Scaling your growing business at speed is a subtle science. In recent times, companies have been focused on driving unit economics to reach profitability. While this is a trend that shouldn’t go out of fashion, investors are always going to track top-line growth as a lead metric to signal future success.
Sadly, there’s no secret formula or one-size-fits-all approach that guarantees a startup becomes a superscaler.
However, three helpful best practices can help maintain that critical balance between stability and scaling at speed.
1. Choose a strategic partner, not a service provider
Sustainably scaling at speed calls for more than just deep pockets. Partnership is key. True financial partners go beyond banking to offer strategic guidance as you navigate your growth journey.
To do that, they need to demonstrate deep expertise in financial solutions for high-growth companies, crafting the right solutions for you at the right time. To provide the best advice, your financial partners should have a deep understanding of your industry and the competitive landscape you operate in, helping you navigate shifting market dynamics.
Most important is the human aspect. A financial partner will be by your side for years while you overcome the challenges of scaling your business. The best relationships go beyond transactions, products, and services. They should be based on trust, openness, and a shared vision for your company. After all, your banker will be alongside you as you grow, so they need to match your energy and ambition, giving you the right products and solutions at the right time.
So, how do you know what to look out for? Ask yourself:
- What is the bank really offering apart from products?
- Do they have an established track record and reputation in my space?
- What do their existing clients say about their experience?
- How do they behave when things aren’t going to plan?
It’s a decision that can stifle or supercharge your success, so choose wisely.
2. Seek out that entrepreneurial spirit
Your banker needs to be able to do more than just hold the purse strings. If they’re going to accelerate your growth, they need to share your entrepreneurial mindset and leverage their experience with high-growth businesses to help you understand whether it’s time to make bold decisions or double down on efficiency.
This is particularly true in the fast-moving, competitive world of technology.
Learning whether to double down on local markets or invest heavily in new opportunities comes with time and experience. If they understand your ambition, constraints, and all the markets you’re operating in, a high-quality financial partner can help you make the right decisions at the right time.
Balancing caution with a cut-throat business instinct is often the difference between success and super scaling.
3. Look for diverse experience
While every business faces unique challenges, there are undoubtedly hurdles that come up frequently when you are growing at speed, particularly internationally.
Avoiding these common pitfalls is another key factor in how quickly and successfully you can scale your business.
The key is to find a partner with a nuanced network. Meeting your growth goals means you’ll need to navigate everything from employment legislation to government policy while breaking into the right business circles.
Again, you should be able to turn to your bank for guidance. Whether it’s lawyers to protect your IP, investors to fund your next equity round, or international networking events that allow you to get your foot in the door, a great partner will open those doors and avoid stumbling blocks well in advance.
At HSBC Innovation Banking, we have a proud history of partnering with high-growth tech and life sciences businesses, creating meaningful connections, and opening a world of global opportunity for entrepreneurs and their investors.
Our dedicated Relationship Managers come with deep sector expertise and extensive investor networks and are experienced in providing financial solutions from seed-stage to IPO and beyond. Whether it’s comprehensive banking, debt capital, plans for buyouts, or Global Funds Banking, we empower the bold to leave their limits behind and share their vision with the world.