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What Determines the Scalability of a Business?

If a business wants to grow without impediment, it has to be scalable. But lots of startups suffer from being unable to unleash their true potential because they can’t capitalize on early successes with sustainable growth.

So what is it which makes a business scalable, and how can your own company make the changes needed to fit this definition?

Solid Leadership

First of all, for a company to grow in a sustainable manner it has to have the right people in place at the top of the ladder to oversee its development and make the decisions needed to maximize its impact. You can consider hiring a freelance risk management consultant to review your process as well.

This goes hand in hand with embracing a consistent strategy for stewarding the company, ensuring that its mission is clear and its branding is consistent. A lack of direction, or a dilution of the original aims of the organization, will limit scalability.

User Acquisition

In order to scale at all, an organization has to take user acquisition seriously. This means pinpointing the audience you want to target, and working out how to hook them with your marketing efforts.

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It’s also about making this an iterative, ever-evolving process by reacting to the performance of previous campaigns and taking the lessons learned so they can be applied to future promotional pushes.

Scaling user acquisition requires the cost of bringing new customers onboard down. Modern analytics makes this possible, with data driving decision-making.


For most businesses, their technological resources are the nuts and bolts underpinning scalability, because serving more customers can’t be done efficiently or affordably without the right IT assets in place.

Whether that’s making the manufacturing and supply chain side of the equation more streamlined so that demand can be met consistently, or being able to accommodate more users with support and post-sales care, tech is the key to profitability, as well as a good brand reputation.

Early investment in innately scalable services, like those powered by the cloud, can help startups flourish. Moving away from the limitations of on-premises hardware is therefore advised.


Scalability is meaningless if it crumbles completely when the business hits some unforeseen speed bump.

Instead, it’s the startups that are able to remain agile and adapt to the challenges in their path that thrive.

You can’t afford to be rigid about the way you do things if all the evidence points to the likelihood of existing processes holding you back.


Speaking of adaptability, there’s a lot to be said about how influential business process automation tools are in the current era.

When in-house resources are limited early in the life of a business, being able to automate and outsource mission-critical processes saves time and money.

This applies not only to the aforementioned aspects like marketing but also to everything from payroll management to IT security and beyond.


A business can grow its workforce rapidly, but this will create confusion and conflict if there’s not a clear set of standards for how things need to be done, and which responsibilities lie with each member of the team, no matter their seniority.

Obviously, you need to be flexible about how you set down standard practices within an organization, but you cannot afford to ignore the importance of them altogether.

Cash flow

If a business runs out of liquid assets but is enjoying a spike in demand, it simply won’t be able to meet the needs of would-be customers and could falter or even fall backward.

Making sure that cash flow doesn’t bottleneck your growth is the final and perhaps most important aspect of scalability, and involves savvy spending as well as a lack of reliance on only one source of capital.

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