How to successfully scale up your business

scale up, accelerator, marketing, traits of a successful business owner, challenges

Remember the early days when you had your first idea for a small business? You were excited, passionate about your project and enthusiastic for the journey which lay ahead.

And now, as your business grows, never forget those key drivers of passion and enthusiasm – as they are the secret to successfully scaling up your business.

I work at Katoomba Global Foods, an Australian family-owned business that began as a small spice milling unit in Malaysia. In 1987 the business moved to Australia, and initially, we manufactured and distributed ginger and garlic paste to the food service industry.

Fast forward to 2022 and we have grown to become a dominant international foods player, servicing high-volume customers across retail food service, manufacturing and distribution. Some of our products at Katoomba Foods include Roti bread, premium basmati rice and delicious ghee.

So, how did we scale up? In the early stages, business is all about very few people wearing many hats and working what feels like 24/7.

Our vision started with a quality humble flatbread, Roti Paratha, which is now renowned around the world as it’s so versatile and is great with every cuisine. Thai, Indian, Mexican…you name it, it works!

For this to happen we spent time talking to our customers and working out what made them come back for our Roti every time. I still remember delivering the first box of Roti to mum-and-dad retailers. I spent hours telling the owners how tasty this bread was – I even spent time cooking it for them to show its versatility and having lunch together.

I took this customer-centric knowledge and worked out ways to communicate that message to a wider audience. The investment in hiring key marketing companies and top personnel in sales and marketing helped us take our Roti bread to the next level. Today, it’s widely available across all major retailers and many independent retailers, and so popular we recently had to introduce a third size to the range.

Our family-run business was built on passion, and that passion in turn has ensured its profitability.

However, as the business grew, we struggled to wear all the hats and to manage our time effectively. And here’s the key: to scale up, you must accept you can no longer be the person of all trades. Learn what you are strong at, and focus on that. Hire others who can help you in areas you are not so knowledgeable in. Sometimes it is hard to delegate as you feel you can do it quicker or better but remember: always look at the bigger picture and letting go allows you to do that.

The other key to making the right decisions about your business moving forward is finance. A strong finance team will help you better understand your position – both the strengths and weaknesses. It is from these understandings you can work out how to change those weaknesses to strengths.

When building a team, it is important to ensure the message of what you believe in, and your vision, is understood by every single person you hire. Everyone who works for you needs to believe in and understand your vision.

Building a company is all about leadership and vision; knowing and wanting to do more, knowing and wanting to do better and spreading that energy to every person who not only works with you but to the customers who love and buy your products.