Although building a business from nothing to a sustainable one is rewarding, the next stage of scaling quickly can be just as challenging. The right moves can help your business increase. However, it is difficult, with around 70% of companies failing to make the right moves, according to Techstars seed accelerator. What is the secret to your success? When scaling up a company to become a category leader, there are three things you need to be aware of.
1. Invest in your people and culture
You lose that opportunity when your company reaches a certain level. This is the actual test for your leadership and your company’s culture.
When you’re not there, are people excited about your vision? Are they making decisions that are equal or better than those you would make?
Smart decisions lead to success. And the people you hire make those decisions. The key area to focus on is recruiting. If you want to make recruiting scale for your business, it is worth building an in-house recruitment team. You will conduct interviews to help calibrate hiring managers and ensure consistency in culture and talent.
Once you’ve established a solid foundational team, you can codify your culture and reinforce it. It can be difficult and disruptive to change the culture of a sizeable-based company. Your culture becomes more flexible as you scale up. Your culture can become less flexible due to the influx of investors, new hires, and changes in priorities. However, the right tools can help you improve your culture. It’s important to create feedback loops that help you identify both your successes and your challenges. This includes 360s, employee satisfaction surveys, and ask-me-anything forums. Follow your example and listen to this feedback.
2. Balance predictability with agility
Culture and hiring are two of the many things that change as your team grows—being agile and taking advantage of your competitors is one of your strengths as a startup. It would be best if you improved predictability in your business as you grow your company. It would be best to find a balance between what you feel confident about and emerging market opportunities. This is how you can be a leader in your operations.
In your planning process, you can include a combination of these two almost opposing needs. Private growth companies often have a “base plan” for financial performance. This consists of a plan that is “can’t be missed,” “board,” and a plan that is “management.” This allows you to plan your funding and runway while maximizing the potential of your company’s day-to-day operations.
A financial plan is only one aspect of the whole picture. It’s not what employees base decisions on. If you can create a strategy reflected in company goals and then rolled down, your business will be well-run. It is often the best way to scale businesses rapidly by setting quarterly objectives and key outcomes. They help you to move along your annual roadmap while allowing for flexibility to adjust throughout the year.
3. Overcome the Gap
As your company grows, so does your market position and the budget to hire the right people for the job. Because of its predictability and specialization, your organization becomes more isolated while requiring coordinated action. Although alignment and cascading can be critical, you only have so many hours to accomplish it.
One solution is to establish a cross-functional project management office. The director+ level hire would sit at the executive table and help coordinate and execute programs that support company strategies across all departments.
You can also hire ahead for revenue operations to help you address the increasing complexity of your company. Although sales, marketing, and customer success leaders each have their operations teams, you will need someone who can take a company-first approach to coordinate your operational plan and execute new playbooks among all groups.
This is how you will navigate the most challenging aspect of growing your business: scaling operations.