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How Smart Entrepreneurs Scale-Up Business for Growth

Lessons on learning, growing, and not driving your team crazy.

You finally have that one grand idea to bring in a lot of money. For those wanting to start a business, it’s a logical first step — but the associated income isn’t quite a guarantee. There are several things that you have to consider before you can leap into the world of business. Scaling up effectively is one of the biggest favors you can do for yourself as a business owner.

Build a Brand Identity

There’s no point in discussing scaling up if we don’t establish some ways to build business in the first place. When challenged to build a strategy toward their success, many brands will come up with business plans, value statements, missions, and visions. Yes, all these are important! But they don’t develop a brand’s true identity. 

If you want to ensure that your business is destined towards growth, you must first define your market priorities. Identify your competitive positioning, analyze any threats or opportunities, and uncover your unique abilities and investments to protect them. If this is established early, regardless of the size of your business, you bound to be set for growth.

Prepare for Manageable Growth

As they start to become successful, many companies find themselves busting at the seams. This could be an issue for employees.

Maybe they’re stuffing too many people into the office space (which is always a problem, but especially as we’re still feeling the effects of COVID-19) or maybe management has taken on so much work that they can’t effectively divvy it out to their team. These are both signs that a company didn’t scale up properly. While most companies will face these challenges from time to time, experiencing them over and over again shows that the brand isn’t prepared to properly scale up. 

When I started the High Street Group, I had so many ambitions that I could barely write them down. But I told myself, “Gary, focus on what others want first, and then you will accomplish your goals.” Putting your customers first is an essential part of being successful. They have a demand; you meet that demand. And — for those that really understand that — growth will be on the horizon.

Many startups are lucky to identify a niche for a product or service that steadily grows over time. However, demand could increase at any time — which likely means it’s time to expand. You need strategies for managing your company’s growth. 

I’ve seen too many companies try to flow with the tide without coming up with a concrete plan to accommodate the growth. Simply letting the wave of success take you for a ride is risky. If a company is experiencing exponential growth, it’s time to make its plan. Being able to rapidly accrue success is not the same as building for workable growth.

And so the story goes — if a company cannot contain the growth, it will start falling apart even when cash is rolling in. 

Smart Scaling

There are a few things you’ll need to do when it’s time to adjust your growth strategy to the volume of work you have coming in:

  • Build your team. Burnout is real with a lot of employees. It kills company culture. As I wrote in a previous article, the workplace must feel safe and motivated at the same time. And overloading workers with too much work can start to stress them out. That’s why scaling up your company at the right time and in the right way is critical. 
  • Motivate your team. Transparency is key here. Keep them in the loop when you’re ready to expand. Let them know that not everything is going to fall on their shoulders. If they know you’re actively hiring, it may bring them some relief and help them push through their workload until backups arrive.

  • Expand. When you start getting inquiries that aren’t fully related to your specialty, it’s time to consider growing your business. Maybe that means opening a new branch — or it could mean opening an entirely new business that is related. Instead of contracting out work to others, or referring them to an “okay” company that you know of, consider opening a side company to fulfill your customers’ needs. This allows you to hire the right people for special projects without overloading your current team. But you still get to ensure your customers are getting a quality product you can stand behind. Don’t just take on extra side work and load it onto the same old team — you need a plan to hire and grow.

Reap the Benefits 

Startups that become mid-caps develop through active scaling relish bigger results. As a leader, if you have the discipline it takes to build a business that can grow and scale, you might even enjoy the benefits of leading a company that is globally recognized.


Written by Gary Forrest

Raised in the North East, Gary has over 30 years of experience in financial services and investments. Initially working in the mortgage sector, Gary successfully grew his lending business from £100 million to £1 billion within five years, before selling High Street Home Loans to focus on a new venture, The High Street Group.

Quickly realising the need for an end-to-end solution from land acquisition to project completion, Gary entered the construction and development sector. Resulting in the formation of All Saints Construction. Most recently, Gary has honed in on the growing demand within the Build to Rent sectors, with High Street GRP Ltd. quickly shifting to capitalise on this. Today, the Group has several large-scale projects under construction, including Newcastle’s tallest building, with a further £1 billion of projects in the pipeline. The vision to create sustainable communities has meant that the direction of the High Street Hospitality business has evolved into the provision of lifestyle offerings within the BTR projects.

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