How do you get your start-up team playing at peak performance? One word: Training. A big thanks to Catapult Startup VLinks Media for this guest blog, originally posted on LearnCore's website www.learncore.com.
Training Gets Your Startup To Peak Performance by Ethan Linkner, Co-Founder & VP Operations, VLinks Media
The growth trajectory of a successful early stage company is unlike anything an established company could hope to replicate. Think hockey stick or rocket ship. Therefore, the way in which a 10-person company behaves and thinks is very different than a 20-, 200-, or definitely a 2,000-person company. Getting the most out of each team member on the roster and each dollar in the bank is absolutely crucial for start-ups that plan to scale. Here are some quick ways start-ups can make sure their team is playing at peak performance:
- Identify lynchpins – Get it down on paper: Like most start-ups, you probably have that one person who can solve any problem. On our team, we have Brad. The problem is, as our company grew, Brad was still the only person who knew how to do certain things. This slowed us down and completely consumed his workday with now non-critical tasks. Identify lynchpins in your organization and get that knowledge shared. The Brad’s of the world need to be focused on solving big issues, not repeat tasks.
- Avoid up front fees and only pay for performance: Nothing is more important to start-ups – including you funded ones – than the dollars in the bank. Take advantage of free services and trial offers for software. They are everywhere.
- Assign accountability: Most start-up employees are already completely overworked, so to assign the task of training to one person is not a solid recipe. Instead diversify accountability across the entire team. Let the person who runs marketing share their knowledge about generating leads; sales leaders should do the sales coaching; engineers should make sure everyone can speak intelligently about the product. Team members wear many hats at a start-up, so diffusing expertise across the group can make everyone more productive.
- Create internal certifications: Being in the weeds everyday with your company and products, you become the best in the world at your niche. Your team needs to know that they are experts and should be recognized for it. Done in the right way, certifying and credentialing can be powerful motivators. A great way to kick start your training is to layer in gaming elements like internally recognized certifications, leaderboards, and team achievements. This lets your team know where they stand and what they need to work on to stay ahead of the curve.
No matter which market you operate in, the difference between a successful company and a failure is how well your team can execute. Are they going to say the right thing in front of a client or prospect? Are they going to employ the best practices you had in mind when you crafted the business? Will they be a product expert?
It all comes down to training.
The easiest habits to form are the ones that start when you are small. Start crafting your training culture today.
VLinks Media provides interactive training systems proven to increase learner success rates. Their newest product, LearnCore, is a cloud-based, self-service website that allows corporations to independently create and deliver personalized training courses. For more information on training best practices or for a free demo of how LearnCore can help your team, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. To see the original blog post on LearnCore's website, click here.