4 Tips for Scaling a Business from Real-life Businesses

Most entrepreneurs have big ambitions when they start a new business. But if you don’t have a road map in place to handle rapid growth, you could become a victim of your own success.

But how do you know when it’s time to take your startup to the next level? When are you ready to “scale up?”

We’ll look at a few examples of how real-life companies did—or are doing—it, and walk through a few questions to consider to know if you’re ready to take that next step toward oh, I don’t know, making the Forbes 100.

If you’re thinking about scaling, keep reading.

What does scaling a business mean?

Even though some people think “scaling up” is just a buzzword, it’s a necessary step that growing startups have to take.

And it does have a real meaning: it’s when you equip your business to handle increased demand without incurring extra expenses. Basically, when you’re scaling up, it means you’re bringing more money with less effort.

It’s about responding to growth, and adjusting your business model accordingly. Google is probably one of the most famous examples of a company that scaled successfully, as it generated lots of new customers with little additional investment.

The differences between scaling and growing a business

People often use “scale” and “growth” interchangeably, but although they’re related, they are actually two different things.

Growing a business means increasing revenue, but you’re likely also using more resources (such as hiring more staff to deal with more customers or try to win more prospects).

Scaling is when revenue increases without a substantial increase in costs, meaning you can support further growth—you could look at it as a more sustainable way of growing.