Can you globally grow your startup?

The ability and ambition to rapidly scale and expand globally is what sets startups apart from the other (lifestyle) businesses.  But just being a tech startup doesn’t mean this will be an easy and pain-free process. It’s something that takes a lot of expertise, skill and precision.

The product always comes first. If you don’t have a product that meets a demand, your startup won’t be able to scale. If you’re going to scale you have to have a really great idea, a concept for a product or service that solves a problem that a lot of people care about. You really can’t scale if it’s some local problem you’re solving. It’s about having the ability to find that great idea.

Set out clear company values and visions. A vision for the startup, along with a set of values about how to achieve this and run the company, need to be in place before the business begins to rapidly scale. The values have to be customer-focused. 

This vision and the associated values are useless if your employees don’t fully understand them. It’s easy to say ‘you’re not performing the way you could or the way I’m expecting you to’. But entrepreneurs need to be sure that people know very well your expectations. 

As the startup begins to rapidly grow and develop, so too must the CEO. CEOs need to change from making all the decisions themselves and hiring people who will do what they tell them, to hiring people they can delegate to. Some people are waiting to be told what to do. Growth cannot be done with that. CEOs must not in the business; they must work on the business. If they continue to be in the business then they actually become the bottleneck to growth. 

Startups shouldn’t be looking to grow until they have customers that they understand completely, and have the revenue required to bring on new employees. If you want to scale you have to be in close contact with your customers. You have to listen to them and then you have to step back and ask yourself if you’re delivering that.

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