Rapid growth is a two-edged sword for any startup. Growing quickly is a potential sign of robustness and future success.
Investors certainly love it when a startup is growing exponentially, and more investor interest is always good for your startup. Rapid growth also is a sign of good product-market fit in most cases, meaning you already have a substantial customer base.
At the same time, rapid startup growth has its challenges. It is now always easy to fill critical roles when you are growing exponentially, which often leads to problems like weak hiring, inefficiencies, and an inability to keep up with market demands. Don’t forget that these problems – and many others you will face along the way – can be catastrophic to a startup.
So, how can startup growth be positive and manageable? Rapid growth is good for business, but only when you manage it properly. To help you take your startup to new heights, here are the key elements to establish as you prepare to scale your startup, up.
Understand your core purpose
As cliché as this sounds, having a firm mission statement that everyone believes in is essential. Your startup – and you as the founder – must have a clear purpose. Even more important than having one, your startup must also stay true to that purpose as you grow rapidly.
Forgetting the real purpose of the company is dangerous. You will end up pivoting without clear directions, making changes that aren’t always necessary, and ruining your chances of success on the market. Instead of becoming agile and robust, your startup may turn out to be a bust for moving without a clear direction.
It is up to the founders to maintain that clear vision. A mission statement is only one of the instruments you can use to reinforce your brand objectives and get everyone involved in achieving them. That brings us to the second element.
Focus on buy-ins
Agility comes from a willingness to work together quickly and effectively. Without these elements, agility is nothing more than moving fast without actually achieving anything. Now that you know the importance of having clear objectives, it is time to get everyone involved in reaching those objectives.
All stakeholders must share your vision for the startup to succeed. By stakeholder, I mean team members, partners, investors, and customers. The goal is to get everyone excited about being a part of the company’s success, which, in turn, motivates them to contribute more to the success you are trying to achieve.
Similar to defining a core purpose, there are several things you can do to encourage early buy-ins among stakeholders. You can, for instance, hold annual meetings where all stakeholders can share success stories from different points of view.
Invest in people development
A startup can only grow as quickly as its people. Without sufficient investment in people development, there is no way you can reach the success in which you are aiming. Hiring new talent isn’t a solution either, especially in today’s competitive market.
When you hire new talent, you have to invest in getting them aligned with the company’s strategy, introducing the company culture, and making sure that they can work well with the rest of the team. At some point, you are forced to hire more talent so that the company can increase its capacity further and respond to market changes.
People development, on the other hand, is a continuous process. You are investing in the people you already have and allowing them to grow alongside the business. You end up with committed, culture-fit, and capable assets that will support your startup for years to come.
The next pain point to avoid is the pain of simplifying and streamlining workflows within the startup. It will not be long before you have to establish new departments, grow teams within the company, and create new functions to support business operations. These affect how work gets done.
Complex workflows will slow your startup right down. When a simple document approval requires the involvement of two to three people from different departments, nothing gets done quickly. This type of workflow needs to be simplified and managed correctly for the company to remain agile. Solutions like TOPdesk are the resource you need for this task.
TOPdesk is an excellent example of unified business solutions transformed into a tool for delivering exceptional customer experience. It handles tasks such as IT service management and facilities management, as well as customer service delivery. You can request a demo from TOPdesk to learn more about the platform.
The tempting thing to do is capitalise on all market opportunities. All opportunities are worth seizing and will take your startup to the next level, right? Well, not really. Trying to do everything – particularly with the limited resources that you have – will only hamper growth.
You will end up with too many things to do, which could be very distracting. Instead of making the same mistake, make sure you identify market focus points and set your priorities straight. You can refer to your ultimate goal and maintain a focus that way. You can also refer to data, such as market size if you want to spot the opportunities to prioritise.
Setting your priorities helps you direct resources and anticipate future challenges. You can decide to recruit more based on your understanding of market growth. At the same time, you maintain the ability to stay lean when exploring lower priority markets and opportunities.
Treat your customers
That brings us to the last secret to rapid startup growth: excellent customer service. When you limit your market reach, you are more likely to treat your target customers the right way. That translates to higher customer satisfaction levels and the ability to deliver personalised customer service. Solutions like TOPdesk certainly help to achieve these goals as well.
Focus on the customers, and you now have all that you need to maintain and manage your growth level. You can grow as rapidly as you want without running into catastrophic issues. It will not be long before your startup starts catering to millions of customers while staying lean and agile.