What is a Scale Up Strategist, and why you need one?

What is a Scale Up Strategist, and why you need one?

An experienced professional who helps business to scale up, using proven methods

Growth vs Scaling Up

Most businesses are built for growth, not for scaling.  As such, most advisors, mentors and business coaches focus on growing your business, not scaling it.  Growth is good, but only when you scale can you achieve greater things.

So what is the difference between growing and scaling?

Growth focuses on increasing revenue with the current business model, which means your cost base rises in line with your revenues.  While growth is good, it increases your working capital needs and that requires cash. That brings huge risk as poor cash flow is one of the primary reasons for businesses failing.

Scaling, however, focuses on increasing revenue whilst adapting the business model to keep your cost base as low as possible, maximising profit. This increase in margin can be substantial and is what can turn ideas on an envelope into unicorn businesses.

But if scaling is so much better for your business, why do so few businesses successfully scale and why do so few business coaches specialise in helping you to scale?

The truth is that though scaling is a simple concept it’s complex and difficult to get right.

How to Scale

It requires a specific approach and skill set to successfully scale a business.  If you are looking for an advisor, mentor or coach to help you to scale your business you will need to find one that combines strong coaching skills with world experience and a proven track record of success. In short, you need a specialist, one that understands how you can create a platform to scale using 5 inter-related elements of your business:

Strategy - A Scale-Up strategist will help you to create a truly differentiating strategy and operational model for your marketplace. Fundamentally they create a strategy that enables you to align and inspire all of your stakeholders and provide people with a compelling reason to become your customers.

Cash - Even though scaling is more cash efficient than growing, you will need cash. Invariably this comes from outside sources but you must have a sound strategy, solid leadership and flawless execution to secure it.

Adding – For scaling to work you need to develop an infrastructure that allows you to acquire new customers at the rate that will allow you to scale in a cost efficient manner.  This needs to be backed by a delivery infrastructure that not only scales cost efficiently, but also maintains a consistently high quality customer experience.

Leadership - As your business scales you will need to keep an increasingly large number of stakeholders aligned to the plan.  As such, you will need to develop the leadership and communication skills required to keep everyone motivated and pulling in the same direction. A strategist can help you grow this capability and weed out problems.

Execution – Scaling depends on creating a drumbeat that drives the business and ensures that everyone not only knows what they need to do, but they do it in a manner that maintains the quality of the customer experience. Scale up strategist are often the best people to challenge you on your models and find the flaws and opportunities.

Scale Up Strategist

Scaling successfully doesn’t just require a plan aligned to these 5 elements. You must also have the discipline to execute against the plans that are identified, and you must commit to delivering on your promise to your staff and customers and ultimately be ready to hold yourself to account.

A Scale-Up Strategist combines the knowledge, skills and experience to guide you through this process and keep you on track.

Jon Kandiah
Jon Kandiah

Having spent 25 years in senior executive leadership roles, transforming large-scale businesses such as EE, T Mobile, Orange and Virgin Mobile (which achieved £500m revenue in 5 years and a £850m flotation); I have developed a range of tried-and-tested strategies, coaching and mentoring techniques that will equip your business and team with the skills necessary to scale up.