When it comes to business, it’s the little guys who often make the biggest waves in the industry. The scrappy startup mentality is becoming more and more prevalent as businesses begin empowering their employees to take charge of their own success. And it isn’t just SMBs that are embracing this cultural shift — it’s big corporations, too.
So how do you go about running your company like a startup, and how can you scale that mentality as your company grows? Let’s explore some of the lessons that we’ve learned here at Pardot, from a tiny startup to two(!) acquisitions that have taken place over the past year.
Give the Power to the People
People are what make the startup culture so powerful. For a startup to be successful, the scrappy attitude of the company has to be reflected in its employees, which means that employees should be permitted to make their own decisions, start their own projects, and blaze their own paths. And that’s why the next point is so important: if you want to be able to empower your employees, then you need to be sure that you can trust them to do their jobs, and do them well.
Be Picky about Your Employees
Not everyone is meant for a startup environment. At Pardot, we emphasize certain core values when going through the hiring process, like a positive attitude and the ability to be self-starting. If you hire employees that reflect the culture you want to maintain, the rest will take care of itself. Many startups find that hiring the right employees, and then giving them the power to do their own work (along with perks like casual dress), makes them more motivated to give 100%.
One of the most important lessons that we’ve learned throughout our journey is the value of listening to your employees. Often, the startup environment can become so fast-paced that it’s easy to lose track of everything that’s in motion, which is why it’s important to encourage an open communication policy within your company. We strongly believe in an open-door policy at Pardot, even as the company grows, so that everyone is always on the same page with projects, questions, or concerns.
Preserve Your Traditions
This is an especially important point as your small company grows into a medium or enterprise business and begins trying to scale that startup mentality. Naturally, some of the perks of being a small business will go away, but that doesn’t mean that you need to let go of all of the traditions that your employees have grown to love. In fact, staying true to your roots often becomes even more crucial over time.
What other advice can you give to companies that are trying to build or maintain a startup culture? Let us know in the comments!