The early stage of every business is vital because it sets the foundation upon which the startup will stand. As a business owner, you can prepare your business for long-term success if you can get things right from the beginning. If you fail to put the right things in place, it will affect the business’s productivity level.
Having a great business idea and the required resources to bring such an idea to fruition is the first step to launching a startup. Then, you identify the essential operations needed to guarantee success.
Startup operations vary from one business to another. At the early stage, you may need to put the HR, legal/regulatory, marketing, and customer care operations in place. As the startup grows in capacity, other operations will be introduced.
However, whether you have just a few operations or a lot of them, knowing how best to manage these operations is very important.
At the initial stage, you can do everything yourself, but you will need to put in place systems and processes for effective management with time.
To successfully manage your operations as an early-stage startup, here are some essential factors to consider.
Create a framework for constant communication
For a startup to run effectively, there is the need to have a team. This team can be made up of a minimum of two people depending on the startup’s size. To ensure everyone responsible for one task or the other is on the same page, there has to be constant communication.
Without communication, it isn’t easy to have everyone working in line with the values and goals of the startup. Communication is the foundation for success in every business relationship. The extent to which communication in a startup is effective is measured by how clear and well presented it is overall.
As a founder, you have to create a system for timely meetings and evaluations that allows you to reiterate the values and goals of the business to everyone on the team.
Communication and comprehension are essential for managing startup operations. | Photo Credit: Unsplash
Ensure there is a comprehensive plan in place
There is a popular saying that those who fail to plan are planning to fail, and this applies to a startup as much as it does to every other area of life. There is no better time to draft out a comprehensive plan for startups than in the early stages.
It is easy to manage the operations around a startup when there is a viable plan. Planning doesn’t mean that everything will go as planned, but it gives the startup a parameter to measure growth.
When things are going in a positive direction in line with the plans in place, one can say the startup is succeeding.
When planning, ensure to allow for flexibility because we live in a dynamic world. Business plans should not be too rigid; it may become too difficult to blend with changing trends should the need arise.
Pay attention to organization
In building a successful startup, essential things like creating a regulatory framework, taxes, and customer service should not be compromised. There is no better time to start organizing things than when the startup is in its early stage. Whatever system or process is created at this stage becomes a culture for the startup going forward.
For effective management of operations in a startup, ensure that everything that will be done should follow the procedures put in place. For example, when hiring a new employee, ensure such a person goes through the process as provided for by the HR department.
Compromising established systems and processes affects the organizational layout of the startup and can have a long-term effect on the business.
A closer look at the operations of startups reveals that immediately after launch, there is usually one person doing most of the tasks. As the owner, you may find yourself carrying out the activities of the HR, marketing, and sales department.
You are also the one attending to questions and complaints of customers. This cannot go on for long because as the business expands, your productivity level reduces.
While you will not be able to control all the operations at a particular stage, attempting to do so can lead to burnout on your part or affect the overall productivity level of the startup.
Delegating responsibilities ensures effectiveness and helps get the job done faster. | Photo Credit: Unsplash
Ensure proper staffing
Staffing is a very vital component of managing the operations of a startup at an early stage. Proper staffing here refers to hiring the right people to fill the correct positions.
From experience and exposure, you will discover that there are startups that compromise on proper staffing because of the cost of hiring full-time employees.
Instead of hiring the wrong people for your startup because of the high cost that comes with it, why not consider hiring independent contractors?
With the advancement in technology, several online platforms connect employers with freelancers. This service allows you to hire professionals in specific fields and pay them per task. By so doing, you can save costs while still working with skilled individuals.
Create an interactive work environment
As a founder looking to effectively manage operations at an early stage, you have to focus on creating an interactive work environment. Here, employees don’t just complete tasks because they have to or because they are paid; they do so passionately.
An interactive work environment allows everyone to find maximum expression. Such a work environment is characterized by mutual respect, appreciation, and appropriate reward.
You don’t need to have a team of twenty people to create a healthy work environment. If the number of employees in your startup is five, let them feel loved, appreciated, and celebrated. That way, everyone who comes into such a work environment, in the long run, reflects its excellence and can contribute to the startup’s growth.
There is always a lot to do at the early stages of a startup, especially related to managing operations. However, to effectively manage these operations, you have to identify them and why they are essential to your startup.
After identifying these operations, create a system and process that sustains them. Ensure these systems and processes are built on values that align with the goals set to be achieved by the startup. Hire the right people, communicate clearly and regularly, and delegate responsibilities.
Dummies: How to Manage a Start-up Operation
The Hub for Startups: Some Tips For Startups Presenting In B-Plan Competitions
Tech Republic: How to manage a startup: 6 tips
If you’re an early stage CEO, AbstractOps handles and automates your HR, finance, and legal ops — so that you don’t have to. We help you Be Scrappy, Not Sloppy. We understand that ops can be painful. If you have any questions or need assistance with your ops, drop us a note at [email protected]. We’ll do our best to help.
Guest article written by: AbstractOps