Successful early-stage startups typically see massive growth in the initial stages as their products/services start getting accepted by the market. While the actual growth numbers may not be large, it is difficult to handle the growth with limited team size and capital.
Here are my thoughts on what entrepreneurs should do to handle this growth:
- Remain humble: I have seen many entrepreneurs earning a bad name by becoming arrogant as they suddenly see themselves in the thick of things.
- Focus on current customers: High growth typically starts impacting service level/quality of delivery of current customers. Ensuring the highest priority to current customers helps in sustaining the growth momentum.
- Avoid excessive/unstructured growth: Every startup has a limited capacity to handle growth despite the availability of potential business. You may have to let go what you may not have the wherewithal to handle on an immediate basis.
- Hiring: Start creating a funnel for hiring much before you may need them to handle this transition. First set of employees would help in setting the right culture within the organization and wrong hires would severely impact everything including the growth.
- Skilling: Creating the right training/skilling programs upfront would help in moving fast. Engaging external experts in training may help in accelerating the process as you may not have the bandwidth to manage this internally.
- Keep costs in check: Costs may spiral out of control as focus shifts to potential revenues in growth phase.
Every successful startup goes through this phase, however I have seen many startups failing to pass this critical phase due to the above issues. What are your thoughts?