The easiest way to grow your startup is not the most comfortable one: discomfort typically accompanies growth.
You have to be ready to face some pains and evolve into something new and unfamiliar. Remaining stuck in the old is out of the question.
Replacing the local work mindset with virtual team collaboration is an effective way to say goodbye to the startup phase.
It is simple to scale and beat the competition when you expand beyond the limitations of local talent.
This is How to Grow Your Startup with Minimal Risks
Most startups in the growth phase face the same major startup growing pains:
- Growing too fast
- Immense fixed costs, and
- Lack of enough expertise to handle the pressure of the big start.
These pains pull the strings of leadership in opposite directions. Any pull too strong can easily break the link between team members, disappoint clients, and ruin projects.
How do you avoid this?
More about startups on the Virtual Frontier Podcast below:
Common Startup Growing Pains
Let’s face it – you have secured the funding and go one problem of your chest.
But the real potential of your project, product, and the team is visible only when you start implementing the idea in practice.
Many unknowns to important questions show up. You haven’t streamlined communication and messages are skipping through the cracks. How do you delegate, to whom, and to what extent? Who makes the decisions? If you are the owner, should you take all these responsibilities on your back?
This is, of course, impossible. A delicate balance is required. You must be able to handle all challenges without leaning too much on the side of safety and sacrificing growth. In parallel, you have to be sufficiently cautious to keep your startup in life.
Moreover, you need somewhat stable structures, despite all the usual dynamics of startup growth.
Courage vs. Throwing Caution at the Wind
You must be flexible to grow your startup. This takes a certain level of nimbleness and agility that is impossible if you are stuck locally.
Going above and beyond a traditional working setting means reaping new benefits from remote work, freelance talent, and digital structures at affordable costs.
Startup Growing with Virtual Teams
Tasks with startups typically roll out hassle-free once the initial plan is set in place.
But give it a few months and tasks start getting added complexity.
Instead of feeling overwhelmed by the increased project and task complexity, consider it a good sign.
You are growing. In this phase, you need to summon all cost management acumen you have.
If you are working locally, you are bound by local regulations. As a standard, this encompasses strict rules, long-term contracts, and a traditional office setting. Such stability may suit public entities and corporations. But it’s not the most fertile ground for growing startups.
1. Hire Expert Entrepreneurs
In a startup, motivation is a valuable resource, and motivation thrives in dynamic flexible structures, which are not available locally. Entrepreneurs are generally motivated people. Yet, not everyone on your team will share the same spirit. It’s not so uncommon that your local team members lack the skill of entrepreneurship.
To compensate for the lack of enthusiasm, do the hiring via remote work platforms.
Remote staff, gig economy workers, and freelancers charge competitive prices when compared to the local workforce. At the same time, they can do expert work, and, as they run their own business, will add the necessary level of motivation and enthusiasm you need to grow your startup.
2. Save on Learning and Development
Growth must include some kind of learning. Without it, it’s impossible.
If you want to move your business beyond the seed phase, you must budget for investment in learning. The learning material must be available not only for you but for your team, as well.
Learning and development costs are a big investment that can be too cumbersome for someone struggling with multiple startup growing pains. You can solve this challenge by setting up a virtual team.Local offices frequently require setting up a budget for learning and development plans for your team members. Unlike them, virtual teams rely on strong support and learning mainly in the onboarding process.
3. Create a Knowledge Base
When you think of the virtual team opportunities in this way, it becomes much easier to manage a huge chunk of your costs. You have to be clear about what you will provide in terms of help and support to your team. But even more importantly, you have to:
- Set a process that will help new members onboard and offboard quickly and effectively
- Develop a system for knowledge transfer between switching members
- Assign space for a knowledge library in the cloud that will be available when necessary, regardless of who comes and goes from your team.
As you can see, when you view all your resources, including knowledge and processes as part of your startup budget, it becomes clearer that working remotely has many benefits for startup scalability.
In a digital world, where so many client requirements have become highly specialized you need to respond with as much as specific acumen.
Working with experts on virtual teams can help you achieve such specificity. If you are interested in growing your startup with top freelance talent, watch this video on scaling a team with minimal risks:
4. Turn Fixed Costs into Variable Costs
You can repeat the same process for many of the fixed costs that show up in your startup budget.
For example, streamline manual tasks.
Manual or non-essential tasks are those repetitive tedious activities that take a lot of time without adding a proportionate value to your startup growth.
At Flash Hub, we use automation in all processes where applicable, leaving the core strength of the team to be spent on expert work.
To do this in a budding startup, you first need to:
- Standardize, then
- Digitize, and, finally,
- Automate all your tasks and processes.
This system becomes a reliable basis for selecting high-skilled experts who can immediately start adding value to your startup without chipping away at the fixed costs.
You still keep the dynamics and the speed necessary for startups. In addition, you build a flexible structure that will provide the base amidst uncertainty, volatile startup times, and even during a recession.
Watch this video for more tips on how to survive the recession in 2020:
Build Trust in Virtual Startups
A new team can lack the same level of trust established during long-term work relationships. Trust assumes clarity and met expectations over time. Pressed by fundraising deadlines, startups usually have the least of this resource.
The same structures and processes you have set up to hire, onboard, and train your virtual team members will be the base of a digital leadership system that will let you:
- Learn and manage remote workers
- Pay them good salaries, and
- Use automation to increase efficiency.
We call this result-oriented leadership.
Result-oriented leadership with clear goals enables control over a large proportion of variable costs on virtual teams unburdened by conventional rules and regulations.
Are you growing too fast? Do you need all the help you can get in starting with your virtual team?
Learn to grow and scale your business with virtual teams and global freelancers with our FREE Virtual Team Starter Pack!