The thing that young companies and their owners often lack is experience in the business world. Even if the founder has business knowledge, they may not have conducted business in the same industry or ran a company at that level. Perhaps they were C-level management, and this is first time they’re in the CEO role because they put themselves there as the founder.
To overcome these disadvantages, it’s necessary for young companies to take positive steps forward, leverage their advantages and manage or improve upon their limitations. In this way, they can succeed better and sooner.
Embrace a Fast-moving Culture
When going up against larger corporations, the feeling is that it’s hard to compete with them because they can outspend the smaller businesses. That’s sometimes true, but there are also disadvantages to their size. They’re large – like a juggernaut – and so cannot easily change direction.
Just look at Microsoft where it took successive CEO changes before they successfully shifted their business model from a Windows, PC-centric one to an operating system agnostic, cloud-based model.
Use the speed of innovation and the rapid execution abilities of younger, smaller companies to move onto new ideas sooner. Before larger competition even has the idea, dominate the space. Then when they do arrive, the company has a good head start in the marketplace. It can achieve economies of scale with production to reduce per unit costs, maximizing profits before other companies have garnered any momentum.
Look for Gaps in the Market
While business is highly competitive across the board now, there are always gaps in the market. Not every business or customer need is presently being met.
People and businesses have pain points that are causing them headaches. The pain point usually exists because there either isn’t a solution in the market or it’s unaffordable. By aiming to solve those issues, products or services can be developed to fill the gap and resolve the pain point.
Take Advantage of Executive Mentoring
Mentoring is useful for younger business owners and young companies lacking in business experience. Whether through the development of key executives with mentorship or using cross-company mentorship, knowledge can be imparted at the senior leadership level.
With mentorship, it may act as a guide for business decisions, a sounding board for new ideas or solid counsel in times of difficulty. Quite often, the mentor has either been through what the executive is dealing with or has helped another CEO or top-tier management successfully with a similar problem in the past.
The better executive mentoring programs provide sound advice and guidance and assist with planning to shape the strategic thinking and operational excellence of CEOs and managers. They’re especially useful when the founder is lacking in business knowledge in some areas and would benefit from assistance with setting goals and developing culture.
Advancing a company from its early beginnings to a sustainable, fast growing one is no easy task. Many businesses fail at this stage because of inexperienced CEOs making bad business decisions. Don’t let this be your story.