Eight Essentials for Scaling Up Without Screwing Up

Cool new ideas for ground breaking ventures are a dime a dozen. Combined with all the new tech enablers allowing for instant consumer gratification over e-commerce platforms, such as FlipKart and Myntra, make it seem deceptively easy to startup a new venture. The bigger challenge is to startup a big venture that just happens to be small at first.

Fortunately, real entrepreneurs are growth driven. They literally cringe with the very idea of “small”. In fact, it’s hardly an entrepreneurial venture unless it is driven by a big vision, big aspirations, and a burning desire to succeed on a large scale.

However, like almost everything in life, we need to start at the very beginning of things. The eight essentials to scale-up without screwing up would be

  • Access your readiness for scaling-up. Leaders need to be on the lookout for, what today’s quickly changing business landscape means to them and their organisations.
  • Entrepreneurs who wish to scale-up must look for opportunities that others don’t see. Set your sights on the “cutting edge” trends. Operating on the very edge has its fair share of risks but the pros far outweigh the cons.
  • Make your product and service absolutely indispensable to your consumer. Your consumer must feel the need to own your product/service. In a fast paced market such as India, consumer opinion is constantly evolving. If your services are indispensable, then your customers are likely to move on.
  • Entrepreneurs must have the ability to learn as fast as the world is changing. If you wish to take your entrepreneurial venture to the next level, then as the leader of your organisation, you cannot afford to stop learning. Seek out ways to evolve and be humble enough to know, that you don’t always have the answer to all the questions.
  • Create Strategy with Stories. Too often the strategy creation process produces options that aren’t any more interesting or creative. If you find yourself agonising over, which of your carefully crafted strategic options is the right one; the chances are, you are taking the strategic planning too seriously. Instead of being sensible, tell a story about the future. Engage your teams before you seek to engage the consumer.
  • Don’t get distracted. In business, it’s important to set goals-achieve a sales target, grow the company and lay out the strategies you believe will get you there. A clear strategy that dictates the process for achieving goals can be comforting, but be careful to not let it distract you. Don’t get so involved in the process and micro managing that you forget to see the larger picture.
  • Don’t ever underestimate the power of collecting the right data. Often you can avoid failure by doing some simple research such as asking the target group for their inputs before you launch your product or service. Always remember to prioritize research over experience. Some things are unknowable without sampling real life experiments. Theories and assumptions are not good enough, if not converted into a prototype or conducting an experiment to give out more realistic answers.
  • Don’t Avoid Risk. Risk management doesn’t mean that you simply starve off risk. Instead you must focus on building resilience so that if the unthinkable happens, you are better prepared to face it. Consider all the risks you face and then play out what you would do if any of them were to come true.