Is Your Startup Getting Caught in the “Squeeze”?

Brian Slawin

That could have been a picture of me when I first figured out my startup was getting caught in the “Squeeze”.

And it’s not restricted to startups, either. Β Most companies eventually get caught in a place where client’s put downward pressure on revenues and employees put upward pressure on costs and time off. Β That’s when leaders have to get innovative.

Some examples:

  • Are you leveraging technology to enhance workflow and communications? Why aren’t you using tools like Slack, Trello or a CRM? Has “We’ve always done it this way” crept into your mindset?
  • Is yours a flexible workforce or are you 9-to-5 in an office with a traditional structure? Β There may be lots of reasons why you’d select one over the other, but if yours is by default, is it time to take another look?
  • Have you adopted to the needs of the millennial generation that will (if it hasn’t already) make up a greater % and have more impact on your business each year?
  • What are you doing about quality of life issues? Β Can people leave work early to watch/coach their daughter play softball? If they do, what’s the requirement for planning that? How about encouraging physical fitness (or at least healthy options) that make it easier to work for you?
  • Are you celebrating successes while encouraging an environment of openness and learning from failure? Β Or, is yours an environment where people are called on the carpet and “You’re only as good as what you do tomorrow” attitude?
  • Do you make space for open communication or is it a formal and rigid process? Β The best companies I’ve led/worked for had daily (that’s right, every day) ‘standups’ where each division and everyone in it met at the very start of each day to talk about 1) What they did yesterday, 2) What challenges they encountered, 3) What they did to overcome them, 4) What they were going to do today and 5) any help they needed. Β And everyone had no more than 90 seconds…talk about keeping focused!

Today’s workplace and business is much different than it looked even a few years ago.

Everyone can contribute (and frankly, you’re counting on them to do so)… which is best encapsulated by this story: In the race to the moon, President Kennedy visited Cape Canaveral, FLΒ and stopped to talk with a janitor sweeping the floor. Β When asked what he was doing, the man said “I’m helping put a man on the moon!”.

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