How to Scale Your Startup Without Spending a Fortune

Build your efficient growth machine in six phases

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What does scale look like?

If you’re thinking about growth, your company probably already has a compelling story. Or maybe you’re not quite there yet, but that doesn’t mean you can ignore growth. If your goal is to build a lawnmower, you’ll be just fine with a lawnmower engine. If your goal is to build a rocket, that engine will need to be replaced pretty early on.

Plan A: Lean on data and technology

There’s just no excuse for any startup in this day and age to not have a data plan and a technology plan. It doesn’t matter that your business isn’t a technology play. If you have customers, you have data. If you have a website or an email address, you can exploit technology to grow your business.

Plan B: Everything is geared to revenue and value

In any business, from the smallest to the largest, the only metric that counts is revenue. But revenue alone isn’t going to make a company successful, because any business can tell a good revenue story until you start digging into the details. The first layer under revenue is profit, which is determined by margins, which are defined by costs, which are spent acquiring and retaining customers.

Plan C: Consolidate your data and tech into a platform

Almost every time I see a company that is mired in chaos, it’s immediately apparent that no one knows exactly what’s going on and no one knows exactly what they’re supposed to be doing. This is almost always due to a lack of a single system of truth.

  • Sales translates that feedback into what they need to be able shorten the sales cycle and increase revenue per sale.
  • Product takes that information and refines the pipeline to address that value need.
  • Technology exploits the pipeline to turn those plans into reality.

Plan D: Build the efficient growth machine

Now that you have the tools in place, leadership’s job becomes creating and running initiatives to build efficiencies into your organization. This is where you scale. Company leadership anticipates and automates the organizational processes that stitch together the chains you’ve created.

Plan E: Crawl-Walk-Run

You can’t flip a switch on growth. Even the best growth curves start slowly before they build momentum. This is because you have to learn to crawl before you walk and walk before you run.

  1. It’s going to generate the most revenue.

Plan F: Execute, Refine, Repeat

Refining doesn’t just happen once on the way to growth, refining needs to become a permanent part of the growth process.

I’m a multi-exit, multi-failure entrepreneur. Building Precision Fermentation & Teaching Startup. Former Spiffy & Automated Insights. More at

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