Let’s face it. There’s always going to be some level of chaos in a startup. Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn, commented in a podcast, “To successfully grow a business, you must expect chaos.” However, that doesn’t mean chaos has to run rampant. For example, managing day-to-day tasks such as purchase orders and project planning shouldn’t be a source of tension.
You can cut chaos from the beginning by establishing consistent process and communication channels in a digital workplace. Starting with one fully integrated, centralized platform can keep mounting data and tasks from spiraling out of control. Will there still be bumps in the road? Of course. Testing, learning, and evolving are a part of any new venture. But a few bumps in the road early on are better than detrimental craters later.
Leaders of the failed French digital marketing startup Dijiwan warned other entrepreneurs: “A good product idea and a strong technical team are not a guarantee of a sustainable business. One should not ignore the business process and issues of a company because it is not their job. It can eventually deprive them of any future in that company.”
Never forget that business processes are the core of any business. Master these processes for startup survival.
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How Does a Digital Workplace Combat Chaos?
“Entrepreneurship is like throwing yourself off a cliff and assembling an airplane on the way down.” —Reid Hoffman
Part of the airplane assembly is establishing daily business processes and communication standards. This will free up time for critical decisions and human-centered tasks. To this end, a digital workplace platform is an affordable and user-friendly solution, even for startups without a sizeable IT budget. Here’s how it can reduce the chaos.
New businesses often suffer from a lack of organization and fragmented data. However, a digital workplace brings cohesion to all types of work. For example, the startup team can manage repetitive processes, one-time projects, cases, and collaboration in a single application.
Consider all the forms your business currently handles. For instance, there are invoices, expense requests, budgets, and client inquiries, just to name a few.
However, a digital workplace provides a smooth system for the workflow surrounding each form. In this way, nothing is lost. There is a place for everything and everything slips easily into its proper digital space.
If you’re thinking this sounds like something for large enterprises, but not startups, consider this: Small businesses that effectively implement marketing automation see improvement in lead quality and pipeline growth more than twice as fast as mid-to-large businesses do. Moreover, this is the result of only a single automated process. Imagine the potential of multiple well-organized processes!
Startup founders face chaos on a daily basis in the form of multiple split-second decisions. Therefore, they must continually reevaluate outcomes.
However, with trackable digital processes in a digital workplace, they can monitor and tweak outcomes to improve performance. Readily available information will empower the startup team to make better-informed decisions based on hard data.
Real-time metrics will turn guessing games into solid decisions that will define the future success of your business. For example, Gleanster reported that top-performing small businesses are 15 times more likely to measure metrics regarding engagement or sales than are average small businesses.
When the amount of data and the number of processes begin to multiply, you’ll already have standard procedures in place. Therefore, you will be able to seamlessly add on as needed.
This is because cloud-based programs are easily scalable. Moreover, integrating them into your processes from the start will place you in the elite 13 percent of executives who say their systems are well-integrated.
An inability to meet growing demands can be extremely costly for a business finding its feet. However, planning ahead by making a small tech investment early on can make a world of difference.
No founder wants to be scraping to get by when it’s time to scale up. But a well-prepared startup team will plow through phases of growth with focused intensity. They won’t get bogged down by clutter and chaos.
No matter the number of people in a startup team, miscommunication happens. But structured collaboration leads to less confusion, better decisions, timely work, and improved customer service. These are all essential for startup survival.
Plus, a recent study revealed that companies promoting collaboration perform more than five times better. So collaboration is definitely something to get right.
No-code citizen development platforms are user-centered. Teams can work together to rapidly automate a workflow or build a project board, regardless of IT proficiency.
In this way, everyone can be aware of upcoming work tasks. They can then share thoughts, provide feedback, or host impromptu discussions in the same, trackable location. Structured collaboration yields harmony and productivity. However, passive collaboration can cause disunity and discord.
Chart Your Course
Taoist philosopher Sun Tzu once said, “In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity.” Though there will always be some level of chaos in running a startup, wise founders will recognize opportunities to take control of business processes and minimize preventable foul-ups. Taking a proactive step to combat chaos will pave the way for a long-lasting, profitable business.
About the Author
Suresh Sambandam is the CEO of Kissflow, the first unified digital workplace for organizations to manage all of their work on a single, unified platform. Kissflow is used by more than 10,000 customers across 160 countries, including more than fifty Fortune 500 companies. Suresh is an expert and a renowned entrepreneur. Moreover, he is on a mission to democratize cutting-edge technologies and help enterprises seamlessly orchestrate their work through an intuitive blend of collaboration, coordination, and control.