The fundamental principles required to scale your startup successfully

People often ask me how great startups can transition from being relatively small, high-achieving teams to becoming something so much bigger and impactful.

Better still, being a part of, and personally being lucky enough to play a key role in the exponential growth of a business can be one of the most rewarding experiences ever to be a part of.

Here are the fundamental principles that I would encourage any early-stage Founder to consider to help grow and sustain a level of excitement and collective brilliance in your startup as you continue to scale up.


Make this known to your people consistently. Define and be clear on what needs to be achieved both collectively and individually. Think proactively and creatively about how this can be communicated regularly, with a compelling message that excites all those involved. Reinforcing your mission is a basic, simple and critical component which can often be painfully overlooked.

How: newsletters and weekly all-hands meetings are great tactical interventions that can help to make this happen. Align your ongoing, smaller successes with the mission, not just the big wins.

Clearly define roles and responsibilities

Everyone needs to have a clear understanding of who is accountable for what and how their work contributes to the mission. Leadership teams have to be visible and approachable. Conversely, folks in an early-stage startup will often be required to think and operate beyond their core role, especially during times of intensity like due diligence and Deel Room submissions to help woo potential Investors. When it gets noisy, step in to ensure priorities are still clear.

How: AMA’s, fireside chats and quarterly off-sites are a great way to ensure a connection to the leadership team. My advice to leaders, keep this as simple as possible, think; priorities, risks, and mitigation and most importantly, why this stuff matters to your people. Don't be afraid to be vulnerable, show your teams what is keeping you awake at night, and how their roles help you.


Leadership need to demonstrate more than just technical competence in their core role. Values and behaviours evolve the culture and the DNA of a startup as it continues to scale and grow. The importance of this can’t be understated and should act as core principles when times get tough, or ambiguity is out in full force. Go back to basics and ask are we still doing the right things in the right way?

How: work with your people to define what values and behaviours describe your startup. Keep it simple. Keep reviewing them. Intertwine these with your hiring and selection processes. Skills can be developed, but someone's personal values are harder to change.


Startups can often feel chaotic. Getting work done needs to be as seamless as possible, poor processes and bottlenecks are often the root cause for delays and challenges. Most Startups obsess about their end users and customer experience. A Scale up Partner can add real value here in partnering with the business to challenge and improve their processes. A good Scale up Partner will come in and proactively establish new conversations across teams, creating a platform for positive, impactful changes.

How: zoom out. Gather your team and commit to a 90 day program. List out all of the issues you all are experiencing. Red-circle what you all agree to be the most important issues that need to be resolved and why. Ask everyone, what does Great look like? What do we need to change to get there?

Note, these environments can feel challenging and confrontational, but that's the point. They need to be well facilitated in order to go from issues to initiatives, and once people are invested in the program they will unlock a game changer in exploring and overcoming some significant hurdles.

I love partnering with Founders and teams to help them scale. My advice to any early-stage Founder - start giving thought to these principles from day one.

These businesses can become great places to work, and great workplaces make people and their families happy and more fulfilled.

For any Founder, it’s really, really important to be honest with yourselves and each other. Complacency, failing to see or accept where blindspots might exist, or allowing copious amounts of ego or blind optimism will be the surest way of you and your teams failing to reach and surpass the true potential of your business.

What do you want people to say about what it's like to work at your startup?