When you look at startups in their early days, there’s nothing but brilliant energy. Members of the founding team know their roles: from overseeing the business, to focusing on sales and partnerships, to managing internal operations and finance. And they thrive, driving the organisation forward with mutual understanding and a shared vision.
In a Hollywood version of reality, a small startup might enjoy constant interest from investors. While this may be true for businesses like Netflix and Grab that continue to thrive and push forward with multiple rounds of funding, banking on this for your startup is a little like waiting and praying to win the lottery.
What’s more likely to happen is that startups hit a plateau as growth slows. What should they do then? Hire five more engineers? Or two more people for the sales team to reach new markets? Improve profit margins? After all, they have their investors to think about. How can they continue to eat and dream, balancing short term profits with their longer term goals?
If these decisions are made with heart, without a clear reason, accepting these trade-offs becomes a challenge. Trust is shaken and as disagreements grow, the mutual understanding that helped the founding team to thrive gets chipped away.
More mature founders know better and take time to develop frameworks and internal processes to guide their decisions. This makes the mutual understanding that has been so critical to driving their company’s growth explicit. When disagreements inevitably arise, they can return to these checklists and find a shared logic to make decisions.
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COO & CMO, Singapore