The one thing that entrepreneurs like to feel they have a hold on when growing their business is to make it as successful as possible, yet staying true to their original vision. Have you thought about this when looking at growing your business beyond your small-scale start-up operation? Is it possible to stay true to your roots although you expand into a multinational corporation, with hundreds of sites across the world? Let’s try and answer this question, how can you keep the essence of your business?
Maintaining A Healthy Work Culture
As a business that aims to stay true to its roots, this is the most important place to start. Your people, in other words, your staff, make the business. It’s not you, and while your vision is integral to the success of the company, a workplace culture has to come from the people you hire. So, by being ruthless in your hiring techniques, and not skimping on quality when it comes to the right staff members, that is how you can upscale your business from a modest start-up company with a handful of staff members to a large organization with thousands of staff members. The culture is the embodiment of your business vision, so it needs to be as true to this original vision as possible.
Make Your Original Vision Expansive
If you have issues when upscaling your company to match your original vision, then maybe your vision wasn’t big enough. If you are in the lucky position of starting out, within the first year, this is where the trial and error will be at its most useful. It’s important at this juncture to create a vision that can be realistically implemented, but the framework should be malleable enough, so it’s easy to upscale, should the opportunity arise. Funding is always a big issue in this, and although there are many sources of business capital, a lot of the organizations that you can apply online for to get a line of credit, or business loans, they will want to see some tangible results in your trading. This can pose a bit of a dilemma because you want to be able to acquire the necessary funds, but you shouldn’t just be thinking about getting over the next hurdle, you need to think 6 or 7 hurdles ahead. And so if you start to think like this, this will help fuel your big business vision.
Your Employees: The Secret Ingredient
The workplace culture will stem from your employees, but you need to look after your employees. You look after them, and they will look after you. So how do you do this? Apart from the hiring process, the simple, yet effective, thing to do with your staff members is to imbue them with a sense of purpose. Your employee is not just taking a job; they are embarking on a journey with your business. And we’ve all felt the difference when we’ve been valued as an employee, as opposed to being someone to fill a seat. Of course, you can compensate them sufficiently by way of a decent paycheck, but it’s important to note now that a lot of people, especially younger workers, such as the millennials, look for a greater sense of satisfaction than just a paycheck. So you need to instill them with a sense of meaning and purpose. Staff satisfaction is key to the workplace morale, which will feed into the workplace culture. If you have a specific set of goals and vision, and you want your staff to be the embodiment of these, you have to give them reasons to want to do this. Staff morale and fulfilment won’t just mean a better workplace culture overall, it will have a direct impact on the productivity.
Reinforcement Of The Core Ideals
As a business expands, the teams will become more diverse. This is a good sign, this isn’t something to be fearful of, but it’s at this point you need to be keeping on top of the original vision, and not let it get away from you. And the difficulty in keeping this original vision is that naturally workplace subcultures will begin to form, but if you’ve done your job properly at the start of the process, and reinforce those important core ideals with the original members of staff well enough, they will communicate these organically down the chain. You may have a sense of concern about certain groups or teams emerging on a grassroots level, and it’s up to you to see if these are detrimental to the overall workplace culture. You need to weed out these elements as you see them.
It All Comes From You!
You are the person who started the vision, started the business, and so it’s your job to communicate this vision every day, and demonstrate the importance of an effective workplace culture and vision. Leading by example is an age-old practice, but who really does it now? It seems to be something that disappeared with fax machines. But the one issue a lot of CEOs have is that they think they are being too repetitive in sharing their workplace vision. This is something that you shouldn’t be concerned about doing, as it is part of your job, and it is a key part of the business. You need to reinforce these pillars so you can nurture a great workplace culture that aligns with your vision. This also means that you, as the boss, need to spend time with your employees. It can be difficult when your business has got to the point that you are operating on such a large scale, but you are seeing the business grow from strength to strength, so you need to adapt your skills of liaising with everyone in the pecking order. You don’t want your staff to view you as someone sat in their ivory tower. If you really want to communicate your vision properly, you have to work hard at doing this. If you let your vision get away from you, it is, unfortunately, down to you.
So if you want to keep the essence of your business, all the way from a modest start-up right through to a massive multinational, these are the five things you really need to focus on. An expanding business is a great thing, but it can mean losing its original spark. So work hard at this and stay true to your original vision.