Ten Commandments for Scaleups

By John O’Connell – Executive Chairman ScaleUp Group


Regrettably, there is no one ‘silver bullet’ which guarantees success in obtaining growth funding, specifically for our focus which is a ‘Series A’ round.

No two entrepreneurial led businesses are identical. However, there are unavoidable ‘must haves’ without which your chances of having a successful business, never mind getting growth finance, are slim if non-existent.

We at ScaleUp Group, being entrepreneurs ourselves, recognise our time-starved Clients, of necessity, have short attention spans, so we have synthesised these ‘must haves’ into what we now call the ‘Ten Commandments’, as follows:

1. Product
Have an offering that solves a real problem/satisfies a real need – and is needed ‘now’

2. Customers
Get customers to verify that; be willing to pay for it- and become ‘active advocates’

3. Competitors
Explain why your product ‘superiority’ is defensible currently and how it will remain so

4. Market
Have a market big enough for high growth, but not too big for you to always be a minnow

5. Ambition
Explain why you want to grow and your attributes to do that inc. team building capability

6. Organisation/People
Describe how your business has scaled up so far and your plans to continue to do so

7. Finances
Be on top of the finances, with proper records and credible forecasts

8. SaaS
Know the key SaaS statistics and be in the top categories or explain why not. Know your ‘Unit Economics’

9. Funding
Understand what it takes to attract growth finance from the right sources

10. Advice
Appreciate that without guidance you are unlikely to achieve your goals – would you try to climb Everest for the first time without a guide?


The Leadership, Founder/CEO particularly, should not delegate ownership of the ‘Ten Commandments’ – although as the business grows delegation of executing some of them is inevitable.  ‘Delegation not Abdication ‘ is the key.

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