Three ways this startup scaled up fast by getting off on the right foot


When you’re starting something new, there’s a tendency to make do with what you’ve got. The startup movement has sprung from the DIY mentality, and many entrepreneurs have got by on improvisation alone, unsure of where to invest their money and failing to implement good systems from the get-go.

Like a lot of startups who spring from the back shed or bedroom, Grumpy Donuts founders, Elise and Scott Honeybrook, were baking their creations from their own kitchen, but soon found the space doubling as their office.

The duo first identified a niche in the Sydney food market for artisan American-style donuts after several visits to Canada and the US. They began an eight-month journey experimenting with different recipes and flavours (sour sugar icing, raspberry lime sprinkles, toasted brioche) and Grumpy Donuts was born.

But amidst all the cooking, experimenting and learning, they had to figure out a way to manage their daily admin and financial responsibilities so they weren’t being held back. Here’s what they learned:

1. Identify your business needs

“We both had a lot to learn when it came to financial management as it takes a bit of balancing and careful thought,” says Elise.

When they became overwhelmed with orders, they leveraged technology and cloud solutions, and launched a website that allowed them to get orders in advance.

To stay on top of their admin and finances, they took up accounting solution Sage One. Because it’s online, it allowed them access to their finances on the go.

Real-time access has meant the team can update live documents from their car, in between deliveries and from their home office-slash-kitchen. The continuous backing-up of files has also helped them reduce the risk of losing documents.

2. Find a scalable and integrated solution

Scalability is another important factor to consider when supporting a growing business, according to Elise.

Right now Grumpy Donuts is a relatively young business with minimal financial management requirements. But the duo has gone from making nine donuts at a time out of their home kitchen to producing and delivering 400 donuts from a larger kitchen that they rent.

If demand for the product continues as it has, it’s likely the business and financial requirements will increase, Elise says.

Setting yourself up with tools and processes that are equipped to manage rapid business growth is going to make a big difference down the track.

“We also know that when the time comes to hire an accountant, they will instantly be able to onboard all our data thanks to the integration capabilities that come with Sage One.”

3. Support your big idea with little wins

When you start out, it can feel like the end goal is out of reach, especially when you’re bogged down with the burden of day-to-day administration and financial management tasks. That’s why it’s important to set little goals that you can celebrate along the way.

“I always knew it wouldn’t be easy, but starting from scratch goes hand in hand with a certain amount of pressure to pave the way for your business to grow and be a success,” says Elise.

By setting small goals for yourself every day, such as implementing effective payment follow up or developing a database of contacts, you’re not only setting yourself up for achievement, you’re inching your way forward to the ultimate prize. Every day when you get out of bed, think to yourself, what’s one thing I can do to grow my business?

“When we started thinking about [the concept], it wasn’t a serious thing. But, the more we thought about it the more real the potential became.

“We started to believe we could actually do it; it was the stuff of dreams to make our passion for donuts a small-business reality.”

Learn more about secure online accounting solutions for your startup  here.

Written by: Thea Christie

Sage One
Sage is the global market leader for integrated accounting, payroll and payment systems, supporting the ambition of the world’s entrepreneurs through intuitive and scalable software offerings such as Sage One.