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

Resourcing Scale

This section provides and overview of the resources you need to put in place to scale effectively, wherever you are in your scaling journey. You may be growing organically and at a steady pace moving from contract to contract, funding source to funding source, building teams and growth. Or you may be at a position where you want to seek investment and grow rapidly so that you can reach a larger and more sustainable scale. This section walks through the specific resources needed so that you can grow with quality.

Replication Stages

Look at the replication stages as a key points to be aware of how much resource and effort you need to put in at each stage. In addition, to be wary of people’s time and commitment and how much effort you need to put in to get something over the line and the timescales you are going to take to do that.

It will become very operational and detailed planning is required so that they can be applied back into your financial modelling so you can be aware of the sort of revenue you can expect as an organisation.

  • What does scale mean to my/our/your organisation?

Team Development

We can first turn to look at this in the team context. What scaling means to everyone in the business.

Firstly when we scale, we will stretch our capacity and limits and this might mean going out of an individual’s comfort zone as they take on different tasks. These new realities and contexts forces us to (secondly) learn and adapt for our current/new markets.

Lastly, these learning opportunities help us to understand the concept of replicability of not only tasks and process but also the type of program(s) that are launching. Also, making sure they are iterative and fixing parts that needs adjusting.


Scale will mean different things and different situational strategies require real-time decisions to be made.

Scale is usually considered a challenge can also be framed as an opportunity.

Understanding the Challenges

Growth is usually painful and sometimes chaotic when it comes to what scale looks like to individuals. It puts a lot of pressure culturally on systems that you may have in place.

There will always be limitations such as time, capital (human and economics), subject matter expertise. Resources will be stretched and when in a new market, we’ll have to think about the business in a new lens.

New markets, new users/customers, new models, or new partner teams (on the ground).

How do I replicate? Founders and directors typically have a lot of insider knowledge so how we can take the best of what we are doing and transmitting it to someone else so they can work like them when scaling?


Developing people is more than a simple workplace training on process or systems. Much of this work is about developing the soft-skills necessary to adapt in changing/new environments.

These can be developed and then it turns into instinct but often, that is the toughest part to teach.

Understanding the Opportunities

Your team will develop scar tissue. They will go through trials and tribulations, will have made mistakes and have learnt from them. Teams become tougher, more cohesive and dynamic as a result

Stretching limitations = new capacities and skill sets. This is especially great for junior members who were least excited about the change/had difficulties.

Deeper market insights help to adapt to new realities, your team becomes better.

Iteration builds instinct – repetition! When focusing on growth and scale, it is best to be comfortable with job repetition after having limits stretched.


The more you’re able to do certain tasks, work with certain people, see different scenarios play out over and over, the more instinct you will form for that kind of work.

Other Considerations


New and current hires are part of your growth journey. You should think about who makes the right fit.

What is better? Technical experience/hyper specific job roles OR scrappy/adaptive people?

Technical experience/hyper specific job roles might be good and relevant if you’re seeking to scale out of your current ecosystem but if you are thinking of going into new markets, the best approach would be to work with those that are most adaptable and malleable.

Practical Tip

Context matters. Are you a “startup” in a new ecosystem or an established player in your ecosystem?


Startup = scrappy/adaptable

Established = experienced/hyper specific


  • Business development
  • Quality team
  • Sales travel
  • Product development
  • Administration support
  • File sharing for remote teams
  • Learning Management Systems and platforms
  • Local agents
  • External advice

Practical Tip

Be careful when you are pricing your investment piece/scaling opportunities.

Check direct and indirect costs because they will grow when you grow.


How big is the replication/growth team?

Does that enable focus on replication and focus on existing business? How do you prioritise your time? Are you backfilling what you do by bringing in new people to help run your existing accelerator in your existing market or are you bringing in new people to help you replicate into new areas?

Sales Team? You can’t scale without business development.

Quality Team? Build your skill sets to improve your product development.

Delivery Team in new areas? Local relationships are key.

Practical Tip

There is no ‘right answer’ as your team will depend on the particular needs of your organisation.

Make sure you are prioritising your resources for your greatest need.


As you grow and scale, things may become chaotic and may put pressure on some individuals. How do we bring on and effectively communicate what the opportunities are for new hires to work with us while also being realistic to the challenges ahead?

People are understood to have a hierarchy of needs that motivate them, from basic needs such as air, food and shelter, to needs such as personal fulfilment. The higher needs will unlikely be a motivator, until the more basic needs are being met.

There are certain factors in the workplace that cause job satisfaction, while a separate set of factors cause dissatisfaction and these factors act independently of each other.

Keeping Teams Motivated

  • Strategic selection and recruitment

    Have the right resources to be able to find and recruit the right people.

  • High-quality training and development

    Get induction right and everything else will follow.

  • Clear legal contractual arrangements

    Put agreements in place that bring people with you for a long time (e.g. 3 to 5 years). It takes time to onboard them to learn your methods, products and also ensure you have a growing and valuable team that will stick with you. Offer very clear terms for specific engagements and specific program delivery in the duration of that contract.

  • Strong relationships and delivery management

    Build strong relationships with your growing team otherwise they may drift away. If you do not have the right business development opportunities matched with what your facilitators would like to deliver, they may look elsewhere.

  • Investment in their continuous professional development

    Make sure they are recommitting to your methodologies to your organisation’s values, aims and aspirations as well as continuously improving the content of what they are delivering on your accelerator.

Managing Remote Teams

  • Innovation vs reinvention

    Bring attention to the skills of building on what’s there, not reinventing.

  • Focus on purpose

    Make sure there is no mission drift

  • Communication is fundamental

    Keep people brought in feeling valued. Good communication is the basics of management but be aware – communication is ALWAYS highlighted as an issue, no matter how good it is.

  • Freedom within structure

    Localisation with the ability to adapt, but hold to structures, frames and models to ensure teams build on organisational knowledge, learning and core strengths.


Impact Value Chain

  • 1.

    The impact value chain helps you to manage some of the processes and some of the routine functions that are necessary for you to deliver value. It enables you to link it to your operational work plan and get routines developed as well as objectives for each functional area.


    1. Align on functions you are using to deliver your accelerator

    2. What are your team roles and responsibilities and delivering those function areas?

    3. What objectives and key results do you expect to see in each of those areas, so that you can performance monitor as you grow and make sure you have good quality control in place?


    Source: Social Enterprise Academy

Program Development

Partnerships are like a great marriage. It’s the idea of finding the right one. But what processes need to be in place to get to moments like this? Pilots.

Running pilots allows us to learn about our partners, it gives us opportunities to test a lot of assumptions and also helps us to set standards as we are looking to build and deepen relations with people on the ground. All of these opportunities help us figure out if this partner is the right one for us.

Understanding the Challenges

Pilots require a lot of planning. It requires experience in the current market to lay groundwork.  

When we are going into a new market or expanding in the current ecosystem with a different group that we have never worked with before, do we actually TRUST our partners?

In a new market, we might not have all the answers and that is okay. However, that cannot stay like that forever.

How do we minimise (our own) weakness? Minimising weakness transmits strength to potential partners. It gives them a reason to trust us.


Trust is fundamental to carry out the vision that we have by taking someone else’s expertise and best practices and insights.

Understanding the Opportunity

Diligent planning allows us to build “realistic” scenarios. What we’ve seen before might be or might not be true but more insights that we can bring into our planning sessions, “realistic” scenarios can be built to inform us.

Pilots can be the start of a long and healthy professional relationship. A pilot has some accountability to kick this off with partners.

Learned market insights lead to stronger and tailored programs. The only way to really learn about the end user after creating personas is to start working with them with the pilots. Once we learn, we improve our programs!

A recognised weakness causes us to improve, which leads to a better and stronger relationship with our on-the-ground partners.

Practical Tip

Make sure you are repeatedly evaluating your pilots (and your partners) to asses what is working, what isn’t and whether they are the right fit.


How do you get someone to open their wallet to give you money? And what sense of urgency is needed for that action to happen? We need to think about pricing.

Pricing our product right leads to revenue generation. Hopefully not only enough to cover expenses but also enough, as a result of good margins, to lead to a sustainable business. In addition, it is about brand strength and position. People pay because they see value in what we do and they see the strength of our brand in our position in the market.

Lastly, our pricing should be rooted in research and insights (from the market).

Understanding the Challenges

Revenue. Can we survive? Can we sustain the type of growth that we’re looking to have? We can forecast but only when you’re on the ground then we will truly know.

Is our brand and image strong? If yes, prove it. Always question and think how we can be better and stronger.

Do our partners add value? If they are adding value that means that the stronger position with them, the enhanced branding that is provided and the opportunity to be able to leverage all of these different brands should help get us to a point where can be in a place to increase offerings to people.

Patience (research and launch). Finding the right price or way to transmit the value so that someone pays requires a lot of research and a launchpad for us to be able to evaluate. This is again one of the toughest things that we will have to contend with as we work specifically within the financial area of our business.


If you build it, they will come.

If it’s priced properly, they will come.

If they see the value, they will pay.


Price is a mix of (internal) perception of your product and the reality of what people are saying about your product.

A “good” price for your program is set to what the market can bear. Can your organisation

make solid margins on this product? You have expenses, a team, partners, and you have a brand. All of this has a cost. Therefore, you have to find out the optimal price for what you are offering, for business sustainability.


Sustainability is our goal. These programs should not bleed us of our cash forever. A successful pilot program can be iterated and perfected to find a sweet spot in the market.

We should not be in pilot mode forever. We live and die by the successes of our programs.

  • Our programs are valuable. I believe it. You believe it. Does the CUSTOMER believe it?

Why is Our Program Great? How Can We Set a Price?

  • Is our program vastly superior?

    Does it have great content? Availability? Excellent mentoring? Network? Some or all of the above? Can you prove it?

    By being able to do so, you will be in a better position to see that result come to life.

  • Is it exclusive?

    If you build exclusivity you can definitely come into higher price because there’s a control for demand.

  • Is it open-ended?

    If it’s open-ended you can give great value and you could still set a pretty decent price. Or you can set a low price and hit a different market. Again when we are figuring out where we’re supposed to be, it’s all about being able to prove it.

  • Who are our sponsors or partners?

    Are you searching for high-profile brands to enhance your business? This gives legitimacy and credibility, especially if you’re going into new markets where those brands are stronger than yours. What else are they doing besides give that hype?

    There might be a cost working with them so you have to take this into account.

  • What is the frequency of recurrence?

    Limited e.g. annually

    4x a year? This affects exclusivity.

    Offering once every 2 to 3 years? This affects the price and the type of demand that is coming in.

  • Do we have amazing outcomes or stories?

    Is it the brand? Is it the “image” that you give off?

    Testimonials can be powerful. Word-of-mouth of how our organisation has helped another.

Ecosystem Mapping

Mapping the ecosystem in which you are operating can also help to determine pricing. Ask yourself some questions to determine where your organisation fits in the ecosystem.

  • What are the needs that we are currently seeing?
  • What is the aggregated effect of all these needs on the market?
  • What are the reputations of the different individuals that are in the market?
  • Who are the people/organisations that are bringing and giving value?
  • Who do you want to be in the ecosystem?

    What can you currently be in the ecosystem?

    Gap analysis = opportunities for improvement


  • Introduction to Value Chain

    Understanding how value is created in organisations

  • How the Hub Found Its Centre

    An article on how Impact Hub redesigned its organisational structure

  • Webinar: Resourcing Scale

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



Sustaining Scale

How to maintain scale once you have achieved it