If you want to expand your established security business but aren’t sure where to start, try thinking like a startup – you know, a relatively new company (it doesn’t have to be in the technology field, although many are). Although a small business that has been around for years is not a startup, it can still maximize growth with a startup attitude. This approach is catching on with many large companies that want to rebrand themselves, and with great success in many cases. If it can work for them, it can work for you. Let’s address some key characteristics of successful startup companies that seem to lend themselves to growth potential.
The first thing that differentiates small startup companies from established corporations is a flatter structure. In other words, there are fewer managers, upper managers and executives to answer to when it comes to creative decisions. In a large company or even just a long-standing small business, there may be a founder, president, various departments with their own executives or upper management, and then, way down at the bottom, the staff that is in the trenches: salespeople, marketers, technicians, etc.
Typically, the higher-ups spend most of their time out of the field, because their job is to manage people. Being out of the field means being out of the loop – and it’s hard to make good decisions when you’re out of the loop.
Pro Tip: Controlled chaos is an approach that a long-standing business can use anytime they are adding on a new product or service. Tighter deadlines and an uncertain outcome can force the flow of creativity.
Big Company: Small Mindset
By contrast, a startup is usually comprised of a handful of lateral staff; this is perhaps the founders and one or two carefully selected others. They are all responsible for collaborating on the creative decisions, and because they all share the responsibility of growing the company, they fully understand the consequences of those decisions. The benefits of shrinking the hierarchy is something that long-standing businesses can learn from watching startup companies.
Excitement, & A Little Chaos Are OK
The second thing that sets startups apart from established companies is their culture of controlled chaos. That sounds negative, but don’t worry; it isn’t meant to suggest an anything goes, frat house environment. It just means that there are tighter deadlines and an uncertain outcome, which forces the flow of creativity. Also, creating this kind of culture does not require established businesses to throw away their existing models – far from it. Controlled chaos is an approach that a long-standing business can use anytime they are adding on a new product or service. In a nutshell, it is the company culture that comes out of trying something new. No one knowing exactly how things will go, but they are excited to try it and have a measurable goal for success. Of course, there is a timeline for hitting that goal. See? Controlled chaos.
In a nutshell, it is the company culture that comes out of trying something new. No one knowing exactly how things will go, but they are excited to try it and have a measurable goal for success. Of course, there is a timeline for hitting that goal. See? Controlled chaos.
Just there are many things startups can learn from established businesses, there are many things that established businesses can learn from startups. Consider applying these two concepts to your security business; hopefully, they will help you maximize growth to the extent you have in mind.
Ignite Security Marketing is an inbound marketing agency that specializes in marketing and salesforce automation for the security industry. Since 2008, we have been the marketing partner of choice for SDM 100 corporations and SMB’s around the nation.
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