From start up to scale up


Abi Robertson

4 min read
Oct 11, 2020

Are you ready to Scale Up your business?

Firstly, what is 'scaling up'?

'Scaling up' is to make something bigger, to make it grow, to develop it. In this sense, we are talking about growing your business, including growing your revenue and profit as well as the physical size of your company.

On some business forums, a scale-up is defined as "a company who has an average annualised return of at least 20% in the past three years with at least ten employees at the beginning of the period."

We believe that there are no black and white criteria, no stand out milestones to hit to be able to scale your business, but you will know when the right time is for you, and we wanted to share our advice so you will be able to recognise when the time is right.

Your business journey

Scaling up is the next stage of your business journey if you are a business owner, entrepreneur or sole trader. You may have had your start-up business for a couple of years, and you are thinking about what to do next to gain even more success.

You will need to think about your current business plan; are you happy with your business plan and the value of your product or service, and are you ready to take the next step? 

If your product or service is economically viable and is in demand, then it may be time to scale up your business.

Failure to Launch

51% of businesses don't make five years old, but remember, that means 49% of companies do.

We believe that businesses need people's passion and commitment to grow and thrive. Still, the real key to business success is having the right systems in place and making sure these are implemented successfully.

People don't run the business, systems do.

Ask yourself; are your business processes streamlined? Would the business be able to survive, within reason, if you were not there to turn all of the cogs every day manually?

Strategy and efficiency

There are many aspects and working parts of a business. It is easy as a business owner to want to do every single job yourself, from admin to finance, sales to IT, but is this sustainable?

Do you, as a business owner, know how to manage each section of the business?

Do you have all of the relevant knowledge about all of your products? Are you a tech whizz? Are you the best person to manage all of the admin, finance, hr, recruitment, product development, marketing and more simultaneously? Unless you are superhuman, the answer is most likely no.

Think about which parts of the business you can either outsource or internally recruit someone to help with this. If you want your business to grow and thrive, you cannot depend on yourself to do everything forever. Taking a step to involve someone else in your business is a big commitment; one that may be the difference between winning or losing.

What are you good at yourself, and what do you enjoy, and what are you not so good at? Do you need to outsource this to professionals/specialists or hire someone internally to help you?

Systems and success

Systems are moving parts within a business. As a business owner, your emotions can play a crucial role in the running of the business which can be a real positive if your drive, motivation and ambition can be pushed into it all day every day. 

However, if you have a bad day (which we all do, and that is totally acceptable) your business may be negatively impacted by this. If you have autonomous systems in place that keep all of the moving parts going, your bad day will not affect the systems; therefore, the business can continue to run smoothly.

How are your finances?

To give your business some extra momentum, which may be needed to go from start-up to scale up, you may need funding or investment. Do you have shareholders in the business, or do you want to open up your business to investors to have shares?

How are you currently forecasting your cash flow, and what are your projections? If you use the cash-forecasting app Float, you will be able to see if and when you will have a surplus of cash, and you may be able to use this to invest in products and systems that will help you to innovate your business and scale-up.

Do you have an efficient accounting process which saves you time as well as helps you with business advice? (If you don't, you should definitely give us a call)


Do you have clarity of what your business is, what it does and what your unique selling point is?

To take this next step to scale up your business, you need to be clear on what your business is, your business values, and what you want to achieve next. You need to believe in your business so that others will too.

Although we believe you do not need to hit specific milestones, there are some metrics you may want to measure to give you clarity on whether your business is efficient enough to level up. Check out our metrics blog next for more info on this.


Think about your priorities. Think about what you want to achieve next and think BIG. Now think about how you will get there, what do you need to do next and what do you need to do NOW?

Visualise. How will this positively impact your business and your life? Everything you do to push your business forward will move your lifestyle forward too.

Are you ready to scale-up your business? 

If you have the systems in place, the motivation to thrive and the financial competency to do so - maybe Scaling up your business is the next step for you.

Abi Robertson
Client Co-ordinator

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