Living Entrepreneurship Blog / Babson Entrepreneurs

Scaling Your Startup

The following post is from David Zamarin ’20, founder of DetraPel, a fall 2017 hatchery business.

David Zamarin ’20, Founder of DetraPel

Every startup founder will always hit a block on the road. Sometimes those blocks could include a manufacturing issue, a loss of customers, or an internal issue with the team. But, there is almost certainly one problem that every startup founder should be prepared to face – scaling your business. Scaling a business is what every business owner wants. Who doesn’t want to grow their business? However, that does not mean that every business can successfully scale. Although there is no proven formula on how every single startup should proceed to scale, here are some sure-fire tips to help you determine the next steps.

At first, remember that scaling can only occur at the rate that your business can handle. Therefore, make sure that your business can manage the growth and the rapid amount of action needed to fulfill this growth. If your company sells a product, make sure you can handle an influx of orders whether that means counting your inventory and getting more if need be, or automating a fulfillment and shipping process. Understand the ins and outs of the operational portion of your business and come up with SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) to make sure everyone is on the same page. If something goes wrong, and if additional hires are needed for a quick solution to the demand, and SOP will be crucial by allowing you to focus less on teaching the new hires about the business or about how to package product. They will be able just to read the procedure and learn from it.

Second, be ready to act quickly. No matter what, if you are trying to scale you need to invest some money in getting your brand out there. Depending on your market, if your company is seeking to scale its business-to-consumer sector it is likely that the typical “social media marketing campaign” will not be enough. Social media lead generation is much more in-depth than most think. Throwing up a sponsored ad does not guarantee any benefit, and even when a click occurs, how many of those clicks are converted to sales? This concept something you need to study and learn from online guides to understand what makes a great ad. From there, you can begin running ad campaigns in conjunction with a retail store model or some other selling method you are considering. It is important to have press running while expanding a business to maintain that scale.

Press is tricky. Older executives and “specialists” talk about in-company press releases. Here’s the problem – no one knows about them if no one is following your company’s blog! The best way is to build a database of press contacts, either through connections or by searching posts relative to what you do and contacting the writers directly. Then, build up the story – what do you want others to know and why is it worth the press sharing. Once you’ve figured that out, draft an email template that will be personalized and sent to writers. Now you have writers looking to write exclusives or any pieces of you and your business. The next step from there is actually to do something with all this and the press.

Put all these things together, and have backlinks to your website so people can access the info and purchase your product or service. Use Google Analytics, know what you’re looking for and more importantly, begin to understand what your customer is looking for. Make sure you convert those leads to sales by having large call-to-action buttons, and easy to use interfaces. Make it easy for your visitor. Now, this isn’t the only way to scale a business, and it sure is not an in-depth guide on how to be the next online mogul. But every business is different, and it is your job to be a proactive business owner and research these tips further.