When starting a business, the most common goal is growth, but this is no easy task. In fact, half of start-ups fail within five years and two-thirds within ten. Overall, nearly 96% of businesses are unable to scale beyond ten employees. These statistics may seem daunting, not to mention disheartening. It's clear that scaling a business is difficult, and business owners face the challenge of knowing how to drive and sustain growth. 
Thankfully, there is now a helpful guide - The Entrepreneurial ScaleUp System [ESUS] - which has helped hundreds of companies reach their growth ambitions by analyzing and providing insight into some of the common challenges encountered when scaling up. In this article, we'll explore the ESUS and its key principles, and how it can aid business owners on their journey towards building a scalable, sustainable, and profitable business. 

What is the Entrepreneurial ScaleUp System? 

A study from Barclaycard found that almost 57% of scale-ups have experienced moments of uncertainty when they feared their business would fail. In fact, there are a host of challenges revealed for business leaders, including maintaining employee well-being and satisfaction, retaining talent, and what could be considered most important, standing out from their competition. However, long-term success requires the ability to consistently make good decisions. 
ESUS comes in by drawing on Bizsmart®’s own research and experience of working with a large number of owner-managers currently on their paths to building scalable, successful businesses. The book explores key reasons why most organizations do not scale, analysing how challenges change as leaders reach the different points on their journey towards scaling up. ESUS offers practical step-by-step guidance, so business leaders can successfully navigate between milestones, using a proven system for growth. 
By using ESUS, business owners can truly understand what it takes to become one of the 4% that succeed in building a valuable business while learning to become a more effective and confident leader. 

ESUS’ Key Principles 

Central to ESUS is the concept of the ‘ScaleUp Journey’ and the key stepping-stones, including the four fundamental pillars: Business Strategy, Leadership Development, Execution, and Cash Flow Management. Each pillar must be applied to a business to navigate the stepping stones and successfully overcome challenges faced along the way. 
ESUS provides a checklist for business owners, offering a clear understanding and actionable plan to be considered and workshopped over time, thus putting them on the right track to achieving their goal instead of falling into the ‘owner’s trap’ of working in the business, rather than on it. 

Who Will Benefit from ESUS? 


The system is designed for successful and ambitious business leaders, those perhaps feeling at an impasse within their business and wondering how they can cope with the next stages of growth. Struggles may be those constituted as ‘typical’ – such as Team Building, Employee Accountability, Hiring Strategies, and Meeting Management. ESUS essentially gives those struggling a ‘playbook’ that helps them rediscover their passion, inspiring them to aim higher with a solid understanding of how to gain more power over their business and its people. 


It's important to remember that ESUS isn’t a short-term fix. It requires leaders to be willing to put a system in place that will enable them to strengthen their underlying business so fewer symptoms and challenges emerge later. Ultimately, the system means that when hurdles come up, which they inevitably will, there is already a plan and structure in place to overcome them. By utilizing the systems and knowledge provided by ESUS – business owners can harness the benefits of following a proven system for scaleup. 

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