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Set Up For Success: Scale Your Small Business

By Samantha Todd

Since launching The Ridge in 2013, Daniel Kane has focused on scaling his business and building his team. His hard work has paid off—he estimates that his company’s revenues will hit $50 million in 2020. Here, Kane offers actionable strategies for managing growth—from adapting to a larger team to preserving core values as your business evolves. 

Have a business idea and wondering how to put it into motion? See Launch Your Small Business From Scratch for Kane’s advice on sharpening your vision and securing funding.

Kane started The Ridge with his father and enlisted the help of a few friends soon after. Today, The Ridge has 26 full-time employees. His advice for managing a growing team:


Startups can find a first-phase solution by using temporary workers, Kane says. “Don’t be afraid to use a contractor or outside team for a while, so you can eventually find someone you’re very confident in and who you really want to bring onto the team.”


After a sharp uptick in sales during a busy holiday season, it dawned on Kane that the company didn’t have the “internal capabilities to keep up if anything went wrong.” He knew that he had to “change gears, start bringing teams in-house and hiring people.”


When Kane launched his business, he used his existing networks to grow his staff. Kane says online networking on LinkedIn, candidate research and job posting sites are primary resources in The Ridge’s hiring. “Most people are surprised when they discover we actively spend zero dollars on job listings, candidate outreach and applicant software.”

How’d Kane lift his business from its days of sourcing capital on Kickstarter to driving profits to an estimated $50 million this year? Here’s his guidance.


“All you can really do is try to keep overhead low and not expand too quickly,” Kane advises. “If you’re really not looking to take outside money, you need to have as low overhead as possible and a good plan to manage cash flow.” 


Being honest with customers is critical. One of the company’s biggest hurdles occurred a few years ago when the screws were falling out of wallets. The company reached out to customers—asking them to not abandon the wallet and to let The Ridge make things right by sending out replacement screws. This manufacturing issue could have caused the company to implode, but the customer service outreach effort made the difference. 


Make sure your company is equipped with the right tools for your growth objectives. The Ridge uses Quickbooks software for its accounting system and Excel to manage finances. 

Kane says that as The Ridge has expanded, the company has tried to maintain its core culture and values. But this isn’t easy with an ever-growing staff. Here are his tips for preserving values as your business expands.


Business owners should put a great deal of time and thought into formulating and articulating goals and culture. Kane advises creating an employee handbook that outlines the company’s core values. 


Kane knows he can become hyper-focused on smaller tasks, projects and objectives but advises stepping back occasionally and trying to see the bigger picture. “Look at the business as a whole,” Kane says. “Make sure that what you are getting focused to do is really the right thing.”


Kane says there’s no hierarchy at The Ridge and the team trusts each other to get the work done.