EVENT | Startup&Angels Sydney 2023 | 29th June 2023

What Effective Strategies For Founders To Scale Up Your Business

Scaling for Growth was a success! Attendees were able to listen to 3 fantastic pitches of innovative startups: Splashup, Ignite and Duckrow.

The evening was also filled with an enriching panel discussion, as industry experts shared their insights and visions for successful scaleups. We had the opportunity to listen to: Preethi Mohan, Greg Bryan, Ben Lipschitz and James Crowther.

When is the perfect time to scale up?

The panelists unanimously agreed that the current economic climate still presents an opportunity to scale your startup. However, the question remains: When is the right time? While figures can provide some guidance, factors such as available funding, support networks, and having a competitive product also play crucial roles in determining the ideal timing for scaling.
Nonetheless, there isn’t a definitive answer to this question. The timing ultimately hinges on your individual circumstances. The key ingredient is patience. As Preethi eloquently expressed, it’s crucial to remember that: “Before product market fit, it’s like you’re rolling a heavy ball up a hill, and after product market fit somehow the ball starts to roll on its own”. Scaling requires time, but once you discover what works, progress can be swift. Therefore, the ideal moment will arise unexpectedly, catching you by surprise.

Being prepared for scaling is crucial because it entails both highs and lows.

What are the biggest challenges that a scale up can face?

The timing of challenges is unpredictable, making it difficult to fully prepare for them. As an entrepreneur, adaptability is key. As Greg pointed out, “Scaling up is like life: we can plan for things but most of the biggest challenges you don’t see coming”. Having the ability to step back is crucial.

But what are the real strategies to scale up your startup?

First, being surrounded by the right people is crucial. It is essential to ensure that you are with individuals who not only share your aspirations but also possess the motivation to pursue them. Networking is the best way to find mentors and a community that will support you. As James Crowther said: “It can be easier for founders to take that next plunge if they are getting support from mentors and a community”.

Therefore, it becomes imperative to exercise caution when hiring. The individuals you bring on board should exhibit genuine passion and motivation. As Preethi emphasized: “In the hiring process give them the real truth about working at a startup who is becoming a scaleup”.

Moreover, discovering the perfect product right from the start can be a complex task. It is possible to become overwhelmed and invest effort into something that may not prove effective or sustainable. However, beginning with a niche can occasionally serve as a strategic approach. By doing so, you gain insights into what does not work, allowing you to adjust your approach and refine your methods that you can apply on the optimal product. “In the early days of your startup, if you can focus on something very narrow and do that really well, you’ll gain the most important thing which is an advocate and very high retention” as Ben said it.

However, you need to prioritize your mental well-being in order to maintain sustainability.

What steps can be taken to prevent burnout?

Taking regular breaks is vital. Consider going on a two-week vacation with your family to temporarily step away from the scale-up process.

Being fully immersed in it can prevent you from gaining perspective on what is not working, and it can also lead to demotivation and feelings of depression. It is essential to detach yourself and clear your mind from time to time.

Discover key advice from our expert Startup&Angels community members in this short video.


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