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Problem Solving in a Startup

Ernest Rudyak - startupsProblem solving is essential for any business, but for startups is a constant necessity. Unlike established businesses with a traditional structure, startups have to contend with all sorts of ‘good problems’ like rapid growth and space issues. Matt Erlichman, CEO of Porch, wrote a piece for Fast Company detailing some of the pressures of speedy growth at a start up and how to deal with them.

When it comes to budgeting, sweat the details.

According to Erlichman, there are probably parts of the budget at every new startup that are being overlooked. So it is important to closely monitor cash flow to ensure that spending does not get out of control. He suggests business owners have a target number of employees and a timeline that details when they will be added on. In managing property costs, it is important for startups to work closely with property owners to control the cost of rent and remodels.

Have a plan to delegate.

In a rapidly growing environment, it is important to have a leadership structure in place. A startup owner can only be everyone’s boss for so long. Having a plan to hand over control of certain areas of the business to members of the team will prevent hiccups in productivity as a startup expands.

Keep track of your company culture.

Not defining the company culture early on can leave an important part of a business’s brand undefined during expansion. Erlichman believes that it essential for a startup to bring together its leadership team early on to define the company culture and to put in a structure to implement it.

Don’t skimp on your HR manager.

Having the best team possible is any startup’s greatest asset, and that means strong recruitment and getting new hires up to speed quickly. Erlichman suggests that startup CEOs make sure to hire a an HR manager with a proven track record and provide them all the resources they need to do the job.

Give yourself enough room to grow.

When choosing a base of operation, Erlichman suggests renting a bigger space than is needed at the moment. It can be tough to anticipate where a rapidly growing company will be in a few months or a few years, CEOs should plan accordingly.

Build something you and your team loves.

The most important part of the success of any startup is the energy of the team behind it. If the team loves the work, they will continue to grow and continue to innovate.

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