You started as a solo entrepreneur, but now your startup is growing and you face the need to scale your business. Easier said than done… What should you start with? How not to mess up? Our practical tips will help you make the right choices.
Great people make great companies
While working solo you used to rely on yourself. You knew why you were working days and nights and which goal you were trying to achieve. It was your business project and all sacrifices were justified. Now you need to hire people for your team. But will they share your passion, your commitment to the project? Will they have enough skills to accomplish your ambitious goals?
If you start hiring people for your team, it's crucial that your new hires share the same enthusiasm and determination. Peter Schutz once said: "Hire character. Train skill." Potential at this stage is way more important than a brilliant resume. Hire someone who is able and eager to learn, someone who wants to work and achieve common goals.
At this critical time of building your company culture you need to find people who you and your team will enjoy working with. That's why some startups use the following practice: everyone in the team has a chance to interview the candidates. Thus you will be able to find the best cultural fit. This option is working only for very small teams though. When you made a hiring decision, be sure that you have an effective employee onboarding.
Efficient workflow is a key
Growth creates complexity. If you started as a solo entrepreneur and now you work in a team of 3, 5 or 10 people, your business processes became much more complicated. It’s very important at this stage of your company development to create an efficient workflow, minimize bureaucracy, but still have a full control over the work of your team. There is a number of software solutions which will make this task quite easy. A proper CRM system will cover a full customer life cycle, reports and task management will give you a complete view over the workload of your team members just to name a few. Moreover, be sure that you are available and approachable: your team should know that you are there for them. However, the communication with employees should not bury you under the constant flow of calls, meetings and chat messages. A good communication solution will enable you to organize your time so that you are aware of what’s going on in the company and be present when it’s necessary. Meeting scheduler, video conferencing, calendar or instant messaging are just a couple of other handy tools you will need.
Embrace your leadership role
When you change your role from working solo to a team leader, your list of responsibilities will be expanded – you will have to supervise and lead others. Power is alluring, but in reality it is a burden… and a bunch of new skills you will have to learn. Definitely, great companies are about great teams, but great teams are about great leaders. First of all, you need strong social skills to feel and understand your employees. Then, you will need the right set of tools to keep this machine going. How will you control the workflow of your team? How will you delegate the tasks or make sure that your team members make the right decisions? How will you evaluate their work? Such tools as crm, reports, task and project management will be there to help you lead your team and do not let the fish rot from the head down.
Keep Track of your Finances
When your company expands, you start getting larger profits. Larger profits usually bring larger expenses, starting from hiring star employees to increased marketing budgets and operating costs. It’s crucial to understand your cash flow and have a budget for your business. Consider a cloud-based accounting software. It will give you a better overview of your finances. Moreover, it is cost effective and easy to use.
Unity is Strength
Building a strong company culture is fundamental for your business success. When it comes to startups, people usually imagine a team of highly motivated people who have big ambitions and a high goal they are trying to achieve. Motivation, enthusiasm and readiness to work flat out don’t come from monetary incentives. They stem from company culture and the relationships build in this company. If you want to keep your team motivated and engaged, don’t forget to facilitate connections between your team members and create a friendly environment.
As an entrepreneur you have to deal with many challenges every day. If you surround yourself with right people and see an opportunity in every challenge, everything will be possible. Good luck!
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