Taking your startup to the next level can be a daunting experience. You’ve got this far – how do you grow beyond your existing size without risking everything you’ve built so far? A business is only as great as the sum of its parts – our team take a look at how you can bring the right people on-board without over stretching yourself, and how you can grow your team successfully on a startup budget.
Focus on growing numbers where you truly need them
Making that leap towards growing your startup is not always easy, but do not be deterred. There are a range of opportunities to help your business grow, from funding streams available via UK central government and at regional level, to scope for growth within one of the UK’s proliferating number of business incubators and innovation centres, allowing you to expand at a pace that’s right for you. From City Virtual Hub’s own virtual business address service, which affords you the privilege of a central London address without the cost, to more direct business support available in innovation centres across the region and further afield, it is increasingly easy to ease the burden of an intense startup workload and scaling-up cost, providing more cost-effective growth solutions than employing a full team or taking on too much work yourself.
Provided you bring them sufficiently into your business, and make them feel a part of your team, interns can be an effective way to offer ambitious graduates the skills and experience needed to boost their employability, whilst benefiting from these skills and the flexible nature of the work they can do for your business. A number of schemes are available within larger firms, but increasingly now startups have access to a flexible workforce through incubator and innovation centre collaboration. The Sussex Innovation Centre’s Catalyst programme, comprised of mentored students and graduates, provides such a flexible workforce for startup members at a fraction of the cost of recruiting a graduate, even at internship level.
Similarly, online freelance communities like PeoplePerHour allow small tasks for which you lack expertise to be outsourced to someone else at an agreed rate. Need a new logo designing? Why not hire a freelance graphic designer for a few hours, and delay initiating a more formal – and expensive – relationship with a designer until your business has reached a size where this becomes a genuine priority.
The capacity for outsourcing does not stop with set tasks with such a limited scope. Sales platform Commission Crowd has proven to be another game changer in the outsourcing field, allowing businesses access to external sellers who work solely on commission rather than a direct salary. With lifetime membership currently costing £660, services such as this offer innovative ways to grow your startup at a fraction of the cost – and risk – of taking on staff full-time.
Making your software do the work
Better use of the right software can ease your burden and act almost as an employee, allowing you to focus on the work that matters. From MailChimp’s automated follow-up emails, to Hootsuite’s scheduled social media posts, there exists a range of means through which you can grow your team virtually, passing on important but time consuming workloads to automated services at a fraction of the cost of employing staff to undertake such basic tasks. Similarly, social media management services take further responsibility away from your own team, outsourcing entire management of social media accounts, including content creation, to a professional, bringing expert skills to your business for less than the cost of a full-time staff member.
This growing number of services allow you to focus on growing your numbers where you truly need them, making every penny count.
Make each appointment count
The question now changes, from how you work out which team members your business currently could thrive without, to how to recruit the very best of those you really need – make each appointment count.
In your world, your time is your money, and a lengthy series of interviews might thus feel a costly exercise, but they are worth every penny. Recruiterbox stress the importance of hiring ‘on culture, not qualifications’ when building a ‘winning small business team’. Take your time when finding out what a prospective employee can offer you, and make your appointment count. One motivated, engaged, versatile employee who shares the goals for your business, is worth far more than multiple expendable, disinterested new team members, who you may lose further down the line. Recruiting well can save you hassle, and money.
Increasingly startups must compete with the enticing salaries and rapid career progression offered to the country’s top talent by large multinationals, yet startups offer their own unique selling points for ambitious employees. With 87% of millennials expecting more from their employees than just financial performance, the sense of purpose offered by startups is a potential attraction to prospective employees. In delegating more power to your team members, so too can you focus your attention on the more important task of growing your business.
The Impact, Exposure and Opportunity offered by startups can be a real pull for the top talent, it’s up to you to ensure these opportunities are available and made clear to prospective employees, to allow you to construct your own top team on a startup budget.
Hire the right people, at the right time, and for the right reasons, and watch your startup grow.