STARTUP GROWTH PAINS:
WHAT ARE THEY AND HOW TO HANDLE THEM?
A startup is a unique kind of small or medium-sized business. Apart from finding a transformative market opportunity and using technology to solve it, its distinct feature from other small companies is that it’s massively scalable and highly concerned with growth.
Over the last 10 years, the pace of startups’ growth has increased significantly. One of the possible reasons for that is the process of digitalization. It has become much easier to acquire new clients through online marketing channels. Moreover, the growth itself becomes more quantifiable, which enables better transparency.
However, fast-paced growth can become a problem for a young startup, unless managed properly. In this article, we are going to discuss three main growth pains that startups face. Namely, hiring, fundraising and communication.
Now let’s have a closer look at each of them:
At the very beginning, most founders are not paying enough attention to the hiring process. Hence, people end up being assigned to the wrong positions. This causes a loss of precious time, and it wastes financial resources. But most importantly, it prevents startups from growing.
To eliminate any personnel issues, it is crucial to start focusing on the development of hiring and onboarding procedures. An established hiring process will help founders find the best employees for the open positions.
- Make sure to hire the right people by being at least partially involved in the interviews yourself or involving long-standing employees who embody the company culture. When it comes to C-Level positions, you can also ask your investors for help.
- Define your vision, mission and values sooner than later. The life of a startup is a constant hustle and defining your WHY is usually seen to play a supporting role. However, it’s key when it comes to growing your team, and eradicating micromanagement through fostering your team’s autonomy.
- Pay attention to culture management. As the team grows, you’ll see differences in the performance pace and understanding of the company culture between your early and late team hires. Making sure that all team members are aligned will help you to improve overall performance.
- Clearly communicate your company team development and control the misunderstandings between your early employees and their newly employed, more experienced supervisors.
- Be aware and understand the problem of burnout. Working in a startup comes with overwork hours, constant hustle and pressure. It is common to expect the best performance of your employees, however, when not managed properly, it adds more fuel to the fire of your churn.
Funding is crucial for a startup’s success. The more cash you have, the faster you grow. The faster you grow, the bigger is a chance to win the competition.
Nevertheless, fundraising is one of the hardest parts of growing a startup. Only a few startups can successfully bootstrap themselves, and this usually comes as an exception. To be successful, you have to fundraise and be prepared for investors to evaluate your venture the way customers evaluate products they purchase. And since the number of investors is fewer than customers, the odds are not on your side.
In our beginner’s guide for startup fundraising, we dive deeper into best practices for startup founders to succeed in the competition for investors. Make sure to check it out for more insights.
Investors are not just a pool of money in high demand. Finding the right investor brings a vast source of valuable advice, support and business insights along the way your venture grows. To find such a fit, you need to know your investor well, be visible in the ecosystem, get a personal introduction or showcase a solid deal fundament based on investor strategic interests.
With DealMatrix you can easily find investors for your business. Get your company snapshot on DealMatrix engine and connect with the right investors by browsing a global directory of active investors that shows their strategic preferences.
A majority of fast-growing startups suffer from poor communication within the company. Lack of proper communication between teams causes misalignment, which leads to working overlaps.
So, to avoid having two teams working on the same thing, several activities can be implemented:
- A bi-weekly newsletter can improve the alignment of a startup.
- Weekly meetings with team leaders can foster understanding of the ongoing tasks in different teams.
- Having a transparent dashboard can reduce the number of overlaps in the working processes.
Summing up, there is a variety of growth pains and obstacles that startups face every day. But it should not prevent you from growing. Most of the time, the best thing a startup founder can do is to prepare for these obstacles in advance. To be prepared, firstly you have to be aware of them.
Author: Sofia Khoperiia
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