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Alice Nell
February 18, 2016

Startup Basics 101 with Yatan Blumenthal | Stay, Scale, or Exit

The word is out! You might have heard it; in March starts a brand new accelerator at ours! Who, what, where? EY start-­up-challenge,​ in collaboration with b​etahausX.​ Great reason to ask our Chief Accelerator Yatan Blumenthal to write a series of blogs, and share some basic startup insights.

Phase #4: Stay, Scale, or Exit

You have survived a few years and you’re now in the lucky 20% of companies that are actually going somewhere. Congratulations! That is however, if you stay on the path of excellence.

 

Systematize your company

When you’re growing your company, a good question to ask yourself is: “What would I need to document if I’d want to franchise this company?”. Looking at your company in this way enables you to systematize most simple actions in your company and start optimizing. When your team expands, you’ll have all materials ready to get new hires up to speed fast and easy, Even though many might not like it, McDonalds is the best example of a completely systematized company. A good resource is e-myth. Combine the skill of logging, documenting, and creating manuals, with an experimental startup spirit, and you’llhave a winning combination.

 

Small is beautiful

So now push comes to shove. What do you want and what is best for your company? The cliché way for a startup is to start small and then dominate the world. ome companies however, have reached their sweet spot at a certain size. They’re doing well in one particular market or geography, and best way to go for them, is to  stay that way. For example competitors of Uber are best advised to stay strong to their local markets. There is nothing wrong with staying small; “small is beautiful”! You can run a tight ship, keep providing more value to your customers by improving on what you have, and keepyour employees, your customers, and yourself happy. A lot of hidden champions in Germany follow this approach: Steady client base, constant incremental innovation.

 

Go Big or Go Home

Equally you can try to go global and take over, become the next Uber, Facebook or Google. This approach will require a big portion of “no guts, no glory” mentality because you’ll have to take big risks and scale quickly. Be sure to get advice from seasoned business people. Running a company that goes from 10 to 500 people in a matter of months is something youdefinitely should get assistance on.

 

Sell your startup or Exit

Many startups dream of being picked up by a Microsoft, Google or Facebook. It can also be a General Electric, a Siemens or a Samsung. Tough choice to make; either you grow a bit longer and cash out for a bigger price, or you take the offer now. Consider the terms under which you’re willing to exit and sell, and also consider for how long you’ll want to stick around to make your company grow. It’s a personal choice, and it’s yours to make.

 

Is that all you got?

I know I know. There are a lot of steps missing here, and an experience of years is simplified and narrowed down into 4 basic blog articles. This is just a teaser to get you and your startup on theway of becoming successfulr with a scientific mindset. Get reading and experimenting, take Lean startup and customer development as inspirations, check out what Zappos is doing in terms of organisations  and have a look at the way in which SpaceX revolutionised space travel. Be daring in a rational way, and enjoy the Startup ride!

 

Want to know more about the EY start-up-challenge? You can read all about it on their website. 

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