Scaling is a critical component of success regardless of industry or business size. Many of the most successful companies in the world have grown rapidly by doing this — think Amazon, Uber, and Airbnb.
Expansion can take different forms, including expanding services and products, adding resources such as people or money, and strengthening marketing efforts. Each option requires careful planning and implementation to be successful. That’s why, according to Vijay Pereira, a professor at France’s NEOMA Business School, “the ability to scale rapidly is a key determinant of the success of any business.” After all, if you don’t scale, you won’t grow.
When scaling, think of it like climbing a mountain—start with small steps. Don’t rush into something without first doing your due diligence. Collect data and use it to inform your decisions, manage your resources efficiently, get the right advice from experienced professionals, and ensure you have a solid strategy. Then, with the proper foundation in place, you can scale your business for success.
That said, the process can be both exciting and intimidating, as it requires careful planning, strategy, and execution to ensure you don’t overstretch and become overwhelmed. Remember, scaling your business isn’t just about growth; it’s also about increasing efficiency and profitability. Scaling too quickly can lead to inattention, ineffective budgets, and misallocation of resources. This can ultimately sabotage your success – exposing you to unnecessary risks. Therefore, it is crucial to choose the right strategy and manage the process carefully.
A popular strategy is to join an accelerator or incubator program. These are designed to help companies grow quickly and gain access to valuable resources such as mentoring, funding and business advice. Additionally, accelerators often provide a community of like-minded individuals who can provide additional support.
Take Intel Ignite as an example, a startup accelerator from which nearly a hundred young companies have graduated. In 2019, Intel’s mission is to foster a global environment for deep technology development by providing opportunities for creators, mentors, experts, and investors of all kinds to co-create enduring and breakthrough technology companies.
Tzahi “Zack” Weisfeld, Intel vice president and general manager of Intel Ignite, explained in a statement what he’s learned since launching the Ignite program. “Mentoring is critical: we pursue mentoring relationships across industries and businesses, and match them with the right startups to help them succeed.
We’ve also created a program that offers more than just funding; each company’s specific needs are considered and they receive a personalized accelerator program designed for their stage of development. ” Weisfeld continued, “By the end of this year, we will have close to 300 internal mentors serving startups. Mentors benefit from practicing key values – such as customer obsession and a growth mindset. Therefore, they are called “Intelpreneurs”.
However, accelerator and incubator programs are not for everyone. After all, the cost can be high and success is not guaranteed. Additionally, some entrepreneurs may find that their business does not fit within an accelerator or incubator program structure. So, what are the options for those who don’t think an accelerator or incubator program is a good fit?
One option is to rely on mentorship and networking within the startup community. Attending events like hackathons, meetups, and conferences is a great way to meet potential mentors, investors, and clients. Additionally, virtual platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter are available to connect with industry professionals.
Another option is to create an advisory board of experienced entrepreneurs. Having an advisory board can provide valuable guidance and help young startups overcome obstacles in the early stages of their development. Advisory boards also provide accountability, which can lead to greater focus and discipline in a startup.
Ultimately, there are many paths to success when it comes to scaling your business. Those who don’t think an accelerator or incubator program is right for their startup can still find a way to succeed through networking and experienced mentorship. With the right resources in place, a startup’s chances of success can be greatly increased. While nothing guarantees success, the right resources and guidance can make all the difference.