In recent years, entrepreneurs started more companies than before (in Sweden), and many, not least young people, dream of becoming entrepreneurs. The influx of risk capital into the Swedish start-up scene has also increased considerably in recent years, making it possible for many start-ups and scale-ups to scale up their business. But the current turbulence and world political situation that has led to increased inflation and lower risk appetite among investors make it even tougher to build and scale up companies.
This blog article was written for entrepreneurs and founders of a venture capital-financed growth company who want to know more about growth obstacles and how to overcome them.
Build a hybrid organization
After the pandemic, most people have probably realized the advantages of remote work. Also, expertise and niche skills have become much more accessible as geographical limitations no longer matter.
Modern organizations work both remotely and in physical offices, and the forms of employment are flexible based on what suits the growth company and the employees best:
• Permanent employment
• Sub-consultants who work part-time or full-time
• Project employment
• Outsourcing of entire functions
But with the hybrid organization, new demands are placed on entrepreneurs and leaders.
Let go of the need for control
As the leader of a hybrid organization, you need to focus on tracking results rather than controlling what employees are doing. Otherwise, you lose efficiency. Ensure that there are the right conditions, expertise, and competence, as well as give confidence and express trust.
Establish good communication channels
Communication is essential for good collaboration. Digital communication tools become central when the team is physically in a different place. There are several intelligent digital collaboration tools. We particularly want to highlight the communication platform Slack, which many smaller companies benefit significantly from. Slack does not require a significant initial investment, is quick to start, and is easy to integrate with other systems and tools.
Bring in the skills you need
There are no geographical limitations in a hybrid organization, and access to competence is wide open globally. The range of expert knowledge and resources becomes much more significant when temporary employees, freelancers, and consultants are “a chat message away,” sharing documents in the digital workplace and meeting online regardless of geographical location. Do you need help with a one-time effort or a more extended project?
Buy services and functions instead of hiring
Today, as an entrepreneur, you probably spend a lot of time on tasks not connected to the core business, often referred to as “unnecessary admin time”. But you take help with individual services or even entire functions. Imagine that you take help and buy individual services from people with hands on experience or even entire functions. You get relief, avoid fixed salary costs and reduce your risk. For example, you can add traditional business support functions the smaller start-up company usually can’t afford but with low risk and the possibility to scale up or down as needed. You can bring functions like finance, HR, legal counselling, marketing & sales.
Growth as a Service
GaaS is a collective term for business support services that primarily stimulate economic growth. Cooach offers a GaaS platform with products and services tailored to your growth company’s budget and specific needs. The scope can scale according to current needs and status. The platform offers intelligent, automated services and functions and access to senior experts with specialist skills. The experts can help with one-off topics or on an ongoing basis. Taking help makes demands and requirements from investors and employees more manageable, and you get support and relief. Taking help makes demands and requirements from investors and employees more manageable, and you get support and relief.
Growth obstacles and how to avoid them
In the book Scaling Up by Verne Harnish and Pelle Tornell, the authors list the five most common growth barriers. If you are aware of these when building your company, the chances of succeeding on a growth journey are better than the other way around. Please read the whole book! Below we share our insights and experiences linked to the obstacles.
The founder/leader becomes a bottleneck
The best chance to make it work is to surround yourself with expert competence. You know your business and industry best, but get help for tasks and issues others can handle so you can focus on what creates the most value for the company. Remember, you can get help without hiring. Many roles can be purchased as a complete function. Growth as a Service (GaaS) is business support services that contribute to your growth and that you can flexibly adapt (scope and content) to scale up or down.
Reduced focus on the customer
Keep the focus on the customers at all times during the growth journey. Your time is limited and it is impossible to handle all tasks and functions yourself. New eyes can often see needs “from the outside in” and take the customer’s perspective. External help can contribute both with sharp customer insight and product development. Cooach has a dedicated team specializing in customer experience and can provide valuable insights of customer behavior.
Responsibilities and roles grow and become unclear
Growth companies change rapidly, as do needs, requirements, and conditions. Make a plan for roles, responsibilities, and functions today and tomorrow early. Which part or function is responsible for what, what skills are required, and how best to solve whatever needs to be solved on the growth journey? A GaaS-support could be an excellent way to go, especially given today’s financial turmoil. You can get help with mapping, role descriptions, and planning of functions, as well as growth resources that can be quickly scaled up or down depending on development.
Competence does not grow with your turnover
It is hard to simultaneously be a legal counsellor, an economist and a marketer. New phases in the company’s development, new demands and needs and the uncertain global situation create changing conditions. The newly started company has different competence needs compared to the one that has been around for a while. Plan and stay one step ahead regarding mapping needed skills. Take help from an HR expert and make a proactive plan, and you will avoid unnecessary “intermediate situations” that could stop your development.
Systems, routines, and processes are not scalable
Build infrastructure, routines, and processes that are scalable, integrable, and easy to get started with from the start. And prepare your organization for a flexible workforce, including permanent employees, project employees, freelancers, and gig workers. Communication tools, working documents, and tools must be simple, flexible, and secure. Cooach has helped hundreds of growth companies, has a solid knowledge bank, and can provide business support services and products focusing on growth. We constantly work to automate and streamline our delivery for our customers to get increased efficiency, scalability, and cost savings.
Do you want to know more?
If you want to know more about Cooach and how we can help you, feel free to book a meeting with us, and we can discuss how we can help you grow.
If you want to know more about growth in general, please follow us on LinkedIn, where we continuously share knowledge, tips, guides, etc.