Building a scalable startup before the holidays

Helpful advice for those looking to scale up their startups over the busy holiday season


The holidays are quickly approaching. This is the time of year when people are starting to think about their shopping lists. In 2017, there were more than $6.5bn in sales on Cyber Monday alone. People are getting ready to spend money purchasing gifts for their friends and family. The question is whether or not you'll be able to build a scalable startup before Christmas.

These are a few of the things you need to accomplish in order to capitalize on the holiday season.

What makes a scalable startup different?

There's something inherently different about a scalable startup. When we think about traditional business models, we often imagine a company slowing vamping up over a long period of time. To do this, it will probably have to spend money essentially in accordance with the money it makes. Think about a chain of restaurants. To increase revenue, the company needs to build a new location, hire new employees and invest in a whole host of other ways.

Scalable companies are different because they don't necessarily require more expenditures to quickly grow revenues. This is a matter of growing exponentially, as opposed to linearly, which requires more resources to match demand. To take advantage of this, you need to know a few important things about your proposed company.

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Determine your niche

What are you going to be selling to people? If you want it to effectively scale, it needs to be something that's unique, but definitely has a potential audience. This is called finding your niche and it's one of the most important aspects to putting together a scalable startup that will benefit from the holidays. In order to achieve that exponential sales growth, your business needs to take a special angle. If it's too much like other companies, you'll only achieve stagnant sales – if you even manage to make a profit.

File legal documentation

In order to run a business, you need to make sure you're compliant with all legal restrictions. You'll likely want to form a limited liability company (LLC) in order to protect yourself from being personally responsible in case of a lawsuit. You should also see if there are any other certification hurdles you need to get over – such as state national regulations on certain kinds of businesses. Finally, you'll want to set up a dedicated businesses bank account, as well as get an Employer Identification Number (EIN).

Have a website that can handle increased traffic

You can't have a scalable business without a website that can handle a rapid increase in traffic. The holiday season only comes once every year. Missing out on sales because of website issues will cost you a lot of money. Look through business templates that can be fluidly scaled up to receive more visitors. Website providers like Yahoo Small Business offer easy-to-use, easy-to-customize templates. With the right website, you won't miss a beat this holiday season.

Put together your marketing strategy

People need to know about your startup for it to quickly scale. You'll get a lot of organic advertising through word-of-mouth and shares if you have a brilliant product. But this takes time – even for the best startups. You'll want to engage in some form of marketing to get the word out about your business. Here are a few points to consider:

  • Understand your ideal customer: This is basically the best-fit demographics for your product or service. It's better to market to your ideal customer rather than try to attract anyone and everyone, which dilutes the effectiveness of your marketing.
  • Think about placement and timing: When's the best time to release a campaign? And where should you do it? These things can be determined through a bit of analytics research. For brand new companies, take a look at what your competitors are doing on this front.
  • Offer limited-chance promotions: Your offerings are attractive, but they are even more attractive when customers believe they could miss out on them. Consider pushing limited-time discounts and promotions ahead of the Christmas rush.

The holiday season is the perfect time to scale up your operations. Organizations that do the well will profit. Think about how these strategies will help you scale a startup before the holidays.

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