How do you navigate your company or business from the start-up phase to the growth phase?
This requires a shift in mindset!
Let’s dive into this transformation, learn from experiences, and pave the way for our business’s expansion.
In the start-up phase, at the very beginning, we are mostly alone. We do everything ourselves, starting with the concept, dealing with authorities and paperwork, tax advisors, the first website. This website will be horrible of course, looking back later. I still remember my first website was basically a self-made cell phone photo and a very long text underneath. The site didn’t even have an imprint. What is that anyway ;D
Managing it All
Moving on to product development and manufacturing, packaging, shipping. You can manage all that as a one man show in the beginning, as long as the orders are within limits and the euphoria about the first own business is high.
Of course, it’s the same with a service company. A small cafe, for example, can be run alone, but not a restaurant..
The Arrival of Employees
Employees join and although they do their job well, the boss is always present, knows everything, can do everything, perhaps also steps in everywhere – I have done exactly that. Out of pure habit, because i was so familiar with the tasks and just wanted to pass on my knowledge and help. Driving everyone crazy with that. – I still felt responsible for everything.
With a helping team by your side, you are perhaps physically relieved, but by no means mentally. The company has become bigger, but it cannot develop. This phase is critical because the growth of the company depends heavily on whether the entrepreneur also develops himself.
Whether he realizes that he is doing the wrong things and that is damaging his company. By the way, this includes harming the employees and customers as well.
The Entrepreneur’s Evolution
If the entrepreneur doesn’t have time to primarily take care of the customer needs, and perhaps doesn’t even realize them, he can’t align his strategy with them. The company works past the needs and employees will feel this. Satisfaction and the feeling of doing meaningful work will decrease.
I know what I am talking about because I have made exactly these mistakes. The company went over my head a few years ago and I had to learn very quickly to get out of that bottleneck:
Hand things over, trust, endure when someone does the task in a different way, endure when things go wrong or aren’t done at all, communicate more and communicate more clearly, separate myself from people who don’t fit with the company. It was a longer process that was also painful from time to time.
But looking back at this, it was so necessary for me to see my part and learn from it. The question is, do we manage to work consistently ON the business and solve the bottlenecks that move the business forward as a whole. Or do we get involved in things that we only believe are important at this right moment. Then we loose our longterm strategy.
Main Responsibilities for Business Owners
What exactly are our tasks as business owners anyway, when we really focus on not only managing, but also on business growth:
- Develop a Vision and Strategy: Have a clear vision and a strategy to realize it.
- Market Positioning: Define your place in the market.
- Recruit the Right Talent: Find the right people for your team.
- Financial Sustainabilitystrong: Secure financial resources.
- Optimize for Growthstrong: Focus on processes, customers, and employees that facilitate growth.
- Customer-Centric Approach: Always adapt your strategy to customer needs.
- Avoid Operational Tasksstrong: Operational activities become secondary, especially as the company grows.
- Personal Development: Continuously work on personal growth and learning.
Avoid Becoming the Bottleneck
If you do not dedicate yourself to these tasks and put them in the center of your daily attention, sooner or later you will become the bottleneck of your own business.
To return to the question above, how do you take your company from the start-up phase to the growth phase?
The Transition to Growth
The answer to that is straight forward: Be aware and keep in mind that everything you do operationally at the beginning, it’s only a temporary task. You take it over on an interim basis until you find the right person to whom the task actually belongs to. Then you hand it over to that person.
So a mind shift from „I need help / support“ with MY TASKS to „I am NOT THE OWNER of this task. I’m just doing this until the owner of the task is here“.
Optimizing the Transition
I also always ask myself with all tasks I do temporarily: How can I structure them as well as possible, how is the the process working in an optimal way?. And I usually write a guideline/process description before
I hand over the task. It allows me to ensure the best possible process right from the start and shortens the training period for the new employee.
This means that you are ready to hand over and let go sooner when the time comes. The transition is smoother, faster and more structured. The growth phase, in which more structures and processes are needed, can be initiated more quickly.
👋🏽 Hi, I’m Bianka & I help employees to create a life beyond the 9-5 routine, build a business that matters and gives them all the freedom they want.
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