Welcome to the second article in our advice column here at Tech Trailblazers. Entitled “Don’t do that, do this!”, we have some assistance to help keep your startup happy and healthy.
Today we have the pleasure of introducing Zandra Moore, CEO of tech scale-up Panintelligence. The company specializes in business intelligence software and analytics, so they know a thing or two about companies and what makes them tick.
- Don’t crack the whip. Employees want to be valued, they want to be respected and they want to be empowered. Give them the room they need to get the results that you need. Breathing down their necks and cracking the whip will only increase stress and employee unhappiness and in the long-run it doesn’t do anyone any favours.
- Don’t get greedy. We’ve all heard the tale of the start-up collapsing under its own weight. You have the chance to get an incredible contract, enough to significantly outpace your targets. But beware biting off more than you can chew. If you take on a workload too big to handle, your staff may become overworked, your quality of work could suffer as a result and if you fail to deliver, you might lose that bit of business altogether.
- Don’t build rivalries. Sure, we all compete and we all want to come out on top. But the market is big and full of opportunities for start-ups to prosper. This isn’t the Wild West, this town is big enough for the both of us. Competitors can co-operate, but rivals will only work to bring your business down.
- Build a great company culture. The UK tech sector is one of the country’s fastest growing industries, and that means everyone will be hiring as their businesses grow. This raises the challenge for companies to ensure the positions they advertise are about more than just the salary, more importantly, you must ensure your employees are not just satisfied but happy and at home in their workplace.
- Focus on the big picture. Going from start-up to scale-up is not easy and you need to be aware of the difficulties of over-expansion. This is why you need to have your eye on the long-term plan. Where do you want your business to be in a few years’ time? If you want to grow, you need to concentrate on the big picture, set targets and understand where to invest your growing revenue.
- Build relationships. Good working relationships are important at every step. Suppliers, customers, fellow start-ups. You never know when you might have to rely on that relationship to close a deal or enhance mutual collaboration. Many start-ups maintain a precarious existence, and it could be those strong relationships that give you the breathing space you need when times are hard.