There are many phases to a startup, and you might be at one now that is the furthest thing from a seamless system. Now you know that smoother waters lay ahead, but if you want to have a little more control over when this happens and get some bigger bodies of work moving – it sounds like you need to address your system and make a few changes that will yield better results. A connected system will allow you to spend less time in the weeds and more time being strategic and getting your startup in the best shape possible.
Adopt a unified communication method
Unified communication might just sound like two little words, but they have the power to transform your business entirely. Don’t let your startup face the same bureaucratic chaos and stagnant measures that mature businesses are shackled with, and start from day one with a modern and efficient communication method. This could be powered by Microsoft Teams, Slack, Google or any system that you and your workforce might already be familiar with. This can also be a fantastic tool if part of your team is actually working remotely or often travel, with no task management slipping with a centralized communication tool.
Swap out the manual processes where possible
There is an understanding that startups move faster than the average business, and this would be largely due to the fact that manual processes have been swapped out for savvier systems or eliminated altogether. This might be something that your team will need to get used to, as they may be successful in their domain because they are so good at what they do, only to change their processes. Finance is a department that can be automated in one way or another, with payroll and expense tracking systems making the end of the month just another day. There are certain marketing functions which can also be automated if you set up well-structured lead generation campaigns and ‘set and forget’ communications.
Establish your brand
If you don’t know who you are, how can you expect your clients and customers to pick you in a lineup? Setting up a comprehensive brand, brand guideline and company profile is going to allow you to identify more opportunities and grow faster. It also informs how your market can communicate with you. Having a clearly defined brand will also make the onboarding process a lot easier, as you will want your new hires to be up to speed and performing at their peak quickly, and confusion about the brand will only hinder this. If you are without a marketing team or person at the start, consider hiring an agency to do the leg work so you can get your brand moving quicker.
Hard to believe that something as innocuous as an office layout would impact how a business communicates. As a startup, you want to create an environment that is open to collaboration. This freedom of communication will allow you and your managers to work and learn faster, and it will foster a workplace where everyone has an active voice. Don’t bring any work pods that have large screens and bollards separating one another, you want everyone in the office to be able to look at each other and contribute where possible. It might also be an idea, as the head of the startup, to join the team in the bullpen – rather than locked away in an office.
Connection has always been something that we know we should prioritize, but bad habits and un-creative thinking will tend to get in the way. As a startup, you have the opportunity to carve out your own seamless system – so don’t squander this opportunity.