Paul Graham once said that, “A startup is a company designed to grow fast.” In fact, Graham goes on to say that “if you get growth, everything else tends to fall into place.” Of course, that sounds much easier said than done. If you’ve been part of a startup that has experienced rapid growth, then you’ll understand both sides of the table.
1. Have a medium-term goal and roll with it.
When planning out your business, you’ve probably created plenty of short-term and long-term goals, but have you planned out any medium-term goals? When your company grows too fast, it’s easy to skip these medium-term objectives because you’re seemingly forced to change goals.
2. Keep customers happy.
No matter what stage your startup is currently in, you can never stop listening to your customers. As Johnson states, “Customers have the most relevant ideas, the most immediate feedback, they are increasingly happy to help (through social media) and they pay the bills. So put in place a formal approach to listening to customers all the time and acting on their input.”
3. Find a great mentor.
A mentor with experience as an entrepreneur or business executive can take a lot of weight off your shoulders. You have the benefit of their experiences and the advice of someone who has been there before.
4. Have the right team.
I can’t emphasize this enough; having team members who are smarter than you is essential for a fast growing company. It will be your team, not just simply your product and business strategy, that will steer your company to success. While I’ve discussed how to build a great startup team in the past, constructing a team at this moment in your company is slightly different.
5. Consider financial implications.
As your business quickly expands, there are a number of financial implications that you need to take into consideration.
Focus on the following five financial areas for managing a fast growing company:
- Create a budget for your business.
- Understand your cash flow.
- Evaluate equipment purchases based on numbers, not institution.
- Plan for the costs of employees.
- Seek outside financial help if required.
6. Subtract, while you add.
There are lots of things that used to work that don’t work anymore, so you have to get rid of them. There are probably a bunch of things you’ve always done that slowed you down without you realizing it.
Another way to subtract while you add is by replacing the good with the bad.