As an entrepreneur – you know what it takes to make your start-up a success – right? Building a successful startup isn’t easy. To have a successful business, to gain investors, create a reputable brand, and generate revenue – it takes more than a sound strategic plan – it takes talented, committed, and dedicated people who are willing to give 100%.
Your strategic plan may be sound, and your first round of funding may be secured, but long-term growth and success won’t be achieved without a focus on people and culture.
These things – often not addressed in a start-up environment – could derail your entire operation.
Sure – you have the strategy. However do your people…
- know what it is, and do they know how they fit into making the mission and vision a reality?
- understand how the day-to-day work they perform contributes to continued growth?
- understand the plan for the future?
- know what is expected of them and what they can expect in return for a job a well done?
These are just a few of the people focused areas your strategy should address. After all, if you can’t achieve success through people™, then you’re not likely to grow from start-up to successful business. In a lean start-up environment people must wear many hats, and they must be inspired to do so, and inspired to perform above and beyond a single job description.
“No matter how brilliant your mind or strategy, if you’re playing a solo game, you’ll always lose out to a team.” -Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn co-founder
All too often, start-ups usually get stuck at a certain point – this is where a focus on more than just strategy and funding becomes imperative to success. You need to create a high performing culture – one that focuses on people. So here are some things you can focus on to help your growing business SUCCEED:
- Processes – To develop an organization with a successful high performing culture flexible and adaptable process must be in place. Processes should support in developing the ability of the organization to change as it grows (flexibility, speed and ability to learn). Processes should support a culture of innovation and continuous improvement. Processes should be continuously improved, simplified and coordinated, to support the organization strategy. Often start-ups over complicate as they grow instead of focusing on how to streamline. The more that processes help relevant and correct information be reported and delivered, the faster decisions can be made, and the faster products and services can be continuously developed, updated and improved.
- Communication – To achieve a high performing culture and sustainable business, frequent, transparent, and authentic communication amongst leadership, employees, stakeholders and customers is a necessity. Often in a start-up environment leadership tends to under communicate, not share details regarding strategy, funding, governance and growth. To keep employees engaged in your products and services and committed to the organizations strategy, mission, and vision, they need to know what is going on and why, the good and the bad, (within in reason).
- Leadership – Leadership is a driving force behind creating and maintaining a high performing culture and turning a start-up into a thriving business. Leaders serve as role models through their actions and behaviors. High performing organizations have committed leaders who can rally people around a deeper sense of purpose. In most cases these leaders are also expert communicators. Through their management, leaders of organizations with a high performing culture have the ability to translate ideals into action. These leaders not only know their organization; they know the type of people in their organization and how those people’s contributions help to achieve the strategic goals. Leaders who help achieve a high performing culture are ethical, approachable, relatable, and involved.
So follow these 3-key components to make your start-up into a successful sustainable business – or build to the point of selling for a boatload of cash. To see the full list of tips to make your start-up a high performing business, click here to see our checklist.
About Scott Span, MSOD: is CEO & Lead Consultant of Tolero Solutions – an Organizational Improvement & Strategy firm. He helps clients in achieving success through people, creating organizations that are more responsive, productive and profitable. Organizations where people enjoy working and customers enjoy doing business.
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