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What Established Businesses Can Learn From Startups

Startups exude their own brand of magic. There’s an energy and excitement to them that longstanding businesses sometimes lose along the way. But every established business was once a startup. And more and more of them are looking to model the behaviors of startups to promote new growth.

The good news is, it is possible to bottle some of this startup magic for your small business; you just have to find the right mix of ingredients. And we’re here to help, with small-business tips for modeling a startup culture that encourages your business to grow and thrive.

Hire (and develop) the right people.

Thriving startup businesses understand that having a loyal, well-developed staff behind them can make all the difference in their success. When you’re making recruiting decisions, you aren’t simply looking for the right person for the right job. You also need a person who fits into your culture and gets your company. That’s not always easy to find, but going the extra mile to find these employees pays off.

Leave room for innovation.

If you want true change, you can’t be satisfied with the status quo. And to really shake things up, your employees need room to move. They need to be able to experiment and know that not every idea will stick. But they should keep trying, learning to do better each time and sharing their growing knowledge with everyone else. Do what you can to empower them to make decisions, rewarding their success without punishing setbacks.

Stay nimble (and quick).

This requires finding ways to keep moving and not get mired in the red tape of “this is how we’ve always done it.” For your part, make an effort to clear any obstacles that may be slowing down growth. And remember: Staying nimble also means retaining your ability to be responsive to the needs of your customers—now. This sense of urgency drives growth among startups and can do likewise in your small business.

Keep it simple.

If you’ve been in business for a while, it’s easy to lose sight of one objective while you’re chasing after another. But don’t allow it to happen. Be clear about your goals, and be sure all employees at every level not only understand them, but also know how they can contribute through their individual roles and as part of a larger team.

Focus on more than cool perks.

Sure, adding perks like the ability to bring your dog to work, do your laundry on-site or glide down the hallway on a scooter might seem like a good way to keep up with startups. But the startups that actually succeed understand it’s about more than that—and so do their employees. How you address challenges and develop your talent—and your willingness to make big changes when necessary—matters more to your long-term success.

So put these small-business tips to work and watch your company grow like a startup again.

And if you’re ready to grow, we’re ready to help. Get in touch.




Sweet Financial Services is an independent firm. Securities offered through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC. Raymond James is not affiliated with Smarter Business.
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