While there are no hard and fast rules when giving small business advice, we think it’s safe to say that there are some waypoints to recognise on your path to success.

One of the most important things to be able to recognise is when your business is ready to scale up, to grow.

However, it’s not always obvious when you’ve reached that point, and the risk associated with expanding too soon can hand over your head.

In this blog, the team at Think10 have put their heads together to come up with five hallmarks of a small business ready for growth. But before we do that, let’s check in with the risks of scaling up too soon.

When a Small Business is NOT Ready for Growth

The easiest way to assess whether your business is ready for growth or not is to look at the building blocks. Have you adequately established a brand? Are you fast becoming a name in the business? Is your store space, website or service provision consistent and high quality? Do you have those key hires sorted? Is your day-to-day business management running smoothly?

When you decide your business, you inevitably add new tasks to you and your employees daily schedule. Inevitably, if the foundations of your business are not secure, these extra responsibilities are going to show the cracks in your business.

Doing a thorough inventory of your business and everything you need to support new ventures is the best way to assess whether or not to scale up. From there, you can address any gap in your business as it stands.

The pay off? Not only will you have a better running business, but you will also make your business more attractive to future investors.

When a Small Business Ready to go Big

So you’ve got an established business, or just a brilliant idea, that you want to launch into the stratosphere. How do you know if you’re ready?

Well, the question is less about you and your business (or idea) than it is about how consumers and would-be investors feel about your proposal.

Judging if the market is ready for what you have to offer is no easy feat, but with professional advice and a thought-out assessment, you can gain clarity on whether conditions are in your favour.

When it comes to already established brands and businesses, looking at your performance is going to give you the best indicator of whether or not you are ready to expand.

Are you seeing year on year growth? If you are offering professional services, is the quality of your customer base getting better and better? And, in terms of finances, is your business earning more than it can spend?

If you think you’ve gone as far as you can go in your current circumstances, and have hit a plateau, then that’s a good sign that it’s time to shake things up a bit and take on new challenges.

If you know in your gut you have more to offer, or customers are asking for things that you don’t yet provide, then the path is clear to add more resources and/or products.

Finally, it might be less about offering more, than it is about adding more branches to your business and making the switch from small business to national or international enterprise.

So What Does it Take to Go Big in Business?

Have you ever heard the phrase “a goal without a plan is just a wish”? Success is less about luck than it is about grit, conscientious planning and foresight.

By drawing upon our industry knowledge, Think10 exists to support your business into its next phase of endeavour, by providing the supporting framework of planning advice, investment opportunities and mentoring as required.

We Think Ten Steps Ahead

Think10 matches promising entrepreneurs with capital and co-investment partners, strategic support, networking and mentoring opportunities. Talk to us to make the first steps.

Chris Cutout

Chris Dixon

Fund manager


Chris Dixon is a Think10 Capital’s Digital Fund Manager with specific responsibilities of managing digital funds and driving strategic growth. Dixon brings his experiences in capital and investment management through prior involvement in private equity and institutional investment in the United States. Over the past decade Dixon has lived and worked in Melbourne, Australia where he now resides.