Scaling Your Software Development Startup: Best Practices and Strategies for Growth
Running a software development startup is no easy task. It takes an incredible amount of time, energy, and passion to build a sustainable and scalable startup. If you’re building a software development startup and are thinking about growth, the good news is that you’ve already crossed the biggest hurdle, which is working to establish your entity.
You’re now on to the second leg of your startup journey, and that means scale. When it comes to scale, there are five high-level strategies and best practices to think about to ensure that you grow effectively.
Top 5 Strategies to Grow Your Software Development Startup
The strategies that we’ll walk through below range from personnel to processes to infrastructure. In order to scale efficiently, you need to be sure that you are properly growing every facet of your business. In other words, you need to buckle down and get ready to revamp your operations, transitioning your company from “survival” mode to “growth” mode.
1. Hire the right people
Hiring the right people may be the most important thing you can do for your company. You need to find talented individuals who embrace the right skill sets for your company. This means finding the right developers, designers, marketers, sales people, etc.
When you hire the right team members, you’re setting your company up for success. As the founder of the company, you need to be able to delegate responsibilities. You can’t spend your time micromanaging all of the roles within your company. You may be able to do that when you just start out, but if you want to scale, you need to be able to let go. The best way to do this is by hiring the right people, individuals you can trust to do the job properly and grow with the company.
It can take time and energy to hire the right people. That is okay! It is better to take a little bit longer to find the right person than to hire the wrong person. Keep your mind on the long-term goals and build a team that aligns with your 5 or 10 year roadmap, not a team that only aligns with your needs today.
2. Leverage agile methodologies
The beauty of the agile methodology is that it encourages iteration, meaning it isn’t focused on being “right” in the moment, it is focused on learning and being “right” in the end, where it matters most. In an agile environment, your team has an emphasis on collaboration that encourages continuous feedback, constant improvement, and a flexible mindset.
By implementing agile methodologies, you as a company can create more efficient development cycles. This will help you scale internally and for your clients as it allows you to be more adaptive to the variables that get thrown your way. As you scale, those variables will be constantly changing, so you need to be sure that your processes are built in a manner that is adjustable and moldable to your ever-changing business environment.
3. Automate in the cloud
Cloud computing and automation tools can help software development startups scale their operations by reducing operational costs and improving operational efficiency. As a software development startup, you need to embrace technology and let it drive your growth. This means automation. Any task that is repeatable should be one that you try to automate. Whether it be automating your code deployment through pipelines or automating your sales outreach through email funnels, it is imperative that you reduce the manual overhead and set an example as an innovative and efficient technology company.
When it comes to building this technology, it is important that you always leverage the cloud. Cloud computing infrastructure allows you as an organization to be cost effective as well as flexible. The economical positioning of the cloud gives your company more room for growth, financially speaking. The flexibility of the cloud gives your company room for growth, physically speaking.
4. Obsess over your customers
In order to scale a company, you need to have one that provides a quality product or service. The way you’re going to ensure that your product or service is of quality is by focusing on customer satisfaction. Your customer is the reflection of your value. If you obsess over your customers, learning what their pain points are and adapting your business to their needs, you inherently are strengthening your positioning and product-market fit.
Furthermore, especially in a service-based realm, customers tend to be your strongest revenue channel as a referral source. A happy customer is more likely to not only repeat business, but refer those that they know given their wonderful experience they’ve had with you. On the flip side, a negative customer experience will harm you significantly more than a positive customer experience will help you, so it is truly imperative to protect your business by ensuring that your customer experience is a focal point of your growth strategy.
5. Build a positive company culture
According to the Society for Human Resource Management, it costs $4,129 to hire a new employee, just operationally. You still then have to pay your new hire their salary + benefits.
What does that tell us? It tells us that it is very expensive to hire! How do you ensure that you don’t have to keep going through the hiring process? Build a company culture that retains your team members. When your team is happy, they will not only perform better, but they’ll stay with you longer. A dysfunctional team that requires continuous replacement of resources is disruptive to growth. It pulls your attention away from the business and towards the fire.
Build a company culture that scales by building a positive company culture that lifts your team up.