Rorie Devine, the Founder and CEO of interim.team, gives the top five reasons your startup growth might be stalling.
You’ve had a nagging feeling something isn’t right for a while but now you know it’s true...your startup’s growth is stalling. What has changed? What is wrong?
Here are five reasons why your startup’s growth may be stalling...
1. Lack of enough talented people
At the risk of stating the obvious, scaling a business is hard and you can’t scale a business without great people doing great work. Not hiring enough good people is the single most common reason businesses stall in our experience. You have to make hiring a priority and set aside time every day to do it. Great people aren’t “on the market” for very long so you need a responsive and fast talent acquisition approach. Bringing in interim talent is another way of maintaining momentum of course...
2. Creeping perfectionism
It’s amazing how quickly startups can start believing their own hype and start to behave like consistency, brand protection or whatever are more important than innovation, growth or success. It’s a particularly common problem when “big company” people have been hired and they try to operate in a startup as they used to in the “corporate” world. At the end of the day in a startup you need to keep doing what made you successful.
Another common issue is for a startup to become overly focussed on internal product “polishing”, politics, power struggles or things that the customers don’t really care about. The mission that led to the creation of the business needs to be kept front and centre at all times. Successful business have resorted to mechanisms like putting something representing the customer on the table during all meetings to help keep discipline.
4. Business model constraints
Almost as an opposite of (2) (who said this was easy?) a business needs to constantly iterate its business and operating model as it scales and changes. Failure to do that will result in the business hitting constraints that will at the very least slow it down and at worst could ultimately prove terminal.
5.Lack of a real understanding of the customer
It’s easy for a business to get carried away by success and become complacent about what has made it successful so far. Sometimes a business is being successful for reasons it didn’t expect to be and the leadership team needs to be self-aware and humble enough to really understand why it has been successful.
Rorie Devine is the Founder and CEO of interim.team and the only person to have featured on the cover of CIO Magazine twice. He has been awarded "IT Leader Of The Year" by Computing Magazine and is featured in the book How To Build a Billion Dollar App by George Berkowski. Berkowski said that the change Rorie brought when coming in as an interim.team. Interim was "truly amazing" and "we started to feel we were firing on all cylinders”. In 2016, interim.team won Digital Service Company of the Year at the V3 Digital Technology Awards.