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Make Sure Your Startup Doesn’t Fail As Soon As It Expands

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Make Sure Your Startup Doesn’t Fail As Soon As It Expands

Startups are infamously hard to operate. Establishing a business is hard enough without the added considerations you need to think of when your firm gains a more stable footing. If your startup has managed to survive it’s early months, during which you most likely established yourself with a positive reputation, building great loyal clients through work ethic, reliability, and quality of service – it might be time to expand.

Expansion is the goal for all startups, lest they stay perpetually a humble operation that never knows the limits of its own potential. It would be rare to hear that a startup owner would be happy just breaking even. The risk an entrepreneur taken in establishing this idea was likely undertaken for the chance that the idea was a great success, and ended up being more successful than initially dreamed. You can’t fault an entrepreneur for thinking this way, because if they didn’t, the work they put into innovation and crafting an idea lovingly from the ground up would suffer from only having a fraction of the passion needed to make the idea functional.

Even with the best product development and most innovative idea in the world, getting seen is difficult for a startup, especially considering how over 80 new companies were registered in the UK every hour during 2016. What’s even more staggering to contemplate is that 80% of those are likely to fail.

It’s true, as a new business you need to pull out all the stops on your road to success. If you do find this success, it’s important that you stay ahead of the curve to prevent yourself from falling prey to silly mistakes that can cost you big time. Keep these following ideas in mind when your business takes on new workers, new responsibilities and establishes new departments.

Hire The Right People

First of all, it’s likely that you’re going to need to employ more people if your business is going from strength to strength. These people will help you form work departments, and carry out the delegated tasks that you are now successful enough to pay someone else to do. It’s for this reason that you need to hire some of the best people you can get your hands on, and that means sparing no expense when it comes to hiring good talent. Remember, these people will be the foundational basis of your enterprise, and their skillsets and working attitudes can make or break your business. If money is tight, a great way to overcome this is to mitigate the skill of your workforce by ‘padding’ out your numbers.

Consider hiring two interns or recent graduate for every one skilled worker you hire. The skilled worker can extend their knowledge to the new hires, and the inexperienced workers can be paid less of a salary while they are trained. Also, you’ll be able to benefit from bringing them into your firm early, by fostering an association with your firm. Everyone remembers their first job, and if it treats them well, they’re likely to stay. This lessens employee turnover which is so critical to save time and energy at this stage in your development. To further reduce employee turnover, be sure to research methods of effectively leading a team to help them flourish in their new role.

Exposure

Now your firm is somewhat successful; it’s important to understand how to market your idea. Thus far you might have functioned primarily through word of mouth and selling your products through online marketplaces, but now is the time to legitimize the entire proceeding. Set up social media profiles to give your firm the boost in exposure it needs, and consider paying those social media websites for ‘sponsored’ posts that can be broadcast to all those in your area for a limited charge.

The amount you can benefit from this is difficult to understate. Life is moving ever-increasingly online, and that means it’s ripe for the picking. Make sure your business has an online presence as soon as it can, or risk suffering from a lack of positive exposure.

HR

Once your team increases to the double digits, it’s important that you enact a positive HR team. Even if this is just one person who regulates the proceedings of your employees and carries out their important administrative registered tasks, this can be a godsend in making sure your employees are all happy, functioning and well-looked after. If an employee feels their concerns are not being listened to (which can often happen in a small firm, they will be prone to applying for other jobs and leaving without much notice. This is a terrible circumstance to find yourself in, especially if you’ve invested time in their training.

Be sure that your firm has a welcome and open company policy that allows any employee to come forward with anything that’s on their mind. Your workplace culture begins here, and it starts with profoundly open communication.

Security

As your business grows, you’ll need to move to larger offices in order to keep up with demand and house your team safely. This office will need to be secure to prevent unlawful access to your operation and in order to keep your staff safe. Consider enacting a keycard policy, or seeing if your rental offices have any security measures in place before you hire that space in question. This is an oft-neglected part of any startups expansion, but it’s very important. Unauthorized access to your firm is never done with the best of intentions, and industrial or rental office parks are often prime targets for thieves. A small inconvenience can set back your product line for quite a while, so be sure to prevent that from ever happening to begin with.

Supply & Demand

Businesses rarely grow in smooth, incremental jumps. They usually face a large increase in demand as a result of a holiday or advertising promotion, or through some other form of advertising that legitimises your firm as worthy. When this happens, it’s important to be sure you’re not caught out with petty demand issues that can make your firm seem incompetent and not worthy of a future business transaction. Your competence is on the line in this regard, so make sure you’re able to effectively give it the positive attention it deserves. Don’t forget that your net revenue will be the final reward.

Culture

Your workplace culture says a lot about you as an owner and the firm you’re running. Take this time to develop a company policy, and try to include as much as possible that helps prepare for most eventualities. Design this as a simple handbook that new employees can read upon being brought into your firm. It’s good to go over this with lawyers to make sure that you’re fair, accurate and within the parameters of your legal jurisdiction.

A great company policy can help promote fairness, equal opportunities and also warn against detrimental behaviours like racism, sexism, or workplace harassment. In an ideal world, a company policy shouldn’t have to exist, but unfortunately, we don’t live in an ideal world, and your company needs to explicitly state what your staff should and shouldn’t expect to behave like while part of your brand. Failure to do this could result in embarrassment for your firm. For example, a drunk employee ‘tweeting’ the details of a workplace drama between the staff could quickly go viral and bring much negative exposure to your firm. This seems extreme, and it is, but it highlights what could happen if your company policy isn’t carefully implemented and understood among your staff.

These tips duly followed will help smoothly chart your startup through the choppy waters of business expansion.

I am the founder of Startup Today. I am the main writer and have put in many hours of work into creating this blog. If you want to find out more about me then lets get in contact.

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