How to add structure to a start up business

Wednesday 01 August 2018
Follow these tips to grow your start-up business.
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As President of the CMI, Bruce Carnegie-Brown is asked a lot of questions about leadership and management. However, he has revealed that the number one issue raised by young professionals is how to add structure to a start-up business when it grows.

Read more: What young business leaders ask CMI president Bruce Carnegie-Brown

CMI Insights posed the conundrum to start-up founders. The answer may vary according to the specific nature of each business but much of the advice is highly relevant to the manager of any enterprise.


“Hiring the right team at any stage of a business’s growth is essential but no more so than for start-ups,” explains Luke Lang, Co-Founder of Crowdcube. “Having non-executive directors, advisors and mentors, particularly in the early days, who can fill any knowledge or experience gaps, is a great way to bolster the expertise of your team. Those relationships will also serve as an endorsement of your business model and will help to build your credibility in the eyes of potential investors, which is particularly important for start-ups.”


Organisation is also vital. “Transforming from the chaos of an early start up where everyone does everything to a smooth running professional business can be painful - but it's also a necessity,” explains James Dunworth, chairman of “A starting place for us was our strategy meeting where we mapped out the organisational structure of the business over the years to come, including key personnel and when to bring them in.”


Implementing the latest technology also proves valuable, Dunworth adds: “Using software like People HR allowed us to put in systems which not only automated parts of our processes but put in automated reminders to ensure essential tasks get done. It reduced the need for continual oversight and nagging!’


As a start-up grows, delegating becomes crucial, according to Ben Matthews, director of digital marketing agency Montfort. In the beginning, he’d complete tasks himself and document how they had been accomplished. “As we grow,” he explains, “lots of tasks are documented and the team learns how to manage each task across the business. That then frees me up to concentrate on higher value work, while having the confidence that the team knows how to get common tasks done.”

Above all, intelligent management – in every area – helps ensure a start-up has a successful future.

Read more: Train to be a professional manager

At Crowdcube, Lang concludes, “the key has been hiring people who fit with the business and existing team, irrespective of someone’s experience and track record of success. For us, a cultural fit is just as important, if not more so, as hiring the right person is timely and costly to rectify.”

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