As the CEO of a startup, you’re probably all too familiar with the statistic that more than half of businesses fail in the first four years.
This can be a sobering realization, but it can also be a call to action. If you’ve gotten your startup through the first few years of business growth, you’re doing really well.
But in order to stay the course and avoid becoming one of these unfortunate statistics, you need to be intentional about continuing to grow and scale-up. Here are three indispensable ways you can achieve your long-term vision.
Increase the Health of your Cashflow
One of the main reasons that startups fail is quite simple: they run out of cash. It’s obvious that without enough funding, no business can survive, but long-term business survival often comes down to a delicate tightrope walk of cash flow management. If you have enough funds, but don’t have control over your expenses (or a handle on the timing of money in vs. money out), you can still run your operations into the ground.
One of the best ways to ensure healthy cash flow, and protect your bottom line as you scale, is to cut unnecessary expenses. Plan a meeting with your CFO and finance team, or if you have a smaller operations team, meet with your CPA or bookkeeper, and go through your budget line by line. It can be a headache, but the final outcome of possibly identifying some extra costs that are weighing you down is literally worth its weight in gold. One of the expense line items that generate startup founders the highest amount of stress is their salary and staff overhead expense line item.
For instance, some of our clients have found that they were spending far too much on their in-house technical support teams. A qualified business process outsourcing (BPO) partner like Conectys could provide you with the same level of skill and capability for a fraction of the cost through an outsourcing engagement. It’s worth exploring an outsourcing partnership like this to see if it can save significant costs for your growing startup and also allow you to better focus on core competencies.
Make Sure you’re Adequately Staffed
To the point above, it’s smart to operate with as lean of a mindset as possible. But another common reason that startups fail to scale successfully is because of a lack of support, so it’s important not to skimp on your personnel. You need the right people, and the right amount of people – and having the flexibility to expand and reduce your workforce as needed is often a challenge with startups.
If you have some seasonality to your business or anticipate that you’ll need to adapt the number of your employees to the demand you have upcoming, working with a BPO partner like Conectys can make all the difference. We have skilled team members we can deploy at nearly a moment’s notice to help you stay adequately staffed in your busiest times, and then can scale down if you experience a lull in demand. We’ll work with you to determine the right number of people you need, so you can continue growing without worrying about personnel constraints (and all the hassles that can accompany recruiting, hiring, and onboarding).
Consider Bringing in Specialized Expertise
If you’re the one who built your company from the ground up and invested your passion, time, energy, and money into it, it can be hard to give up the reins to anyone else in any area. But every savvy CEO also knows that there aren’t enough hours in the day for one person (you) to handle everything, especially in phases of rapid growth. There are great benefits to bringing people on board who have elite levels of expertise in certain areas.
Let’s say your career strengths are developing your product and overseeing the strategic direction of your brand. But now the time has come for you to expand into a new market, and you feel you’re stepping into uncharted territory. This would be the most ideal time to engage with a BPO partner like Conectys who has extensive experience bringing companies into new markets successfully. Instead of wondering if you’re approaching it the right way, you can be sure you are. Sometimes, specialized expertise is crucial to scaling properly and sustainably.
If your startup is ready to scale up, it can be an exciting time – and a terrifying one. You don’t need to go it alone. To achieve your long-term vision and ultimate business growth, consider working with a BPO partner like Conectys to optimize your cash flow, improve your staffing and make sure you have knowledge in the specialized areas you’ll be navigating. Contact us to learn more about how we can help.