Startups that reach the fabled growth phase can sit back for a moment, enjoy some wine and a nice meal because they’ve earned it. The road to go from thousands to millions isn’t easy, but the path isn’t over yet.
You need to think ahead, determining which of the many potential ways to invest in your company is the best to meet your goals. Stick close to the roadmap you prepared when you first began. Remember your values and stay true to the vision you had when you began, then you can work on growing effectively.
One of the myths about scaling is that you need to stop networking. In fact, the opposite is true. Investing in attending, hosting a booth or speaking at conferences can bring new customers and business opportunities your way. Here are resources you can use to figure out whether attending a particular conference is worth your time and money:
Mobile event app– Helpful for seeing the event’s schedule and a map of the floor. This way, you can strategically plan out who you want to meet with.
Event website – Look for a list of guest speakers and particular brands being represented. Big brands often mean lots of foot traffic.
Past testimonials or review – Bloggers and vloggers often cover conventions and events to drive traffic. A glimpse at past conventions can help clue you into what to expect.
Conventions quickly get expensive but are valuable opportunities for those who understand how to network and form good conventions. Sometimes, it’s best to send only a handful of executives to keep costs low.
Software as a Service (SaaS) companies need to pay special attention to infrastructure, but everyone benefits from having a diverse array of tools to cut out the busy work. Efficiency will be a top priority moving forward.
Infrastructure can mean additional server space, better tools for customer management or improved hardware. Upgraded computers, new machinery, and other investments improve product quality as well. Just be sure to plan out your upgrades so you can maximize your investment and get decades of life out of everything you buy.
Sales is the bread and butter of a growing organization and mean the difference in whether a company can ever go public. Sales need tools to manage and build relationships, follow up on leads and keep everyone apprised of the sales process. Plus, resources that improve sales techniques and better illustrate the benefits of the products.
CRM is a great place to start, but you’ll quickly find that when you’re dealing with a large sales team the usual tools don’t work. You need better ways to coordinate and plan out a sales funnel, with metrics that track progress and help identify opportunities for growth.
Hiring is where your business goes from startup to mid-sized in the truest sense because you finally have the resources to have your pick of talent at almost every level. Empower hiring managers to make smart hiring decisions, and give HR the tools it needs to evaluate applicants and find the right matches.
Scaling is an entirely different type of challenge some aren’t prepared for. It’s ok to ask for outside help or guidance, or even to relinquish a leadership position to someone more experienced. Sometimes, empowering someone to realize your vision can be just as valuable as being at the helm of it.