Every firm starts somewhere, and there is always lot of excitement and romanticization around a startup’s first days. I won’t forget the exhilarating feeling I got after starting my first company while sitting at a local coffee shop.
Regardless of how amazing your product is, the amount of money you raise or how experienced you are, the success of your growth story will largely depend on your people power. Before you begin Operation: Expand, commit to nurturing a healthy growth strategy, underpinned by careful planning and management.
Articulate your purpose
The hunt for meaningful work is on the rise and EY research reveals organizations with a clearly visible sense of purpose frequently outperform their peers in both growth and bottom line business.
People are being bombarded by career-related information on a daily basis, and Gallup evidence suggests workers are increasingly open to hearing about new opportunities and move between roles more frequently these days. People might have your ear, but winning them over and gaining long-term loyalty is a totally different ball game.
Taking the time to clearly define your company’s mission, where the passion comes from and why it exists, could be crucial to the success of your talent brand. According to TechCrunch, articulating the entrepreneurial startup vision outside of the core team is a huge challenge for SMBs. If you can get it right, you’ve already got an edge.
Play to your strengths
When it comes to attracting and retaining top talent, you mightn’t be able to compete with the size and brand of the giants, but you can capitalise on what you’ve got. Being a small startup means you can be human-centric and offer people visibility and the chance to make a real difference in the business. You can be agile and flexible, and nurture a close-knit culture of professionals who are more like friends. You can offer things like work from home, flexible hours, great acuity and nice benefits.
Ask questions and listen
Working in a small team makes it easier to forget the importance of proper communication. Just because you sit in a room with your small team of employees for forty-odd hours each week, doesn’t automatically mean your finger is on the pulse with employee engagement and how everyone’s feeling.
According to this research by the Department of Business Innovation & Skills, firms between 5 and 19 people will see the most benefit from proper in-house leadership & management skills. Remember to truly value your great people, never becoming complacent or assume they’ll stick with you. Other firms will try to headhunt your superstars, so be sure to check in regularly to prevent any gripes from snowballing unnecessarily. Holding regular team and individual meetings is a great place to start.
Befriend supportive technology
Isn’t it strange that as a tech company, your most important asset and probably your biggest expense, is still being managed manually – based on long excel sheets and your own intuitions as CEO? Selecting the right HR software to be the backbone of your business can reduce your stress levels and help you maintain control of your growing company.
Do away with multiple spreadsheets and notepads full of scribble, and choose a system that saves you time by automating data entry, encouraging positive company culture through employee mapping, streamlining payroll, time off, absences and benefits, and offering you great insight through meaningful data.
While every business starts somewhere, the final destination comes down to the powerful team behind it. Come say ‘hi’ to the team at bob and learn more about how we can support your business as it grows. Don’t forget, it’s all about the people!
Sharon Argov is bob‘s VP of Growth. She is a serial entrepreneur – at just 16 she began her entrepreneurial career, selling lemonade to thirsty beach-goers stuck in traffic outside Tel Aviv in Israel. At 21, she started a short-term rentals business in Spain (pre-Airbnb!). Eventually she sold to German tourist operators. In the last decade, Sharon has honed her skills as an online marketing expert in various industries. She played an integral role in 888 holdings which floated on the London Stock Exchange with a valuation of $1.5 billion in 2005. She has also run her own boutique marketing agency, helping online brands and start-ups in all phase’s monetise their business models and build efficient user acquisition strategies.
Connect with Sharon on LinkedIn.