Transforming a start-up business into a scale-up is an incredibly challenging task, which can be difficult to plan and prepare for.
Although there is a lot to consider, moving from start-up through to the stages of rapid growth is practically impossible for any entrepreneur without having the right team or talent in place.
However, just as employing the right people to manage and drive the success of your business is vital for any scale-up project, so is your capability to lead and direct, where the entrepreneur and business owner able to inspire and motivate through rapid growth – regardless of the challenges faced – are those far more likely to achieve scale-up success.
Having successfully scaled multiple businesses including the UK’s leading matched betting platform, Profit Accumulator, I understand all too well the importance of employing and directing a rock-star team, and believe that the following points are fundamental to driving rapid business growth:
Communication is key
If you are planning rapid growth, it is important to share your vision with your team. Be transparent and honest, outlining where the company is now, where you want it to be within a certain timeframe and their individual roles in making that happen.
The team members who feel as though they are making a valuable difference in their role are far more likely to reach job satisfaction and will, therefore, be motivated in supporting growth.
It’s important to remember that scaling a business can be both a chaotic and turbulent time, presenting a number of unprecedented challenges that will push both you and your team members outside of their comfort zones.
Consistent, effective and positive communication will enable you to work through this, likely strengthening team loyalty as a result.
Listen to feedback
Rapid growth often results in the need for new operational processes to be put into place, as existing ways of working become outdated and ineffective.
When re-building operational processes, listen to the feedback of your team to understand exactly what is or isn’t working. In being on the ‘frontline’ they will have a greater grasp on where things need to be improved, be it customer onboarding processes or means of internal communications.
Listen to all feedback and make your team members realise that no idea is a bad idea, so they are forthcoming with their comments. It is likely that they will provide both insight into something you hadn’t even considered.
Identify team leaders
Identifying an effective senior leadership team is vital for scaling a business. Aside from providing you with the opportunity to continue to work ‘on’ your business instead of ‘in’ it, having an effective senior leadership team in place will provide you with immediate support in delegation of tasks, whilst cementing middle management to oversee the day to day running of the business.
An effective and talented senior leadership team is also vital for motivating and realigning staff members during difficult periods, there to support individual employees on both a personal and professional level should they need additional direction in their role.
Set goals and install accountability
Most employees thrive on having goals and objectives to work towards, not only because it supports their individual professional development, but because it provides greater meaning and purpose to their role.
When outlining your plans to scale and grow the business, be clear on the importance of individual goals, objectives and KPIs, detailing how staff will be measured and rewarded for their success.
Suggest for team members to choose an accountability partner or ensure the senior management team set up consistent 1-2-1s to keep staff on track, reviewing progress on a weekly or monthly basis, overall supporting scalability and growth.
Give consistent updates
Regular team meetings are beneficial for every business, regardless of its position or size. During periods of growth and scalability, consistent team meetings are fundamental to success.
Create a recurring calendar invite at least once per month for all team members and use this time to relay what has been achieved over the last 30 days, what has worked well, what hasn’t and what the result has been.
Aside from ensuring team members continue to feel included in this period of growth and change, it will also provide the opportunity to receive and discuss feedback, enabling you to re-strategize where needed.
Hire a dedicated sales team
A fundamental part to scaling a business is driving increased sales. In many businesses, particularly those that are serviced-based, the business owner maintains control over business development, meaning when they are focused on other tasks, sales activity stops.
To scale and achieve rapid growth, you need to employ and create an effective sales function: a team that understand your vision for growth, your USPs and have a clear passion for your product or service in hand.
Not only will this move support growth, but it will leave the rest of your team to focus on the operations of the business, ensuring the running of it remains as smooth as possible as you move through any growing pains.
Ultimately, scaling a business can be extremely challenging, with many entrepreneurs unable to move past their current business size due to struggling with achieving and retaining consistent and effective growth.
Employing, leading and directing the right team is fundamental to achieving scale-up success. In understanding this from an early stage, not only will it install a strategic approach to recruitment, but it will also aid in encouraging effective communication practices from the outset, uniting team members in the vision of the business and showing them that they too are accountable for its short and long-term success.
Remember, you may be a visionary entrepreneur, but when scaling a business to achieve rapid growth, you will only be as good as your team.
About the author
This guide has been written exclusively for ByteStart by Sam Stoffel, the Founder and CEO of the UK’s most popular Matched Betting platform, Profit Accumulator. Authoritative and influential within the sector, Profit Accumulator is a multi-million-pound turnover business, built on sophisticated technology and driven by a clear trajectory for growth.
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