If the startup world were deciphered from a media coverage perspective, it would probably start with funding, and you guessed it right – and end with news about funding. The investment life cycle for Voice Controlled Services lasts for about another year, at which point the returns generated from the portfolio are examined. During this harvest season, investors expect their ventures to offer returns at levels commensurate with the risk they are taking. It is therefore imperative for start-ups, especially the financed ones, to ramp up operations to a profitable level. Before expanding, however, founders should analyze how their company is doing against the following four parameters for willingness to scale.
- THE FOUNDING TEAM IS DISCLAIMER
As the founder, you don’t run the show on a daily basis. Members of your team have replicated your assignments so you have plenty of time to strategize and think about ways to grow the business
- HUMAN CAPITAL TURNOVER IS REDUCED
Attracting and retaining a talented workforce is a challenge for most companies, and even more so for startups. You have a great management team and HR is within manageable limits.
- CUSTOMER ACQUISITION AND RETENTION IS IN AUTO MODE
You have an established customer base who consistently generate significant business, negotiate long-term contracts, and continue to attract more new business than what you are losing. Service levels are stable and work without the founders having to roll up their sleeves on a regular basis
- BUSINESS PROCESSES ARE TESTED
Your company can be managed under normal market conditions, as processes are deeply embedded in the organizational structure and risk triggers predominate at every step. The data generated provide clear indicators of the health of the business and can prevent major disasters.
If you think the above sounds like your business, start looking for ways to increase your footprint. Sometimes one comes across ridiculous theories that say profitability can be ignored in scaling a business. If your gross margins stay in negative territory after scaling, go back to basics and take a close look at your business model. Dream big, identify the endgame, but avoid burning good money on a malicious business model.