Startups, on the other hand, are incredibly stressful to run, given the fact that the products are maybe at an embryonic stage or they have some installation problems (especially if the services are cloud-based, which is an incredibly big trend when it comes to Startups).
Let’s break down in 5 simple steps why a Startup team needs a solid management.
Given the fact that Startups are usually run by under-30s, tech-savvy individuals, chances that they have no idea on how to properly guide a team are indeed pretty high. In order to overcome this problem, it’s important to properly structure the workflow, to maintain consistency and results since the ultimate goal is related to investments and figures. Therefore, the manager and the director (usually the same person) should set individual KPIs, with short-term objectives to constantly have a clear picture of what’s going on, especially in the sales and development department.
What differs a Startup environment from a very corporate one is the (almost) total absence of barriers: usually, the CEO/Director/Manager is working closely with the sales and development department, to ensure results and to overcome small gaps that may present. That’s why, generally, colleagues are more like “friends who are sharing the same working environment”. While this is beautiful and it could really benefit the entire workflow, on the other hand, it could be a double-edged sword: sharing too many private pieces of information could be, in the end, a bit problematic in case of some verbal arguments. “We’re all friends in here, but we must work hard” in order to succeed.
Startups have a marketing person who, usually, is well prepared in the art of public relations and general direct marketing strategies. On the other hand, especially if there’s a trade show or an open day where the company is presenting the products to the public, it’s important to have the CEO/Management to plan the entire matter: first of all, being a Startup, it’s almost natural for the potential client to have some reservations on the product, especially if it’s in an Alpha state or Beta. In order to overcome this main objection when it comes to presenting the product(s) and, most importantly, the company, the CEO should heavily put himself on the line by presenting himself the entire matter. This, first of all, showcases the fact that the management cares about the company and is willing to step ahead of his employees to show potential clients the power of the product.
Especially when it comes to finalizing a sales proposal, it’s important to not just have a management support during the actual meeting, but more of an overall leading from them: the sales department in a Startup environment should be a heavy lead generation related figure, who informs the potential client of the product’s features and how those could impact his company. Especially if tech related, this part is crucial: many, in fact, are the times in which technical questions will be asked in regards to the product’s features, installation, coding and everything developing-related. Therefore, it’s crucial to have the CEO and the Development Manager in the meeting, in order to properly answer this type of questions.
A solid management should know the fact that team bonding activities are a must when it comes to a Startup environment. At the same time, given the fact that budgeting is the top priority within a Startup working environment, doing this kind of activities could be a bit problematic: finding a fun activity for the entire office that is not expensive could be, in fact, a pretty hard task. In order to overcome this obstacle, the management should apply these to targets. A simple example: “Team, thanks to you, we closed a very important deal this week, therefore we’re all going to the theme park for one day!” By doing so, the entire team will work harder in order to get this kind of activities. Of course, even going out after work once a month for a couple of drinks could work, also because of the fact that it’s not that heavy (in terms of budget)
Being a CEO or a Manager within a Startup environment is not an easy task. You must be a leader who drives his team and pushes them without exaggerating, while also focusing on the market and individual KPIs in order to achieve investments and company growth.
By Paul Matthews
Paul Matthews is a Manchester based business writer who works closely with Caunce O’Hara in order to better inform business owners on how to run a successful business. You can usually find him at the local library or browsing Forbes’ latest pieces.