Interactive resources for incubators and accelerators
Interactive resources for incubators and accelerators
Interactive resources for incubators and accelerators

Pace to Scale

A lot of us want change to happen quickly but in reality, it might take us longer than we thought it would be. Organisations have to respond to markets or ecosystems that might not be ready for them yet and growing companies take a number of people involved to get it right in various contexts.


This section focuses on three key areas: thinking about how to scale; business development and; the sales focus of your organisation. It will help you to develop an understanding of new market entry for scaling and replication products and provide an overview of the process for entering markets or replicating in new areas.

Market Development Strategies

When considering growth and scale within individual markets that we’re already in, or new markets we’re looking to break into we must first ask ourselves:


  • Program(s)
  • Platform/Technology
  • Consulting + Service Mix


For the purpose of this guide, we will assume the product is Program(s).


  • Deeper Market Diffusion (in an existing market)
  • New Ecosystem
  • New End-User Group
  • Internationalisation


For the purpose of this guide, we will assume the entry activity is Deeper Market Diffusion.


  • Opportunity to grow the team and capacity building
  • Opportunity to secure strategic win-wins with partners
  • Potential to become a market leader
  • Opportunities to generate higher revenue and new loyalty

Finding a Partner Organisation

Your organisation can leverage partners to scale and replicate. Finding the right partner organisation will help your company with targeting goals for end-users and participants. Partners can also help to address capital resource limitations, human resource limitations, knowledge gaps and skill gaps within your organisation.

Looking for partners is like trying to find the right piece of the puzzle, as what we’re looking for in partners will have implications later on in the business as we look to grow and improve.

Therefore, we have to consider the process for entering new markets or replicating in new areas – known or unknown.

Practical Tip

  • Always remember your product/service
  • Remind yourself of the customer using your product/service and who you will be targeting in the new areas
  • Strive for wins. The more wins we have improves the morale of the team

Process for Entering Markets or Replicating in New Areas

There are four steps in the process of entering markets or replicating in new areas:

  • 01.

    Identify your key needs

    Why do you need a partner? What are your priorities? Are the technical, about increased access, infrastructure-based, about credibility? What will they help you with? How will you engage with them? What are your limits?

  • 02.

    Understand your strengths

    What are your strengths in relation to the new market you are going into? What have you done well in your previous services markets?

  • 03.

    Define the growth plan

    How long is the plan? What activities will you undertake? What challenges can you anticipate and how might you address them?

  • 04.

    Scope out and do due diligence on a partner

    How do they work? Who are the decision-makers? How will they affect your image in the market?

Growth Plans

It takes time to create growth and it could be a challenge to look beyond the first year.

The first-year plan should be about establishing your enterprise/programs in the new market through your partners and creating value-added use-cases. The use-cases will show signs of traction in the second year.

While that traction might not necessarily happen as cleanly, it will be a pivotal point for you to take what you have learnt from the first year to start diffusing across this new ecosystem that you’ve grown into. It will help you to start expanding your product offerings to build the brand, increase legitimacy with the community and also revenue.


It can be a long, painful and arduous journey to get to Years 3 through 8.

But you will start to see investment pay off at this time.

Due Diligence

Due diligence is performed to protect your product or service, as well as your brand and image in the new market. You might have been introduced to partners but you’ll need to understand how they work and who the decision-makers are to help drive the success of your company.

Some questions to ask:

  • Who are the decision-makers?
  • Who are the doers?
  • Who are the brand champions?
  • What are their successes?
  • What are the challenges they currently face?
  • What’s the community perspective on their brand and offering?
  • What’s the partnership process like?


Aligning partners to your interests involves:

  • Developing relationships with identified partners
  • Allowing sufficient space for proper diligence
  • Not compromising your values or mission
  • Being selective and strategic

Supporting Your Team

The ability to effectively plan and communicate across the team helps to:

1. Increase agility to develop and build

2. Align common language and goals

3. Manage expectations appropriately when everyone knows where they stand

4. Root decisions in data

  • To scale and develop replicability efforts, bring your team together. Create a system that is repeatable, reflective and recognisable.


Facilitating a Team Meeting

  • 1.

    Facilitate your meeting by:


    1. Assigning each team to define role or project-specific KPIs

    2. Getting your team to define and defend their targets

    3. Allowing them to propose deadlines

    4. Reviewing KPIs and challenge assumptions, gauge readiness

    5. Setting common language, definitions, and assumptions

    6. Identifying the current project roadmap and root proposals in reality

    7. Refining deadlines

  • 2.

    Meetings should:


    – Be held weekly or bi-weekly to get updates on progress

    – Reflect on data and root decisions on programs and rollouts based on new updates

    – Confirm language and definitions. If refinement is needed, do it!

    – Combine teams to adapt or refine work (e.g. marketing + finance teams)

    – Break down your silos and adjust culture

    – Push for ownership and accountability

    – Always be documented. Share out adjusted deliverables and deadlines with the team.

  • 3.

    Source: GEN

Scenario Planning

In scenario planning, ensure you have a Pilot and Phases 1, 2 and 3. How long those phases lasts for depends on your modelling. Each phase has a different characteristic to what you need to be doing and you should communicate the original scenario plans to your organisation so that everyone remembers and knows what they are supposed to be doing at the various stages of growth.

PACE and Prioritisation

When you are assessing your different markets, think in terms of impact benefit or financial revenue, as well as how much effort you need to put in. Prioritise where to go and how to consider the different markets at which you are looking..

Consider where your different opportunities land and place them on the PACE model.


Prioritise: Go for the low-hanging fruit!

Action: Slightly more effort, but it’s ok.

Consider: Bit more uncertain, have to consider


Using a model like this helps with communication around the organisation; for the board and the senior team. This also helps when you are trying to consider where to put your energy or what to do. Being able to prioritise is absolutely essential.

Similarly, different markets might not be able to support your model. You may have areas of market failure (which desperately needed an impact style accelerator that cannot afford it in their geography/investment) and require innovating a different model or seeking out new customers to make it possible.

Models of Finance

Really knowing your markets will help you to determine if you should go for the push or pull model of finance.


Sales discipline is really key. Many of us in the acceleration space are trying to support social entrepreneurs, impact entrepreneurs or entrepreneurs to enhance their business skills to really get their impact ideas out into the marketplace. Many of those people won’t have the sales discipline required.



  • Pull Model

    You bid for contracts in that area and receive a percentage or fee from replication or licenced partners.

    You bid for contracts in that area and receive a percentage or fee from replication or licenced partners.

  • Push Model

    You source funds from outside the area and push it in.

    You source funds from outside the area and push it in.

Sales Funnel

Make sure you’ve got your sales funnel in place and that you’re using decent Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software to communicate around your organisation.

Market Assessment

Move customers along stages of your market assessment and adapt as you explore rather than exploring first, then finding customers.

Using the stage approach allows you to take action without overcommitting or overspending. At certain milestones, however long that may take, you start giving away more things or put more effort in response to the reaction from the marketplace and making sure that products are matched in the new places.

Practical Tip

Use grids for documentation and to communicate well between team members.

Growth Hacking

Growth hacking is an approach that prioritises business growth over everything else. Many people think about big unicorn examples of this type of scaling or blitzscaling. Famous examples like Airbnb, Amazon and Facebook who scaled more rapidly than they were actually ready for and were successful in doing so.

It is a great technique, but there are also great warnings in growth hacking. Unless your product market fit is really right, be careful, because you can go too fast and flame out.

Practical Tip

Measuring and moderating your cash flow, teams and growth steadily is a strong tactic to staying around for the longer term.

  • Only step up into high tempo experimentation /growth push once you really know you have a ‘must have’ product.


Growth Hacking Monetisation

  • 1.

    1. Map Monetisation Funnel

    Highest potential experiments

    Via Customer Journey: Acquisition to retention cycle

    Where are you extracting financial value from those customers?

    Are there different revenue streams that you could monetize in different ways?

  • 2.

    2. Identify Pinch Points

    Poor conversion rates (where are you not winning?)

    Friction / missed opportunities

  • 3.

    3. Experiment

    Hack new options

    Localised testing

  • 4.

    4. Impact lens

    Pinch points for additional impact?

    Pinch points for monetisation support for licensees?

  • 5.

    At what point can your customers afford to pay on the way into your process? Is that a barrier to their entry or is it an important hurdle for them that they put in some money down to feel bought in and are able to value the process?

  • 6.


  • Blitzscaling

    A book on starting and scaling massively valuable companies

  • Growth Hackers

    An online community for discussing growth hacking

  • Webinar: Pace to Scale

    A webinar recording from the Frontier Incubators program, delivered by SEA



Resourcing Scale

How to scale and grow both internally and externally