, Inspiration, Tips

From Start-up to Scale-up: The 3 Biggest Mistakes


Roller Coaster

It is great to see your company grow. But are you growing with it? 3 tips to survive this roller coaster ride.

Finally, after so much hard work, the new business client pipeline seems steady, your current clients keep coming back for more, and your networking and marketing efforts seem to be paying off.

However, watch out for mistake number one: the fact that you’re the boss doesn’t mean that you still have to do everything yourself.

This is when you should start planning your next holiday trip. The one that you have been putting aside for the last 5 years. Claim your private life back or you’ll end up with an unhappy partner (or worse: a divorce), children that hate you for never attending their school plays and not knowing the names of their classmates, and no real friends (just people that you keep in touch with every now and then via Facebook or LinkedIn).

So, delegate, delegate, and then delegate some more to make sure everything will run smoothly in your absence.

And yes, your company will still be there when you come back from holidays.

Mistake number two: trying to be an expert at everything.

Are you still fiddling with your IT system, updating your CRM database and designing your own ads for that B2B magazine? Then stop.

Get yourself a certified accountant, legal support, a PR & online marketing freelancer, someone to scan all the CVs for the next recruitment round, i.e. professional HR assistance, and an IT company for when your inbox collapses, you lose all your business contacts, and your next month’s agenda suddenly disappears into the webosphere.

Accept that you cannot be an expert at everything and do whatever you are best at, rather than trying to juggle too many balls at once. Concentrate on your strengths and expertise and hand over the rest to other professionals.

Mistake number three: accept that some people might not be as excited as you are about everything that has to do with your company. These people are called employees.

Disappointed about your latest intern messing up the catering order for that important client meeting? Unhappy about how your communications manager is drafting the latest ad? Can’t believe that no staff member bothered to tidy up the kitchen yesterday? Someone in your team left at 17:30 when there’s still tons of work left to do today?

Yes, you’ll need to get used to it. Your employees act and will continue to act like… employees.

If you want them to act like owners of the business, you’ll have to give them some shares. And that’s a completely different story.

These are the most common mistakes that I’ve seen when my clients have crossed the border from being a start-up to becoming a scale-up.

If you have seen others or want to share your experiences (successes or nightmares), go ahead!  We will all learn from them.

By Laura Bacci.



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