What It Takes To Start, Scale, And Ultimately Disrupt
Many potentially great businesses struggle to scale quickly or to make best use of technologies. In addition, scale up companies often need to grow their cultures and business models in line with their growth aspirations.
Starting out is just the first hurdle in an assault course of challenges for small businesses to contend with. Once a company has established itself in the market, the complexities of growth become all the more pertinent. Scale ups are tasked with managing this process while serving their existing markets.
Learning by example is a well trodden path to knowledge. A lot can be learned from the companies that have managed to successfully disrupt established businesses and developed new markets.
From a business perspective, growth has largely focused on customer base, revenue, and ultimately profit, yet building a business that can scale and grow successfully has even more factors involved.
One of the three main conference tracks, honing in on the opportunities and challenges that come with growth will feature at Disruption Summit on September 10th in London.
CEO Rob Prevett says, “The Growth Track is about understanding what it takes to disrupt an established organisation and industry. One of the highlights for me is our ‘Innovating at scale’ panel, where we’ll hear from Trainline, AppyParking, and the Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy, and The Up Group about the challenges of scaling innovative businesses and what it takes to disrupt new markets.”
Many of the companies speaking in the Growth Track also feature in the Disruption50 Index, a list of the UK’s 50 most disruptive companies as decided by expert judges and the power of AI. Many are challenger brands with valuable insights on the use of new technologies, managing growth, and responding to consumer trends. The final ranking will be unveiled as part of the track.
Successful business growth touches on some of the most pertinent issues for businesses today: sustainability, sharing, customer interaction, disruptive technologies, and innovation. Moving fast and breaking things is all well and good if the market is ready. In order to be sustainable, growth must be measured and monitored.
Many of the conversations surrounding growth involve the adoption of disruptive technology. Software as a service, delivered via the cloud, is a cheaper and less taxing alternative to in-house development and computation. Automation has allowed startups and scale ups to focus on more complex tasks that rely on human intelligence. Digital platforms have made it easier for companies to reach their audiences despite limited marketing budgets.
Food sharing app OLIO exemplifies the use of connective mobile technology as a growth strategy. Founded in 2015, OLIO now has over a million users across 49 countries. An important factor of the startup’s expansion is its purpose: stopping unnecessary food waste. Not only is this beneficial for OLIO users, but also for sustainable waste management.
Far from holding businesses back, having a positive social impact is helping organisations like OLIO connect with customers and genuinely fulfil their corporate social responsibility. OLIO’s founder, Tessa Clarke, will speak as part of the Growth Track at Disruption Summit Europe.
Growing, growing, gone
Growth is more than a gradual accumulation of profit… It’s an essential part of ecosystem development. Any successful business knows that sustainable growth is collaborative, cooperative and considerate. Companies that fail to recognise this will be growing, growing… And suddenly gone. Ultimately, success relies on sustainable, measured growth. It isn’t just about hitting targets – it’s about carefully maintaining business development to improve entire ecosystems.