When many people think of an internet start-up, they think that it is the key to an easy life. They picture themselves throwing up the documents in the air and walking out on their bosses. For what? For what they imagine will be a much more independent and comfortable life. A life of not having to deal with orders from your overwhelming boss is great. A life of not having to deal with time constraints and deadlines. However, there are a few things that need to be put into consideration pulling the plug. Nothing good ever comes easy, and we lie to ourselves when we think otherwise.
Now, statistically, more internet startups often fail than succeed. Starting a startup is not an easy task, and it should be taken with the seriousness that it deserves. Self-discipline and hard work are key when venturing into the life of an independent business. It might even require one to work even a little extra, as compared to working for your boss. One has to get into this type of business knowing that there are sacrifices to be made. So, let us look at some of the aspects that come with starting a startup company, and running it.
Keep It Low Budget
Start with low-cost measures. An early realization of the fact that many startup businesses lose more money than they get helps. It helps one see things more clearly and put things into proper perspective. At the beginning years of a new startup, the input is greater than output. Meaning that the money reaped by the company is usually a lot less than the money invested. The realization of goals may take a while longer than expected.
It also means that factors such as hiring cost should be considered. Yes, it is absolutely important that you get good, qualified people to work with. But if you can’t afford it, you simply cannot consider it. The bottom line is that making measures in the usage of money will help not to cripple the company. Focus on building the brand and the product instead.
Always keep track of company progress and digress. This includes keeping tabs on the input and output money, measuring the number of failed and successful projects, and so forth. Measuring the performance of the start-up company will help diagnose root issues and mishaps. Moreover, it will help you identify whether the company is growing or not. If it is at all growing, keeping tabs will help you identify which stage of growth your company is on. Objectives and goals need to be re-evaluated each time the company progresses to the next level.
Slow but Sturdy Growth
Startups are designed to scale. In other words, they are designed to grow. But how can one tell that their business is growing? Well. It is really quite simple. When the numbers of employees increase, and when you can finally afford your first workspace, you are growing. However, one has to keep in mind that scaling in business needs to be steady. It’s great to see your business grow and get more employees and customers. But one has to be ready for the change. More growth equals more work. Do not focus on hiring fast, focus on a slow but sure growth to make the business stick. Taking it steady as the business grows will ensure that you pace the business. Moreover, it will ensure that you are prepared for every new stage of development that comes.
Depending on the stage of growth one is in, the goals and objectives tend to change. So when hiring, ensure that the employee you are hiring will necessitate the achievement of company goals. Do not hire to add more people to your headcount, instead, hire to add value. It is essential to hire someone whose values and goals align with the companies. An employee just being there for the salary at the end of the month is not enough.
Focus On the Customers
In order to grow, ensure that your startup focuses on the customers. You must ask yourself, what do the customers want and need? Solve their problem and meet their needs, not yours. It doesn’t end there. Now that you’ve gotten a product or service for your customers, how can they purchase it? Create avenues of easy acquisition for your customers. One has to remember, that we live in a microwave fast generation. Customers expect quick results and great services. Online purchasing methods can be put in place.
If the number of limited staff affects delivery services, limit the geographical audience. Focus on a particular area first and the growth of the particular product in that area. Once the business develops, and more employees are hired, you can expand the geographical audience.
Scaling slowly but steady does not mean that the company will not perform. If you hire the right people, with the particular skill set required, needs of the company can still be met. Here is where division and specialization come in. With the few employees that you have, place each in what they can do best. This way you optimize on each function and role that the employees play. Hence, better and faster results.
Leadership Style in a Scaling Startup
When a startup scales, so does the leadership style. It can’t be avoided. At the beginning of the startup with about seven guys to work with, the work relation was close knit. The communication from the employers to the employees was not a factor. It was personal and open. However, with more employees, direct communication gets restricted. We delegate and rely on an interface or intermediary to make things easier. This does not settle well with the employees, especially with the ones you started out with. How can one deal with this? Keep them motivated and committed. Ensure that they feel a sense of identity and belonging to the company. Keep them connected in such a way that makes them see that the success depends on them, on an individual level.