plan and prepare for how growth will impact the product or service offerings, as well as the team culture, hiring, and company structure.

What works for an early-stage startup will not work for a global startup that is ten years into its business. To stay ahead of the curve, leaders need to proactively plan for the business, culture, and team needs of a 10-person company, 100-person company, and 1,000-person company.

Having a strong line of sight is crucial to leading a company forward. When it comes to a product, you’re not just building for your current set of customers. Build, innovate and grow for the customers you don’t have yet. Try to anticipate the high expectations that customers will have in two years. Plan early how to reach and serve them. In order to continue building a strong business, startup leaders need to focus on the following five areas:

1. Hiring and developing the right team
2. Creating a culture of innovation
3. Investing in growth initiatives
4. Planning for the future
5. Staying ahead of the competition

The most important thing for a startup leader is to always be looking ahead. What’s the next big opportunity? How can we get there first? What are our customers going to want and need in the future? Constantly asking these questions will help keep your company on the cutting edge, which is where you need to be to survive and thrive in today’s ever-changing business landscape.

• Don’t lose sight of your customers.

To plan for the future and avoid plateauing, never lose contact with your customers. As a startup scales, a founder might naturally take a back seat when it comes to sales, customer relations and hands-on development of the product or service in favor of more administrative and executive duties. However, creating this distance will not set up the founder for future success. The founder should find ways to make it part of the weekly schedule to connect one-on-one with customers.

Backing away from critical one-on-one time with customers will only lead to a founder missing out and losing touch with their customer needs. Connecting with all stakeholders of your business is crucial to grasping the latest trends and maintaining connections and product knowledge. This will help founders stay sharp and current so that they can continue to invent and innovate for the future.

• Onboard, empower and delegate.

It’s critical to invest in strategic resourcing to manage growth. Audit what roles and teams need to grow for your company to succeed. When you’re in the hiring stage, prioritize a candidate’s drive, flexibility and potential over their skills. An employee’s motivation, initiative and agility are top traits I look for. I encourage leaders to hire those who will grow with them and can match the pace of the company’s growth as well. Recruiting team members simply because they have the exact experience and skills from a previous job doesn’t necessarily mean they will be able to deliver in a fast-paced startup.

A level of trust and empowerment needs to be established for every new hire. Empowering employees with the right tools and with the right management approach will help new team members succeed. Leaders should take initiative to ensure their team members are onboarded properly and then inspect their work. Providing new employees with the proper tools they need to thrive will help empower them as the startup continues to scale.

• Enable an ownership-driven culture.

Cultivating ownership amongst all team members is crucial to ensure a startup maintains its momentum. When building a company, it’s important to hire those who are driven to take ownership over their work, planning and ability to deliver results. Hire those who take ownership, celebrate ownership at the company and empower employees to have the opportunity to take ownership. This will help create a culture that celebrates and empowers those who take initiative and are resourceful.

To foster ownership in the team, you need to proactively communicate the goals and challenges, the knowns and unknowns, so that team members can act on these gaps quickly as they arise. You’ll never be able to identify every gap, but by communicating it, you show its importance. Only then can the lead be taken to solve any problems.

If you’re left wanting more after reading these five tips, it’s always a good idea to lean on founders and CEOs who are two years or even five to 10 years ahead of you. Their insights and perspectives will help you understand the framework of planning to scale your startup, team and product. Most importantly, keep believing in yourself and don’t give up.

By following these tips, you can rapidly scale your startup and achieve success. Just remember to always keep your eye on the future and invest in your team. With a little hard work and dedication, you can reach your goals and grow your business at an incredible rate.