Growing startup: how to enter a new stage of development

The launch and first steps of each startup are carried out due to the personal enthusiasm and charisma of its founder and ideological inspirer. The founder brings to life his vision of solving various social issues and problems. The founder is little concerned about internal processes, since the staff is always small at the beginning, and communication with employees occurs at the level of operational communication in one office.

In the first stages of development, the company has a good linear control system. Based on personal experience, I believe that it is perfect for a small team of 10-12 people. The founder at the very beginning surrounds himself with suitable, talented employees. At the same time, all of them, led by the founder, are infected with one common idea; they think creatively, and implement the strategy according to the plan, as a narrow circle of people has already worked, and communicates with the boss well.

But when the number of employees approaches 50, and many of them work remotely, it is difficult to apply all creative ideas in a coordinated manner. No matter how enthusiastic the startup founder is, but he can effectively manage 10-12 like-minded people, and infect as much with his inspiration remotely.

Also, with a linear control system, other employees can become “conductors for themselves”, start falling out of the general information field and act based on their understanding of the situation.

When a company begins to expand, especially if it happens quickly and chaotically, the linear control system loses its effectiveness. There are problems with the timing and accuracy of the tasks. The need for new personnel and their coming often leads to an increase in costs, but at the same time, to a decrease in the effectiveness of the startup development strategy.

It often happens that at key turning points, key indicators look good – demand, revenue, margin, the number of new products is growing, the team is full of professionals in their field – but the situation is already starting to lead to the need for immediate changes. Each successful startup, as it grows and becomes recognizable in the market, goes through several transition periods, and must reorganize the management system to adapt to the circumstances.

Situation analysis

Management is about people and work processes. When the team has about 50 people and 70% of them work remotely, it becomes difficult to implement the strategy developed by the management. This is where the acute shortage of tops is felt. It turns out that there is simply no one to control the execution of tasks. People do not fully understand what strategy the company is implementing, at what stage of implementation it is. When people do not have an understanding of where they are going, chaos may appear in their heads.

At this stage, it is important to abandon the linear management system in time and introduce a regular management system into the company. Here, the leader has to solve 2 main tasks. Firstly, to reconfigure the consciousness of employees who were previously “their own conductors”. Secondly, to understand how to strategically conduct a company, how to structure processes, how to set goals, and how to verify execution so that the strategy is implemented through the precise implementation of tactical tasks in the face of fierce competition.


So, to show colleagues strategic guidelines, set clear tactical tasks, and control the accuracy of their execution, a hierarchical management system can be introduced. Start with the managers of the directions, appointing the top managers in the main areas from the most experienced and respected professional colleagues.

Now there is an urgent need for planning tasks and tracking results. Without a corporate system – a task tracker – you just can’t do it.

There will be tight control over the accuracy of tasks in departments (areas), timing control, and demand from performers according to the results.

But the main thread connecting all elements in any system is communication. The head of the organization needs to formulate the tasks correctly, get feedback in time, regularly check the strategy with reality outside the window. Therefore, it is best to introduce track meetings with direction leaders.

At track meetings, the following is discussed:

  • What has been done in a week, have the deadlines been met, if not, why not done or done late. What problems have arisen, and what needs to be done next time so that there are no such problems.
  • Does our strategy correspond to today, what is happening on the market, in the country, in the world? Everyone present can talk about new developments in his professional field, which, when implemented, can affect the development of the company, share interesting ideas and finds.
  • As a result, everyone understands whether something needs to be changed or reviewed, and if so, then what, how, and in what time frame.

    Track rallies are built on the principle of a round table. The leader conducts them, but everyone can express their point of view, ask questions to colleagues, thereby better understanding related areas. These meetings not only allow you to control the execution of tasks and manage the company, but they rally the team and motivate people who feel their importance in decision-making.

    Intermediate result

    The transition period is a difficult time in the life of a startup. Restructuring in the minds of people can take from 3 to 6 months, and be prepared for the fact that not everyone will be able to adapt – some will leave the company.

    Heads of directions will also have to learn to negotiate with each other, set tasks correctly, and interact correctly with performers. Now everyone in the organization is aware of the importance of qualitative, timely, and accurate execution of tactical tasks for the successful implementation of strategies, the implementation of which is regularly monitored, including by the head of the organization.

    As a result of the introduction of a regular management system, the company receives the following effects:

  • Employees understand the company’s strategic development goals and are involved in all processes;
  • The strategy is implemented on time and in full due to regular monitoring of the execution of tactical tasks;
  • The founder sees the strengths and weaknesses of the company and can take appropriate measures promptly;
  • A clear working mechanism for managing the company – the founder receives a managed system that quickly responds to external and internal challenges;
  • Increased employees’ motivation to work.
  • Any company, especially a startup, is a living organism that has to develop in an aggressive environment. It does not have guarantees of stability in the future and must constantly adjust the trajectory of its development. Therefore, the head of the company must keep a “finger on the pulse” of external changes and quickly respond to them, as well as accurately monitor the processes within the company and promptly, if necessary, correct them. The internal system of the company must quickly and clearly respond, rebuild flexibly, and for this, you need good contact with people, mutual understanding, accurate and timely execution of tactical tasks.