You have probably already heard the term "start-up". Scale-ups, however, are still unknown to many, but the word is becoming increasingly used in 2019. So, what exactly does it mean? This article aims to provide an overview of the concept, which is now of crucial importance in the entrepreneurial world.
In order to fully understand the concept of a scale-up, let's first recall what a start-up is:
Now that we have established the context around start-ups, let's now consider scale-ups:
Unlike the start-up, which is in the early stages of determining the product-market fit, the scale-up has already validated its product on the market and has proven that its pace is stable and sustainable. The main difference between start-ups and scale-ups is therefore in the growth phase.
To qualify as a scale-up, a company must have at least 10 employees, a growth rate of at least 20% over the past 3 years and a turnover of 1 to 3 million.
The different environments
Working in a start-up or scale-up has some major differences. Depending on expectations and needs, one may love or not feel good about working for one or the other structure.
In concrete terms
The start-up environment: Autonomous and independent people will be like fish in water in this type of company. They will be able to flourish by developing their creativity. There is a great deal of freedom, but this can sometimes be at the expense of financial stability.
→ See our article: What is the start-up mindset?
Scale-up environment: Scale-up is the ideal place to participate in a project with a bright future. It also offers the advantage of providing support and income that is more secure than the start-up.
→ See our article: 9 advantages of working in a scale-up
Make a successful transition from start-up to scale-up
To move from start-up to scale-up, it is crucial to establish a recruitment plan. However, this is a time-consuming process. Companies must inject the necessary amount of support, especially financial, to hire the right talent at the right time to grow the company (insert smart recruiting link).
In Belgium, many start-ups have been created in recent years but only 5% reach the scale-up stage. And why is this? Because the transition started too early.
If a start-up wants to evolve, it must have the entrepreneurial spirit necessary to perpetuate the value of its products and the desire to improve them, reinvent itself, launch new and ambitious projects and question itself. If the company is in a stable financial situation and exceeding its most ambitious objectives, it may be time to consider moving towards becoming a scale-up! Essentially, a good scale-up is a company that has retained its start-up spirit and that has successfully organised all of its ideas and projects.