Scaling Operations

Yes, start-ups need to worry about scaling early-on. How can you grow your business slightly ahead of demand?

After a few rounds of funding, you’re a $200 million company—no longer a start-up but not a fully fleshed-out organization either. There’s great demand for your  product or service, but you’re beginning to outstrip your current ability to keep customers and employees happy, fulfill new demand, and hire the talent you need to hit your next growth targets.

Ask yourself:

How do you know you’re experiencing growing pains? What do performance data tell you? Do you really understand what’s happening or do you need to do additional analysis before you start problem-solving?

How directly do these issues impact your standing with customers, your competitive position, and your brand equity? If the issues are urgent, how can you mobilize resources to focus on the problems?

Which issues can be relatively quickly addressed by doing things like hiring new colleagues.  Which changes will take longer, like changing the culture?

How do your organization and governance structures need to evolve to keep up with growth? What new incentives, roles and responsibilities, and decision prerogatives need to change in light of your increasing scope of operation? What new skills do you need on both the front lines and at leadership levels?

As you scale to meet demand or improve operations, what messages do you need to be sending to your stakeholders about what you’re doing and why?