It is common knowledge that the bigger a company gets the slower it becomes. Common decision making takes a longer process to actualise. The upward scale of an enterprise signifies a certain level of achievement for the founder(s), but not everybody can manage these exposures. Some enterprenuers are best suited for their small cubicle businesses without overstretching their qualities.
By default, every startup enterprise is designed for growth, but when it comes many find it unable to cope with or manage. Growth for a startup is multidimensional. It could mean an increase in sales or demand for products and services, increase in clienteles or even scaling – which is an upward review of organizational and managerial changes. Here are some of the facets of business that witnesses changes due to growth:
The good thing about expansions in business is that it takes more duties off the entrepreneur. As the business begins to expand into specialised departments, more and more hands are needed to man several duties. The leader will have to start entrusting some things into the hands of some new faces.
On the flip side, the leader gets the opportunity to interview more qualified candidates into new openings, unlike what obtained before. As the company expands you spend more time trying to coordinate the activities of the expanding members than actually doing the service your organization sets out to do. Managing interpersonal problems is also a challenge that comes with expansions and growth in business, and the startup leader must be prepared for such eventuality.
A business enterprise looking forward to scale, needs to find experienced senior executives to guide the business forward, particularly when product-market is found and the startup is ready for serious growth.
Production is never complete until the goods get to the fina consumer(s). Expansion in business means the traditional ways of delivering services to the earlier clients and customers would begin to experience the dynamics of business. There would be need to reach out to a larger population in a faster and simpler way.
It is pertinent at this stage to always keep the feedback line open and never ignore the suggestions and opinions of your customers. In them lie the keys to the management of your enterprise’ new status. Exerienced entrepreneurs define clear key performance indicators (KPIs) for each department and sometimes each employee at the company so they always have a view on what is working and what should be improved upon, with a view to how it affects service delivery to the end clients/customers.
Office Space/ Equipment
The most physical change noticeable with an upward growth in an enterprise is the need to acquire more space for office duties or equipment. Most startup firms can conveniently remain virtual and work from anywhere where there’s internet access, but as soon as the investment goes upward, there’s always the next level step. Linda Ikeji had this challenge too when she had to get more hands to help out with her blogging and acquire more office space for the new recruits. It went behind what she can handle alone!
As sales begin to pour in and demands for products and service are becoming overwhelming, more and more equipment would be needed to cater to that need. When the founders of Printivo found it hard to match demands with the little equipment and space they had, it was time they moved to where the demands came from! Timing is key here, as many entrepreneurs mistake the first boom in sales as the pointer to expansion of business and purchase of more equipment, thereby further putting a strain of the company’s purse. There should be careful analysis of what necessitated the growth and how sustainable it is to warrant an expansion. Leadership here is key!
When a Venture Capitalist invested $1.2 million into the startup firm of Toilet.com.ng it became apparent that they would be needing a new way of doing business, and to be better protected, they need a legal department or a good law firm to help iron out the grey areas of the establishment.
According to S. 572 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, Where a persons carries on business as a Sole Proprietor in his natural name, the law does not require such a person to register , but where the person carries on busininess under a pseudonym, he is by the provision the law required to register such.
Also, in the event of an expansion as a result of growth, necessitating mergers, acquisitions or partnerships like jobberman, wakanow and the likes, closer attention to details is required by the startup entrepreneur so as to avoid the kind of legal pitfall that befell Yarnable in its quest for mergers and took if off the Nigerian cyberspace.
Conclusively, when the firm is moving up the organizational chart is the right moment to seek out a mentor, who has been through that stage of the business. Pride and ego is the only challenge here as most young entrepreneurs ignore this step and come crashing soon after.
“So please, take it from me: no matter how incredibly smart you think you are, or how brilliant, disruptive or plain off-the-wall your new concept might be, every start-up team needs at least one good mentor.” – Richard Branson
Credit: Founders NG