Top 4 Scale-Up Challenges

Business scaling is critical to attaining fast growth and expansion. It expands your customer base, which leads to better sales and revenues. Scaling lets you get to new markets and discover new opportunities, significantly boosting your income. As your venture grows, it becomes more productive, generating more turnover. Scaling up raises your business's visibility to potential clients, partners, and investors, opening partnership and collaboration opportunities and further accelerating growth.

Growing your company comes with a lot of difficulties, with statistics indicating that only 22% of new businesses started in the last ten years have scaled successfully. Outlined below are the top four scale-up challenges.

1. Process inefficiencies

Businesses operate on processes, and once outdated or poorly designed, inefficiencies may arise, disrupting productivity and lowering profit margins and revenue while hindering progress and causing bottlenecks. Inefficiencies usually creep into processes over time, mainly during the growth phase when employees are taking on new responsibilities and tasks.

Manual processes are tedious for teams and can result in wasted money and time. Outdated tools and physical processes lead to unnecessary administrative burdens, making Business scale up even harder. Fortunately, you can reanalyze existing workflows to spot chances of process automation and streamlining. Leveraging technology can significantly boost business efficiency.

2. Scaling at the wrong time

While business scale-up is vital for long-term success, it can have negative repercussions when done at the wrong time. For instance, increased workloads can result in staff fatigue, which may, over time, stagnate business growth. Also, upscaling too early can cause a strain on your finances. To determine if it's the right time to scale up, look out for the following signs:

  • Turning down prospective business: If you find yourself turning customers away due to a lack of employees, inventory, or insufficient time in a day, it could be time to upscale
  • Exceeding past goals: If you’re currently surpassing the past business goals you had set or comfortably achieving them, consider challenging yourself by setting higher goals, including scale-up

Repeatable sales, a strong cash flow, a reliable infrastructure, and a proven concept are other signs that it's time to scale up.

3. Uncontrolled growth or lack of a growth plan

While small businesses consider growth a good thing, it can have an adverse effect on a company’s bottom line if it happens suddenly or without a proper plan. As you start experiencing growth, you should also begin scaling up accordingly, which often means better/more equipment, more staff, a bigger office space, or more shipping costs. As a smart business owner, you should get ready for growth scale-up by making a growth plan, which sets business targets and goals plus clear tactics for attaining them. A good growth plan should consider:

  • Your business’s current state, including weaknesses, strengths, and opportunities
  • Where you wish your venture to be in the future
  • The schedule and action plan for achieving your vision

A growth plan enables you to prioritize resources while taking corrective steps to resolve the scale-up challenges you may be experiencing.

4. Balancing priorities

When scaling up your business, you might juggle several priorities simultaneously, which can get overwhelming and cause you to lose focus on the most important aspects. Prioritizing activities and delegating responsibilities wherever possible can help you overcome this hurdle. Outsource non-essential activities to free up your time so you can concentrate on your key competencies.


Growing your business comes with multiple benefits, but it isn't easy. Familiarize yourself with the top scale-up challenges and how you can navigate them.