How Your Leadership Role May Transform During a Startup’s Growth

AaronVick - How Your Leadership Role May Transform During a Startup's Growth

AaronVick - How Your Leadership Role May Transform During a Startup's Growth

Transformation in Leadership Roles at a Startup Company

In the early stages of a startup company, leadership roles are likely to transform and transition over time. Read this article to learn how they may change.

You likely know that only about 10 percent startups succeed. But as a founder or leader of your own startup company, you have the drive, passion, patience, and will to make your company part of that percent.

But in order to do that, you have to know your role and how to best complete it. How does your role as a leader fit into your company now? What about two years from now? 10?

As your company grows, your leadership is bound to evolve too. Here are some major areas in which your startup leadership role may transform alongside the company itself.

Marketing, Not Defining, Your Startup Company

Early Stages

In the early stages of founding and launching your startup company, tailoring its mission, goals, and offerings will consume most of your time. In a survey of startup founders, 42 percent cited the lack of a market for their product as the reason for their downfall.

Your role as a leader will lie in defining a source of income, whether it be a product or service, and determining the market that will want it. Surrounding this, creating a company culture in the form of a mission statement, values, and even code of ethics will help personify your brand and prepare your organization for specified promotions.

Later Stages

As your company grows and begins to approach real-world clients and acquire customers, your responsibility as a leader will shift from ground-up innovation and definition to marketing tactics. Instead of creating your dream product, you’ll have to figure out how to sell it to make a profit!

Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to turn into a marketing expert! You can start with expanding your toolkit to include promotional content, but ultimately your goal is to find a long-term way to get your service or product out there.

Eventually exercising the idea of taking a marketing, advertising, or public relations employee onboard or partnering with an agency might be a smart move for your company’s longevity.

Need more specific guidance on how to start marketing your service or product? We’ve got you covered in 7 Easy Steps.

Automation Replaces Legwork

Early Stages

In the early stages of your company’s formation, setting up, clarifying, and communicating day-to-day processes is an essential task you hold as a leader. Your initial instructions will determine how the company operates now and in the future.

It’s a big responsibility! You’ll set the precedent for how the company communicates internally, and externally, to get work done. What will your company culture be like? What vibe do you want to give off? How can you get work done and hold your dream image, too?

Your goal here is to give your company a foundation to grow upon.

Later Stages

As your company grows and ages, it should require less hands-on attention from you to stay operational. Ideally, it should grow into a full-sized beast, able to operate without you if needed.

To reach and maintain this stage, you’ll want to instill your own skills into talented employees and future leaders. Skilled employees and teams are the keys to success!

Listening to your employees’ needs, wants, and goals is an important step at this stage. While someone may have the skillset to lead an entire team, they may enjoy hands-on work more. Happy, fulfilled employees are more likely to produce good work and continue to build a skillset than those forced out of their desired work route.

Focus on your employees and leadership layout to make your startup company fully capable and operational without your presence. While you may want to be present in the midst of operations, your company should have the strength and passion to operate without your meticulous eye if needed.

Allocating Funds Instead of Bootstrapping

Early Stages

Did you know that 82 percent of startup funds come directly from the company’s founder and his or her family and friends? As a leader at your startup company, keeping your company funded will be a key and eternal task in early stages.

As a startup, you’ll want to “bootstrap” your funding: in other words, you’ll want to raise money (and conduct other operations) as independently as possible.

You’re just starting out, and huge loans or relying on borrowed money is risky and scary. Instead, aim to rely on your own passion and ability to work.

Need help? We’ve provided 5 Funding Options to Bootstrap a Startup here.

Later Stages

Okay, now the company is up and running. Finally! You’ve even transitioned from defining company culture and operations to marketing your product or service.

Now, you have money coming in. Your role as a leader now expands into the tricky business of allocating precious profits.

How much money do you need to pay your staff a livable wage? How much does it cost to operate, day-in and day-out? How much does it cost to produce your product or complementary aspects of your service?

Don’t forget overhead expenses when allocating funds. These expenses are defined by any indirect resource needed to operate your business. Examples include rent, utilities, and even advertising and public relations fees.

As always, be sure to meticulously track the flow of money within your company and allocate funds with careful attention.

Growing Alongside Your Company

As a leader at a new startup company, your multiple tasks can be condensed into one distinct goal: to create a new entity that has a purpose and a potential market.

But as your company does grow and even start to acquire part of that market, your ability to do it all yourself will diminish.

Your role as a leader will naturally shift toward serving the company image and its employees, instead of the inner-workings of the company itself.

Embrace the change and growth of your company to push it toward success. Unsure if you’re going in the right direction?

Consider surveying your customers to receive valuable, applicable insight into your progress. Learn how to do so by measuring your Net Promoter Score, here.