To create a business from scratch is a feat in itself. Transforming that business from a start-up into a mature enterprise, however, is exponentially more difficult. Of all the budding entrepreneurs who achieve the first, a far smaller group attains the second.
Don’t squander the sacrifices you have made. Implement these four strategies that are the key to transitioning your start-up into a formidable long-term business.
In the exciting chaos that reigns during the start-up stage, you and virtually everyone on the team have to be a jack of all trades. Roles overlap and are often swapped as demanded by the fluid circumstances. Now, progress demands consolidation and specialization—but there is no need to abandon all flexibility.
While roles do not have to fit a rigid cookie-cutter mold, they must have a defined structure. The objective is to make the best use of your manpower and fully exploit the specialist knowledge of your expanded team. It is the only way you can successfully navigate the newfound complexity of your operations.
A common problem for expanding businesses is the friction between new and old employees. The original team members may feel that they are being relegated to the sidelines as you implement the definite roles approach. Newer staff, hired for their expertise, may get the impression that the “veterans” are holding them back.
Nip this in the bud. Tell the original team members why you are hiring before you hire. Where possible, involve them in the process so they have a say in who works alongside them. In the onboarding process, show new staff what worked before and why so they can appreciate the value of their role.
Create Mini Start-ups
As things settle into a more structured framework, it is easy for a company to lose the innovative spark that fomented it all. One effective way to maintain innovation is to treat every department as a mini start-up.
Give each the independence that drove your initial success while your bird’s eye view maintains the order necessary to scale up.
At the start-up stage where no paycheck is guaranteed, it makes sense to leap at every opportunity and contract, regardless of the terms. Now that you know you can keep your head above water, the focus must segue from quantity to quality.
This is how you create a company identity. Perhaps you want to specialize in a certain field, a particular echelon of clients, or in servicing a specific geographical area. Turning down business may seem counterintuitive, but it adds to the scarcity factor and enhances your desirability.
Most founders find the growing stage more terrifying than the start-up stage. With so much time and effort already invested, there is so much more to lose. As they say, though, fortune favors the brave. You have built your foundations; it is now the time to catapult your dreams into the stratosphere.
If your business is ready to take the next step in its growth, please contact me to discuss further.