By Florin R. Ferrs (Tech writer)
Scaling is what distinguishes a startup from a small business, but some startups don't grow as expected because they don't get the help they need. By now, you must have heard that three-quarters of VC-backed startups fail or that half of them die within five years. In fact, there are at least 11 startups that garnered north of $30 million that went belly up this year in the US.
A startup that cannot find a repeatable, scalable business model and execute it is just counting time until closure. Scaling needs employees and a pool of experts that can catalyze your company's growth. That's why learning what kind of help you need and when to get it is vital for a startup's survival. Here are some positions you might want to consider if you're planning on scaling:
Marketing Representative or Team
The one reason most startups die is not connecting with their target market or not having a sizeable market at all. That's why getting help from marketing teams is crucial for startups to grow. Digiday found in their research that startups are more likely to get in-house marketing teams than hire agencies. These in-house teams enable smaller companies to employ marketing strategies that can compete with bigger corporations.
Those who are in the tech industry or are developing proprietary software know the importance of hiring legal help from the get-go. However, many startups don't consider having legal retainers, which is a big mistake. Having good legal counsel is very important for startups as they can make strategic and long-term propositions on employee agreements, seed funding, and regulatory compliance. For those starting out, getting help with making sure all their contracts are watertight is crucial, and could mean the difference between success and failure. While the cost may be one of the perceived drawbacks, Special Counsel notes how contract legal specialists can be assigned for short and long-term assignments. "You can choose the billing and fee structures that will suit your company’s needs. TechCrunch" also advises you hire lawyers that are specialized in the task you want them to perform. This way, they won't eat up a huge part of your budget as they research the area you need looking at.
Whether in-house or outsourced, a startup cannot skip having access to market analysis. Market analysts oversee the measurement, analysis, and interpretation of the data your market generates. Without this continuous testing and optimization process, you won't be able to target the right demographics that will respond to your products and services.
As far as hires that translate to growth go, project managers should be at the top of your list. They make sure your pipeline is full and all the moving parts are managed within a given timeframe. This is especially important when you need to coordinate between different departments. If you need more ideas on how to get your startup up and running, we have plenty of suggestions on our blog: From guides on How To Create A Healthy Culture In Your Startup, to being able to streamline project management issues such as asset management, data reporting, and time tracking, we can help.