As a startup, you probably had a lot going on and a lot of threads to pull into line. This is the exciting part of business – the part where you can hone an idea and watch it grow. The only problem is that the issues you resolved as a startup are quite different to the issues you have now as a large corporation.
A big part of business is taking risks and seeing whether they flop or make your business into a whole new thing. If you are risk-averse, business and entrepreneurship probably isn’t for you. Managing that risk is what you are there for. So, here are 3 ways to improve your business and manage your risk better.
Use Tech to Your Advantage
As a startup, you were probably quite content to make notes in notebooks and come up with cool ideas with nothing more than a big sheet of paper and some magic markers. Frankly, there’s nothing wrong with this approach for a small team of enthusiastic people.
But what happens when you need everyone to be able to go back and review some information or add their own notes? What happens when you’re a tech company with a complex idea for a piece of software or a law firm with a huge case that needs tracking?
The answer is, of course, tech. Communication is a central part of working and the bigger your business gets, the more you need to ensure that communication and information sharing is as simple as possible. For legal files, legal software is the solution. For accountants, accounting software. For tech companies, maybe something more bespoke would work better. The point is that a few brightly colored pens and a sheet of paper aren’t enough anymore. You have to bring better tech in and use it to your advantage.
Make Time to Review and Adjust Regularly
With so much change, the small startup you began with can feel very different to the corporate giant you have ended up with. Fortunately, it’s your approach that really matters here. You can still have a cool office, let your staff wear hoodies and put hammocks in the foyer as before, but to succeed you need to change tacks behind the scenes.
Reviewing and adjusting regularly is more important in a large business because it is much easier for issues to get lost in all the noise. For example, without constant review, you could easily be overspending on some things while underspending on others but because the cost of a unit is so small, you’ve not see the numbers add up.
In business, everything has a value from your time to the brand of coffee you drink. While you might not want to overhaul everything, going through your accounts with a fine tooth-comb and auditing to see where you could improve your profit margins is essential. There are plenty of painless ways to save money – you just have to look for them.
Give Your Employees a Stronger Voice
Of course, improving your business isn’t just about money or organization. Your employees form the backbone of your company and they need to feel included, appreciated and supported. A large corporation can often feel faceless, even to an employee and combating that is an essential part to forming a great team.
Giving employees a voice doesn’t mean that you have to do everything they suggest or put up with constant moaning. What it means is that you value your employee’s opinions and you are actually prepared to listen to their ideas. Listening positively and responding when you can (and should) is a brilliant way to show staff that they are appreciated and can improve your retention levels as well as staff productivity.
You never know where the next brilliant idea is going to come from so putting a system in place for employees to bring new ideas to the table is a very good idea. Regular performance reviews will also help make employees feel more involved and adding an opportunity for them to provide constructive criticism is also a good idea.
Now you have more employees, more departments and more projects to consider than you did as a start up. You have a greater cash flow, a larger office and significantly more responsibility. But what you need to do remains fundamentally the same: give everyone the tools they need to succeed, continue to build and refine your business, and offer employees the chance to feel like they are part of something great.