Scalable Startup Entrepreneur Goals for 2021

In the framework of the SCALE UP project, we are trying to help local SMEs to scale up at least at regional level and ideally, at national and European level. Usually, entrepreneurs care a lot about so many different key metrics, but scalability is the most underrated as far as importance. This is especially true if an entrepreneur would like to have an easier life.

First of all, it is crucial to understand the difference between growth and scale. A business can grow, and grow, and grow, but never technically scale. For example, a paddle coach decides to start a private lessons business to teach costumers how to play. Since there are so many people willing to play paddle, the businessman has to hire another instructor to meet the demand. However, paying the salary of that instructor and paying for renting of the pitches where clients are learning will, at the end, cost the businessman the same as what the new clients are paying. In this case, we can say that the business has grown but in reality, the main coach always has the same income and more moving parts to worry about.

Considering the Covid-19 situation, a good example of a successfully scalable business model would be the same paddle coach offering online classes. Each lesson would last an hour and each client would be paying €10 to attend it. If the abovementioned coach has 10 clients for the first class and has 13 clients for the second one, the coach has successfully scaled his business by 30%, because the coach is still giving the same lesson in the same amount of time but with 3 additional clients. This kind of business has the potential to increase income without increasing expenses.

If you would like to scale up with your business, we suggest implementing 3 goals in your business plan for 2021:

  1. Recognize Opportunities in Scalability
    Staff/employees – When hiring, scalability comes into play regarding how many people a given leader can manage. If you have an employee who shows the characteristic of someone who can continue to take additional tasks and responsibility without asking for a raise, you have made a scalable hire.
    Niche – In order to maintain scalability, it is almost a must to be the leader in a given niche. Basically, you must define a niche for your products or services. If they are too general, there will be no chance to scale up your business, you can only grow as the paddle coach.
    Economics – If your business requires materials, it is important to look into whether or not those materials’ price tags are going to rise or fall. You need to know your sector well.
  2. Streamline Your Online Presence
    In today’s “click to pay” world, increasing your online presence is a must. You do not have to be running a remote business to get the benefits of an online presence.
    By doing business online, you can save some labour hours, because in one click you can reach much more clients compared to the ones who are coming to your shop.
  3. Think about the future
    There are always new ways to increase your business through a one-time important purchase (generally technology-related). You should also keep a forward-thinking mind regarding ways to increase your output without increasing your workload.

The above example and tips are just some of the few ways to scale your business. Learn more about scaling on Monday, 27 September 2021, from 14:00 to 17:00 CEST as the Policy Learning Platform of Interreg Europe hosts an online thematic workshop on the topic of 'scaling up European SMEs’.

During the event, two successful best practices on scaling up businesses identified in the framework of the SCALE UP project will be illustrated.

These best practices are:

Click here for more information about the event.