Now that you’re no longer a “startup,” clients might consider you delusional if you suddenly decided to throw a trendy “startup party” for your business. However, wouldn’t it be nice to get back that rush of excitement and anticipation you had as a startup entrepreneur? Of course, you don’t want to go back and repeat the same mistakes you made when you started out, but there are some elements of a startup personality you do want to maintain as your business grows:
Jump Back In
If you’ve stepped away from the day to day running of your business, it’s time to jump back in and see how things are being run. In the beginning you were hands on with everything and everything had your touch, your special signature. Periodically, it’s important to check the daily details to make sure your company is running the way you want it run.
When you started out, you had to be flexible to change target markets or refocus your business when the occasion called for it. As businesses grow, they tend to lose their flexibility and can’t switch focus as quickly to reflect new consumer trends or market fluctuations. For a small business, that could mean the end. Make sure your business still operates at the speed and flexibility of a startup.
Small business guru Seth Godin says, “small is the new big because small gives you the flexibility to change your business model when your competition changes theirs.”
Do or Die
In the beginning you treated every project like it could be your last. Every potential client and every business decision was important to your success. Get that attitude back and you’ll be ready to tackle anything.
Has your spending gotten out of control? Sure, it’s great you can afford to buy more as your business grows, but it’s also important to regularly look at where your money is going and see if and where you should cut back on your spending. Keep track of every dollar and ask your accountant for advice on where you could save.
Too Many Cooks?
If you’ve added partners or employees as your business grew, make sure the decision-making process hasn’t gotten convoluted. Make it clear who is responsible for making what decisions and let it be. Channel your startup days when there wasn’t time to hold a meeting about every decision because you needed to move fast.
Maintaining your startup mentality can preserve the culture of your business while also giving you an edge over competitors. Stay flexible, lean, and simple and you'll stay true to your startup roots for years to come.
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