Research shows over 27 million people in the U.S. are starting or running new businesses. While start-ups and their predicted successes and failures dominate the media, what should your company expect once you’re past the initial start-up phase?
3 Tips to Master the Growth-Stage
At what point does a start-up stop being a start-up? The definition of a start-up depends on who you’re asking. Business Dictionary says “startup” is the “early stage in the life cycle of an enterprise where the entrepreneur moves from the idea stage to securing financing, laying down the basic structure of the business, and initiating operations or trading.”
Most experts agree that once your company has established itself in its chosen market and can attract investors easily instead of fighting for funding, then you’re past the start-up stage.
You’ve gotten past your business launch, and you’re officially a growth-stage company. When you reach that point, what actions can you take to continue scaling up? Many companies find it near impossible to sustain their early levels of growth. There are three main things you can do to keep your trajectory on track as much as possible when navigating the growth-stage:
1) Hire Amazing Team Members
Time and time again, CEOs and founders credit their success to the top-notch people in their companies. Scaling up takes hard work from dedicated people. If you’ve moved past the start-up phase, then your core team members are probably rock stars at their jobs.
When you start interviewing and adding new hires in the growth-stage, look to add people who will be your “hidden gems” or employees who are vastly better than their competition. Make sure that you’re evaluating prospective employees based on their capabilities, how well they align to core values, if they fit into your company culture, and if they exhibit the character traits that make your current team members excellent.
2) Stay Aligned to Your Business Objectives
Keep your individual and organizational goals in sync. As your number of employees rises and you start developing specialized departments, it can be difficult to keep abreast of what’s going on throughout your business.
To mitigate this issue, stay in a frequent rhythm of communication so you know what everyone’s working on and prevent misalignment. In particular, using goal-oriented communication can help keep everyone in your company focused on your objectives and more likely to execute strategically as you scale up.
3) Keep Your Values Driving Your Interactions
Don’t lose sight of what makes your company yours. When companies grow quickly, it can be tempting to deviate from your stated values in order to take advantage of new opportunities. Keep your values “alive” in your company and make sure your leadership team references and exhibits them often.
You can scale up without compromising your purpose, but it takes careful consideration and diligence on the leadership team’s part.
By keeping these three things in mind, you set your company up to see high levels of growth even once you’re past the start-up stage. Employ these tactics so that the growth-stage doesn’t slow you down, and you can become one of the 4% of American companies that exceeds $1 million in revenue.