How Start-Ups Last


Last week, I wrote about the importance of establishing a company’s culture very early on. To continue the conversation once again, I am recapping a recent article from the Harvard Business Review on the other factors that help start-ups last.  So many start-ups that seem to have it all  – customers, cash, and promising opportunities somehow are incapable of sustaining long-term growth and scale.

Start-ups, more often than not, are not well organized, and in the beginning everyone does everything. And yet the need to scale demands professionals and organization on all fronts. Successfully scaling companies that seek growth require the following four critical activities to get to the level of sustainable growth:

  1. Hire functional experts. This allows specialists to work more efficiently and implement best practices in their field.
  2. Add management structure. Just a few people at the top cannot monitor everyone’s increasingly growing day-to-day work. Adding leadership and management keeps employees more engaged and focused.
  3. Build planning and forecasting capabilities and a framework of plans and goals to guide the company’s growth.
  4. Spell out and reinforce the company’s culture. Culture may very well be the most critical element in attracting talented people to join a start-up and stay with it as it achieves sustainable growth.

Scaling and growing a company does not necessarily mean the company should lose all of its start-up mentality, but as my experience has taught me, adhering to the principles noted by the authors of this HBR article are critical for any start-up to achieve scale and sustain long-term growth.


Read the full article here