5 Startup Hurdles Every Founder Needs To Overcome In Order To Achieve Rapid Growth by Forbes – Entrepreneurs

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Growing a startup is a challenge regardless of your past successes. Overcome these five hurdles and you’ll be well on your way to unlocking repeatable growth.

Tim van der Kuip on Unsplash

Appropriately managing and planning for growth is one of the most crucial challenges facing a startup founder.

Though each startup is unique, many face similar obstacles that keep them from unlocking a repeatable growth process early on.

I recently gained more insights into some of the issues startups need to focus on, thanks to a podcast interview with David Sanderson, founder of Reelgood, as well as a conversation with Colby Bauer, co-founder of Thread Wallets. The consensus is that by dedicating your energy to solving a few vital challenges in the early days, you can position your startup well to take advantage of smart growth opportunities that come your way in the future.

1. Mastering Your Finances

Your startup won’t be able to grow if you don’t have the financial resources to develop products and services, hire the best talent and so on. How do you get the investments you need to fuel your startup in its early stages?

Most startups require outside funding to grow, but in order to earn that funding, you need to put in the effort first.

For Sanderson, landing his first big investor was the result of a confluence of things. He explains, “The investor had already heard about me and my products from my time working at Facebook. I also came recommended from his friend, and was already demonstrating more than just an idea—I had basic outlines of what I thought the product would actually be.”

Though Sanderson is the first to admit that part of landing this early million-dollar investment was due to luck and timing, there’s no denying that building industry relationships and crafting a strong proof of concept played a central role in securing this initial round of funding.

2. Effective Time Management

Your startup won’t be able to grow quickly enough if you’re trying to do everything yourself.

Delegation of key responsibilities is essential during rapid growth stages of your company, which makes hiring the right talent to handle tasks you’re not as strong at, an absolute must.

This is a lesson Bauer learned quickly with his startup, Thread Wallets. “The idea started with just my wife and I making these wallets by hand,” Bauer explains. “But after seeing the potential market demand, it was obvious that there would be more work than we’d be able to handle on our own. Hiring a sales director and PR manager early on was a lifesaver that gave us more time to focus on perfecting our product.”

Though Bauer’s company is still working to achieve scale, there’s no denying that delegating work to the right people can supercharge growth and keep you from getting overwhelmed with responsibilities.

3. Securing The Right Partners

Of course, delegating some of your workload to others won’t do you much good if you hire the wrong people.

A bad hire can cost your company tens of thousands of dollars—an unnecessary expense that most startups can’t afford.

“You really have to do your due diligence when building your team,” Bauer explains. “For a startup, it’s essential that a prospective hire has fully bought into your company vision and is enthusiastic about your core concept. Get referrals and use your own networks to get a head start on the hiring process. If you’re hiring for an area that you don’t know much about, be sure to have someone involved in the process who can provide more informed input.”

Assembling a team that buys-in early will generate better results for your brand’s growth efforts over time.

4. Building Company Culture

Survey research by Deloitte recently found that 94% of executives and 88% of employees believe a distinct workplace culture is important to business success.

Fine-tuning your startup’s culture is essential if you want to attract the kinds of talented workers that’ll take your business to the next level.

Sanderson learned the value of company culture during his time at Facebook, where mangers often used what was almost a “write your own job description” approach to encourage innovative thinking.

“Facebook did such a good job with company culture. I had managers and higher-ups that gave me a lot of freedom and trust, which I carried over to my team now,” Sanderson says. “I think that that really lends itself to a lot more productivity, new ideas and better team morale. I’ve found freedom and trust to be extremely helpful in leading this new company.”

5. Marketing And Awareness

The best idea in the world won’t move the needle if potential customers and investors never hear about it.

During our interview, Sanderson cited public relations as one of the best drivers of his growth for his startup.

Interestingly, Sanderson’s wife Catharine is in charge of their in-house PR efforts. Though they’ve experienced success, getting desired outcomes isn’t as straightforward as with other business elements.

“With PR, it’s not a linear relationship between what you put in and what you get out. Catharine will do a bunch and sometimes get nothing. Other times, she’ll do a tiny bit of outreach here or there, and all of a sudden we get a wave of press.”

Among the resources that have been most successful for Reelgood are Help A Reporter Out (HARO), where individuals and organizations can provide helpful data and quotes for writers in need of an authoritative source on select topics for news media.

“Beyond that, Catharine researches people that are talking about important ideas in our space, and she’ll reach out to them,” Sanderson adds. A combination of cold emailing and touching base with people she’s built relationships with over time has allowed for consistent press around their feature launches.

Scaling a startup will be a significant challenge, especially in today’s ultra-competitive marketplace. But fueling sustainable growth is something all founders will need to address head-on if they want their business to thrive in the future.

By focusing on addressing these foundational challenges from day one, you’ll be better positioned to succeed.

June 6, 2019 at 10:44AM
https://www.forbes.com/sites/ryanrobinson/2019/06/06/startup-hurdles-rapid-growth/
Forbes – Entrepreneurs
http://www.forbes.com/entrepreneurs/
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