Erik Bergman co-founded Catena Media and helped grow it to over 300 employees and a $200 million valuation before stepping away to start Great.com, an iGaming organization that donates 100% of its profits to environmental charities. In addition to running a successful online affiliate business, Erik also hosts the Becoming Great podcast, shares entrepreneurship tips with his more than 1 million social media followers, and contributes to sites like Entrepreneuer.com, Business Insider, Foundr, and Forbes.
Scaling your business isn't as easy as it might initially seem. Nevertheless, scaling presents an opportunity to expand and grow your business. But as a business owner, it's crucial to remember that premature scaling can be one of the biggest company killers. A few reasons exist as to why that's the case.
One of the more notable reasons is cash flow issues. Since scaling requires investment in several areas, business owners must have enough cash flow to hire staff, expand infrastructure, and sustain ongoing business operations.
But there's another reason why scaling is notoriously risky. And that has to do with your company culture. The key to sustainable growth lies in maintaining and nurturing your company culture throughout the scaling process.
This article will explore why your company culture is essential and provide you with tips on scaling your business without sacrificing it.
Company culture encompasses the values, beliefs, behaviors, and norms that shape the overall environment within your organization. It defines the character and identity of your business, influencing how employees interact, collaborate, and work towards common goals. A strong and positive company culture fosters employee engagement, retention, and productivity.
It also attracts top talent and establishes a solid reputation in the market. Therefore, preserving your company culture while scaling is crucial because it ensures that the essence of your business remains intact, even as it expands.
Considering the importance of maintaining your company culture, business owners must follow a series of tips to ensure they maintain it when scaling.
To preserve your company culture during the scaling process, it's essential to clearly understand what it is and how it aligns with your overall business goals. Business owners must take the time to define and articulate their culture, including their mission, vision, and values.
Then, communicate this to your employees, stakeholders, and potential hires, so everyone is on the same page. To avoid the pitfalls of premature scaling, business owners must apply long-term thinking when articulating the company culture.
Scaling is impossible without hiring new employees. This will inevitably impact your culture, as new employees might or might not have the necessary character traits that align with your culture.
That's why it's crucial not to focus solely on skills and experience but to prioritize cultural fits when bringing in new team members. To ease the process, look for individuals who possess the necessary qualifications, share your company's values, and can contribute positively to the existing culture.
Give more responsibilities to your employees by involving them in the scaling process and encouraging them to contribute their ideas and suggestions. This sense of ownership and involvement empowers your team members, making them feel valued and invested in the company's growth.
Regularly communicate your scaling plans and address any concerns or questions they may have. In addition, you can maintain a strong connection to your company culture by including your employees in the scaling journey.
Your employees will not feel appreciated if you keep them in the dark, especially when your company undergoes a transitional process. With transition on the cards, it becomes vital to communicate with your teams throughout the process.
That's why effective communication is vital at all stages of scaling. Business owners must inform their employees about the growth strategy, changes, and progress. Encourage open dialogue and provide platforms for feedback. This transparency builds a sense of trust in the workplace and helps employees feel connected to the company's vision and values.
Scaling often brings new challenges and demands new skills. As your company will likely open new positions, you must make the right hires to fill the job slots.
But you can take another approach, one that reinforces trust and belief in your employees. Namely, you could invest in employee training and development programs to ensure your team members have the necessary tools and knowledge to adapt and grow with the business.
Fostering a culture of learning and professional development allows you to preserve your company culture while enabling your employees to meet the organization's evolving needs.
As a business owner or leader, your actions and behaviors set the tone for your company culture. Ideally, you want every employee to encompass these values. But that cannot happen if you don't lead by example.
Leading by example can have overwhelmingly positive results, especially when hiring new people to meet the demands of the scaling process.
Leading helps you embody the values you want to see in your employees. Therefore, you must learn to become a business leader and expert man manager. To do that, be accessible and approachable and actively demonstrate your commitment to your established culture. Consistency in your actions will reinforce the importance of the culture as you scale.
Successful businesses will eventually have to grow. Although scaling seems challenging, it doesn't have to be when done correctly. One of the greatest fears business owners have when scaling is the risk of losing their company's culture. But successful scaling doesn't have to come at the expense of your company culture.
By understanding the significance of your culture and implementing these tips, you can successfully scale your business while preserving the essence of what makes it unique. Your company culture is the foundation that supports your growth and success, and maintaining it throughout the scaling process will contribute to the long-term sustainability of your business.