The decision to scale up your startup is not to be made lightly. However, so many companies have failed to strike when the iron is hot, simply because they could not tell that the iron was hot in the first place. You need to keep your eyes on the horizon and take your moment when it arrives, because it will vanish before you know it. Here are 5 signs that it is time to take your startup to the next level:
1. You Have More Business Than You Can Handle
At the start, you will be customer starved. You will scramble to find the barest hints of interest in your company, and that is okay. That’s how that goes. However, with success comes the flood of consumers, and at some point, you may find that you cannot handle them because there are so many of them.
At that point, you should strongly consider scaling. Every customer you have to turn away represents disappointment. Your product or service is in demand. Make sure that your business is big enough to handle it.
2. The Team is Ready
Scaling up a startup is a difficult task. It is more than simply hiring a new team. It involves training them, expanding manufacturing deals, ensuring delivery to stores and customers remains consistent, all while serving the new business beating down your doors. It’s hectic, it’s chaotic, and will require your core team to be at their very best for the endeavor to go well.
Before you consider scaling up, you need to take a look at their team. They need to have the ability to function autonomously, and know the company and their roles within in inside and out. You will have a lot to manage, and you will not have time to make sure that everyone is on point. If you can trust your team to live up to what the startup needs, you are ready to scale up.
3. You Are Legally Covered
It is fine to be completely focused on just making a profitable business at the start. However, you should not forget to ensure you are covered legally once you scale up. If you do not, it will not matter how well you are selling. Your company will fall apart.
Check out what laws change depending on the size of your company. Everything, from minimum wage to what kind of security laws apply to your business, is subject to change. If you are not sure, consult with a lawyer to ensure that your ducks are in a row.
4. The Company’s Infrastructure is Stable
Much of a startup is mercurial at the beginning. You’re still trying to figure things out, and it is entirely likely that your final product is not completely set into stone. You may not even have your target market fully defined yet. All of that is normal, but that also means formalizing systems is functionally impossible.
However, as time goes by, those systems will come into place. You will figure out which strategies are best and how your company best functions. Once those systems are formalized and fully realized by your company, then you can consider your company one step closer to scaling up.
5. You are Making Money
If your company is not profitable, it is not ready to scale. It is as simple as that. Scaling up can be so expensive that you may need a round of fundraising to fully power the endeavor. That does not mean you are failing. That is simply how expensive scaling up can be.
That is why it is so important that your startup has a healthy cash flow. That means you are not just making sales, but you are actually getting paid. The distinction is important, as revenue can account for money you actually have not received yet. Once you have a steady and healthy cash flow, you can consider scaling up a realistic next move.
Scaling up cannot and should not be hurried. Just because you felt the pieces of your startup click together does not mean it is ready to take the next step. Wait for the right moment, and do not hesitate when that moment arrives.