As a startup business owner, you know that growth is essential to your success. The early days of growth can be quite exciting, but rapid growth can also be quite stressful. It can even feel like your company is driving you and not the other way around – not unlike trying to ride a spirited horse that constantly pulls against the reins. You become fearful of blind spots, of emerging problems you didn’t even anticipate – much less have solutions for. How do you keep control of your company so things don’t get away from you? Let’s talk about some common-sense tips for managing startup growth – along with your stress levels.
Develop a Growth Strategy
The first step to managing growth is having a plan – a growth strategy. It’s important to know where you want your company to go, what steps you need to take to get there, and the opportunities inherent in your strategy, as well as risks. Your plan should emerge out of a careful study of factors such as your target market, your competitors, available resources, the state of the economy, and the like. This will help you avoid making decisions that are based on emotion rather than logic. A well-thought-out growth strategy will also help keep you focused on the most important tasks and priorities.
Build a Solid Team – and Trust Them
You might recall the old saying, “If you want something done right, do it yourself.” Put it out of your mind—for businesses, it will do you more harm than good. Successful team building means putting people in positions where they can do things better than you could do them yourself. If you have to do it yourself to do it right, you have the wrong team. What’s more, you can’t grow if you can’t delegate! Delegation is key to managing growth because it allows you to focus on the big picture instead of staying bogged down in the details. You can’t do this alone. Build a good team with growth-friendly skills, then trust them to do their jobs well.
Put Scalable Systems in Place
As your company grows, you’ll quickly discover that what worked fine when you were a team of two or three people simply doesn’t work anymore. Don’t wait until you reach the crisis point to revamp your systems. Instead, anticipate your growth and implement systems that can scale with you. This might include automating certain tasks, using project management software to keep everyone on track, or investing in customer relationship management (CRM) software to help you keep track of your customer base.
Keep Your Eye on the Data
The numbers don’t lie. Keep track of your company’s key performance indicators (KPIs) and review them regularly. This will help you identify any potential problems early on so you can take corrective action. Your KPIs might include things like sales figures, customer acquisition costs, employee productivity, website traffic, social media engagement, etc.
Hire Trusted General Counsel to Keep You on Track
Amidst all your growth, don’t neglect the legal necessities inherent in your business. Rapid startup growth often results in unforeseen legal challenges, from compliance concerns to contract disputes to intellectual property issues. You don’t want your company to be hamstrung just as it’s getting off the ground. Hire a trusted general counsel early on, even if you don’t know exactly what you need from a legal perspective. A skilled startup attorney can review your growth plans and help you anticipate and avoid any legal landmines that might be lurking down the road.
At Hood Venture Counsel, we are highly experienced in serving the needs of startups and entrepreneurs, and we offer a number of packages for businesses in different stages of growth to help keep legal services affordable. To learn more, contact us today.