Why Scaling Is the Ultimate Factor of Success For Every Startup

Lauren Sullivan
5 min readFeb 14, 2021
Photo by S O C I A L . C U T on Unsplash

Startups are like corporate playgrounds. They can be incredibly rewarding to be a part of, but once they hit a high-growth phase, it’s sink or swim.

Scaling rapid growth at a small company with minimal resources can be tremendously difficult to manage. With so many moving parts and little time or money to fix everything at once, managers must prioritize the key contributors of long-term success for the organization.

There are so many factors that go into transforming small, unstructured companies into large, functional organizations. Much of this depends on leadership, the company’s vision, and industry opportunity. But even more of it depends on the scaling tactics that the company chooses to adopt.

What so many startups get wrong is the adoption of the idea that more is always better — More employees mean more work to be done, more customers to serve, more investors to please. While more customers and higher revenue will always be a key driver of success, the big question is — what systems do you have in place to sustain more business? More is only beneficial if you have the infrastructure to maintain influx.

That’s where scaling comes in.

The success of every startup lies in its ability to scale operational processes. Of course, other factors have major stakes in the long-term trajectory of the company — sales, leadership, funding, etc. But if a company lacks the ability to sustain growth, infrastructure will suffer, employees will feel unmotivated, and the organization will crumble.

So many startups never evolve past their “startup phase” because of their inability to create solid structure — especially within employee management. If employees are generally confused about their core responsibilities, face ambiguity within their hierarchy, or generally feel like there is no clear path for growth, there will be no future for that employee or that company in the long run.

The early-stage companies that are built to last are the ones who embrace the idea of scalability from the very beginning.

Lauren Sullivan

A millennial living in Manhattan, eating too much sushi, and writing until 2am.