I’m a cofounder at a startup which has grown out of its “early/garage stage”, into a stage with 3 business units, and multiple teams (total employee strength at 45 currently).

Over the last few months, I have been thinking a lot about some critical issues/roadblocks/red-alerts hindering our scaling up. I kept telling myself that the fundamental problem could be either of the 2 below:
a) Should we define a more accurate vision? What are we out to achieve – to become a great Talent Acquisition company? Or to be the most powerful HR brand name in new-age India? Or become synonymous with cutting edge HR software applications?

Scaling up
Scaling up

b) On the other hand, my head also says loudly that “startups” don’t function with vision/mission statements, and shit. Let’s knock off everything that comes your way. LOL!
Irrespective of the above 2 sides of this story, I TOTALLY think it one should simply focus/build towards a company that gives people what it promises.

But how and what about scaling up?

Before a startup scales up and builds large teams with high volumes, as founders or core teams at Startups, we need to ask ourselves these questions.

1) Do we have the best people to grow and sustain our startup?
– if not at all, then find them before you find average people and build average stuff
– if somewhat, then nurture the ones who fit the benchmark, train them and empower them to take things to the next level (fire the rest, sooner the better)

2) Do we know what’s going on in the company, where are the gaps in our product/service, and how do we fill them?
– if not at all, then stop everything we’re doing at once and find the gaps, fill the gaps, resolve the issues and then start again
– if somewhat, then TOO stop everything you’re doing at once and fill the gaps, resolve the issues and then start again

3) Are we building a culture that’s sustainable, meaningful and builds the right attitude?
– if not at all, then start all over again – RETHINK the message given to employees, do everyone’s induction again, give everyone clarity about our expectations and the vision of the company
– if somewhat, then take everyone into confidence and give them all the info they need to get serious about this company

4) Do we have all our machinery in place – processes, training, infrastructure?
– if not at all, let’s concentrate on how we can get them in place
– if somewhat, then let’s re-visit them and make them strong enough to handle our vision/scale, whatever.

5) Do we ourselves have COMPLETE clarity about what we’re doing, why we’re doing so, and what is each of our role in this journey?
– if not at all, then meet the core team and have an open heart surgery with everyone – devise objectives, decide plan and delegate ownership.
– if somewhat, then too do the above just to make sure.
*above Qs not in any specific order.

The above points might seem obvious or not the type of stuff related to “money-making” function, but this is where the core is. It’s like the foundation that parents build which determine how the child becomes when he grows as a (wo) man.

Tell me what you think?

Recommended Read: Managing Scaling Challenges in Your Startup–Do you need Professional Managers to help expand?

[Jay Thaker is cofounder at sumHR (Sutra Services Pvt. Ltd.). Before Sutra, he has been as part of the initial startup teams at burrp.com and directi.com]

[Image creditJMaz/Flickr]

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