top of page
  • What do you mean by a Guarantee?
    In keeping with Scaling Up values—”to practice what we preach”—Scaling Up Certified coaches include as their Brand Promise Guarantee our “short pay” provision. Essentially, if you don‘t feel there was sufficient value delivered at any time, you are free to pay what you thought our services were worth.
  • What is a scale up?
    Surprisingly, there is no definitive agreed definition of a scale up. Or how it is different from other firms! If you ask 10 people, you will likely get 20 different answers. Scale ups are a subset of high-growth firms that have three characteristics in common: They are at the intermediate stage of life, not a start up and not a mature firm. who grow both rapidly (double or triple digit year on year in customers / revenue) and efficiently in that they prioritise the attainment of economies of scale. So not 'growth at any cost' or 'growth at same cost', but rather 'growth at reducing cost'. Scale ups have different priorities and make different decisions to other firms who are not pursuing an exponential growth path. A clear focus on scaling and scale economics differentiates scale ups from other mid-stage SMEs or high-growth firms.
  • Whats the difference between Scale ups vs Start ups
    Start ups generally refer to newly founded firms with ambition and potential for high-growth. Scale ups are different in that they are further along, having already solved early start up challenges to arrive a some level of product-market fit and a known business model. This is usally indicated by being able to repeatedly sell the product to a core segment of customers, who value it most, are sticky and willing to refer or talk about the product to others. Author and lecturer, Steve Blank calls start ups "a temporary organization looking for a repeatable, scalable business model." Scale ups have already found a repeatable, scalable business model.
  • How many start ups become scale ups?
    Firstly, it is important to acknowledge that scale ups, although often talked about, are extremely rare. It is estmated scale ups represent between 1-3% of all new firms started. In constrast, firms that go through high-growth periods, growing revenue at rates of 20% or more year on year for at least 3 years, are closer to 10% on average across Europe. In my research with PhDs from the Unviersity of Mannheim on German firms, we found that among those still operating with revenue after 5 years, those that grow exponential to reach more than a few million in revenue in the first 7 years, represented less than 6% of all firms started. (Based on ZEW database). That being said, there are many known and less known examples of scale-ups who grow both rapidly and efficiently. With access to today's technology and data, the time it takes for a startup to grow quickly and efficiently towards a billion dollar or more valuation seems to becoming shorter and shorter. On average, unicorns in China take between 6-7 years, whereas in germany this is more like 11-12 years on average.
  • What is Scaling Up and the 4D Framework?
    Scaling Up is a system developed by Verne Harnish to help small and mid-stage firms to accelerate growth. The methodology draws on top frameworks and proven best practices from thought-leaders in management in a simplified approach. Scaling Up structures these are 4 decisions that every founder/CEO and their leadership must make in order to be successful with scaling up. The 4D framework at a high-level provide tools and implement practise to help teams address the following: People - have we got the right people, doing the right things in the right way. Meaning are we repeatedly able to hire A-players and give them freedom to perform. Strategy - can everyone state our strategy simply and concisely and is it truly differentiated from everyone else or is our uniqueness just 'shades of grey'. Execution - are our goals clear to everyone and do we have the right data and organisational routines in place to deliver quarter on quarter, moving us closer to our long-term goals. Cash - do we have a business model delivering positive cashflow we can reinvest in the business and do we have access to funds when we need it to fuel growth opportunities. The 4D framework is a structured yet effective approach to learning scaling up principles and practises that are immeidately beneficial to the organisation. More information on scaling up and the 4D framework is available in the book, Scaling Up available here: Coaching the Scaling Up system requires certification.
  • Where can I buy the Scaling Up Book by Verne Harnish?
    Scaling Up book by Verne Harnish is available online in english here: Scaling Up has been translated into other languages including German and available here:
  • How do I know if Scaling Up is for me?
    The Scaling up performance system is designed for small to mid-market firms ambitious to accelerate growth. Having said this, scaling begins early in most start ups. While not all of the scaling up methodology is relevent for early-stage start-ups, many of the principles underlying People, Stratey, Execution and Business model, can be used during the start-up phase together with other fraemworks such as value proposition canvas and leand start up build, measure, learn, ahead of finding Product-Market fit. Typically organizations who are ambitious for growth will benefit most from Scaling up when they have a commercial-quality product, some customers/revenue and staff of at least 8-10.
  • What is scaling?
    Scaling is a growth process some mid-stage firms undertake characterised by both rapid and efficient growth. During scaling, different goals and priorities emerge and are more or less simultaneously and synchronistically managed in order to achieve both high and efficient growth, Research among young scale-ups shows at the start of scaling, founders and start-ups need to prioritise new activities to successfully transition to scale. These include building organizational structure and capacity, putting in place new process innovation and organisational routines and pursing scale economics with greater access to "whole firm" data. Founders themselves also need support to transform from the product-focussed entrperener, to a leader and CEO. The ability of founders to turn to external impulses and experts in scaling outside their organisation is critical to success, and in my experience, this is intrinsically driven in successful scale up founders.
  • What's the difference between scaling vs growing?
    ‘Scaling up’ commonly refers to the period after starting up, when growth rates are at their peak, i.e. double- or triple-digit period on period growth rates. However, scaling is not simply growing and not all high-growth firms (or high-growth periods) equate to scaling. All firms large and small, young and old, may go through periods of growing rapidly. However scaling is a growth process associated with balancing both high and efficient growth. During scaling, firms pursue both growth (in terms of customers and sales) as well as economies of scale. As such their growth is exponential, not linear. Meaning returns to scale are increasing with each new customer or dollar of revenue. While some firms may grow rapidly, their growth is linear, i.e. each unit of revenue comes at the same unit of cost or effort, scaling involves pursing improvements in unit economics such that each new customer or unit of revenue comes at reduce unit of costs. As such, scaling delivers increasing returns to scale and exponential growth with higher returns capital compared to other firms, including high growth firms. They therefore attract higher amounnts of investments and funding then other firms.
bottom of page