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In the dynamic world of entrepreneurship, the terms “growing” and “scaling” are often used interchangeably, leading to a misconception that they mean the same thing. However, in reality, they represent two distinct strategies, each with its unique objectives, approaches, and implications. Understanding the difference between growing and scaling is crucial for entrepreneurs seeking to chart a successful course for their businesses.

scaling vs growing

  1. Goal:

Growing: Growing a business primarily revolves around the process of increasing its size, revenue, or market share. It often involves expanding product lines, entering new markets, or attracting more customers. The key focus here is on expansion and increasing the company’s resources and capabilities.

Scaling: Scaling, on the other hand, concentrates on boosting revenue and profitability while maintaining or even reducing costs in proportion to that growth. The goal is to achieve exponential growth without a linear increase in resources or expenses.

  1. Strategy:

Growing: Growing a business typically involves incremental changes and a linear relationship between effort and results. This might include hiring more employees, opening new locations, or diversifying product offerings.

Scaling: Scaling, in contrast, necessitates finding ways to achieve exponential growth without a proportional increase in resources. This often requires leveraging technology, automation, and streamlined processes to handle increased demand without significantly increasing costs.

With the support from government to SME owners, business owners looking to scale their business can tap into various grants to help with lowering their cost when it comes to implementing their strategy.

  1. Resource Allocation:

Growing: Businesses that are growing may need to allocate more resources, such as capital and manpower, to support their expansion. This can lead to increased overhead and operational complexities.


Scaling: Scaling businesses focus on optimizing their current resources and finding efficiencies to streamline their process and assist in growth. The emphasis is on maximizing output with minimal additional investment.


  1. Profitability:

Growing: Growing a business often prioritize top-line revenue growth over immediate profit margins. The willingness to invest in expansion activities, even if they don’t yield immediate returns, can lead to a wrong focus on the business.


Scaling: Scaling businesses often aim to increase profitability while growing. They seek ways to expand without sacrificing profitability, which can involve innovative pricing models, cost control, and efficient operations.


  1. Risk and Sustainability:

Growing: Linear quick growth can be riskier, as it often requires taking on large debt or seeking external funding to support it’s expansion. How a business is able to sustain may become a concern if growth outpaces the ability to generate profits causing company to dip into their bank accounts to support the growth.


Scaling: Scaling aims for sustainable, long-term growth. It’s often seen as a more measured and controlled approach, with a focus on maintaining financial stability and minimizing risks.



A local call centre mass hiring telemarketer is an example of growing a business. They are increasing their outreach and customer base which requires more resources and operational efforts.


A F&B outlet with multiple stores using central kitchens without significantly expanding their back end team such as chefs is an example of scaling a business. By leveraging on a central location and a single distribution line, they can efficient their processes while achieving exponential growth without huge increase in their costing.\



Understanding the difference between growing and scaling is essential for entrepreneurs to make informed decisions about their business strategies. While both approaches have their merits, the choice between them should align with the company’s goals, resources, and risk tolerance. By grasping the nuances of these strategies, entrepreneurs can better navigate the path to business success.