When does a start-up become a scale-up?

While some assume the fear of a company failing is limited to the initial start-up of a business, our new research conducted on behalf of Barclaycard has discovered that almost six in ten (57%) leaders of scale-up businesses have experienced a moment of fear when they thought the business would fail in the processes of growing it.

The biggest worries for leaders of scale-ups, defined as companies with at least 10 employees and an average annualised growth of at least 20% over three years, include employee wellbeing and satisfaction (66%), finding and retaining talent (64%) and standing out from the competition (63%). Despite these worries the majority of these business leaders believe scale-ups have an advantage over larger corporations with 65% believing they are better placed for innovation due to less red tape required to implement new ideas.

When tackling hurdles and building their business, more than a quarter turn to their bank for advice and support, 22% call on IT providers and an equal number to local business networks. Overall, the vast majority of growing companies have looked to external partners to help scale their business. 

Surprisingly, a quarter of respondents, don’t know or haven’t heard of the term ‘scale up’ – highlighting the need for greater discussion about the requirements of, and support available to, companies in this critical phase of the business lifecycle.

You can read more about this study here.