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CEOs & Founders: The art of scaling your business without burning your funding

On Thursday 22nd September, Annapurna ERUPT proudly hosted our third For The Founders event, which was an invite-only attendee-led virtual round table discussion. 20 business leaders came together to discuss the pitfalls & solutions for CEOS & Founders when scaling your business towards hyper-growth & keeping costs minimal.

We wanted to find out if CEOs & Founders are nailing the strategy to grow & scale up right from the start, which is such a fundamental part of the start-up’s success. 

How exactly can CEOs & Founders of start-ups achieve?

We tapped into topics such as low-cost growth attracting the best talent, headcount ambitions, personal branding and employer value proposition.

The discussion brought about the following takeaways:

The perfect business model for scaling:

  • Business models that scale most effectively have operating leverage, high growth margins and are able to keep costs low.
  • We are now seeing that business-to-business models have more ability to scale quickly due to the demand and having good relations with their clients.
  • However, another point of view was presented; a successful model involves paying businesses and consumers by having a linear business model with 2 sets of users in order to scale globally.
  • It is easier for software companies to scale – different software can do different things in different ways.
  • Good account management allows us to ask key people to fix the same problem rather than having to go to new people every time.
  • A business model needs to be client automated, in order to grow with the demands of the existing customer.
  • Being dependent on employee growth rather than the scalability of the technology software is also important. 

Barriers to being cost-efficient:

  • Inflation and rise of salaries to keep up with the cost of living.
  • Longer sale cycles which mean growth only appears later down the line.
  • Venturing into new, non-existing markets.
  • There is a fear with creating products when it comes to scaling because there are too many requirements to deal with.
  • If you have to chase and hunt new customers every day, it is much harder to scale and grow your business.
  • Small startups can’t compete with larger business’ salaries.

Optimum selling infrastructure:

  • If the market already exists, it seems that it is much more likely for the business to scale, but what happens when there isn’t already an existing market?
  • Create an infrastructure to fund plans for full-scale commercialisation.
  • There are 2 sides to infrastructure – hunting for new customers or farming original customers, it is about prioritising or balancing.
  • Keeping up with the Pareto Principle 80/20 rule where 80% is common and 20% is customer specific
  • An infrastructure which is not about selling technology, but selling issues that the customer has. 
  • Keeping up with the Pareto Principle 80/20 rule where 80% is common and 20% customer specific
  • Getting the balance right between new customers vs existing customers
  • It is important for a company to have someone who has domain knowledge and sell what you have to avoid complexity.
  • Ability for customisation, and in most cases the ability to stick with a basic product and use it like a tool.

Does working remote hinder company growth?

  • Creating a culture of collaboration and open communication has been proven successful
  • One business aim that arose was to become the most employee-friendly company in the world
  • Working remotely works if you give your employees 3 basic psychological needs
  • Autonomy
  • Relatedness
  • Competence
  • For remote work to be a success, you must have a good bond with your manager, good company culture, and give a budget to your employees in order for them to be able to work at home 
  • On one hand, it was said that you cannot retain employees if they need the money, no matter your company culture
  • Yet, another take on the topic was that people stay with your company, not because of the money Salary is not as important as it was before and there are now other emotional triggers than can allow people to be more engaged
  • If someone only moves for salary then you don’t want that person in the company in the first place
  • The office is a physical hub where people can come together, so is it more introverted people that like to work from home?
  • Working remotely is more difficult as the team needs to function really well and if there are “human tensions” between key people, the remote is getting really difficult.

 

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