5 Concepts You Have to Worry About Now that You’re No Longer a Startup
Transitioning a startup into a small business can be a lot like watching a person grow. There are the pains that come with growing: awkwardness trying to find one’s foothold in the market and the challenges of competing with other startups seeking similar end goals. There are also many triumphs to be had for successful startups able to make it past that initial round of hiring and work.
Brains at Harvard believe that good management, excellent planning and forecasting, and reinforcing culture are requirements for success. Here are a few other areas worth considering as you transition from the startup phase into a small business.
Developing a Strategy for Outreach
Where and how you reach customers becomes an important part of growing a business because the costs of finding those leads increases as you try to hunt for more. Do you invest in sales people, hire a social media management company or look into pay per click advertising?
Social media can be very useful for entertainment companies, retailers, artists and certain manufacturers. It’s typically not as useful for professionals (like attorneys or tax people), but there may be more effective methods to get one’s brand out in circulation (such as PPC).
Test out a few forms of advertising, and don’t forget to run a break-even analysis to determine what kinds of conversion targets you need to hit to remain profitable.
Hiring Better Talent
Hiring more talented individuals is crucial to growth simply because one person can’t do everything. Steve Jobs needed Steve Wosniak to make Apple Computers a reality, and you need key people filling critical roles to find the same success.
The key to hiring as a small business is to avoid being reactive. If demand has reached a point where you need to hire more people to keep up, you’re behind. Those new hires need training and that takes time. Hire according to your forecasted sales, not the actual numbers.
Investing in Sales
Once you grow into a small business, sales becomes the lifeblood of the organization. A few key clients may have kept the business afloat and gotten things off the ground, but repeated success stories are necessary to achieve long term stability.
Sales has to be a crucial part of that growth. A good sales team understands how to promote the core values of the business to would-be clients, and how to scout for profitable leads. Good sales people establish trust and build long-lasting relationships with the clients who will be the cornerstones of your business.
Designating a Go-To
Having a go-to person means designating someone to take the decision-making pressure off of you. In the early days of Google, the founders remove all standing management roles and directed all final decisions to come their way. What happened when the company hit hundreds of employees? Management roles returned as the founders realized they could not stop everything they were doing to handle every critical decision.
You need competent management willing to take responsibility.
Trimming the Fat
Along with new hires and growth in sales comes a trimming of some legacy employees who may no longer hold the same value as before. Scaling means a good time for internal audits of specific roles, equipment, and potential worker output.
That doesn’t always mean layoffs. Deploying good time management solutions can help keep workers focused on being hyper productive within their respective departments by removing distractions.