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How to lay the foundations for growth


By Owen Hunnam and Charlie de Rusett, founders of Idea Drop

Having founded multiple businesses together, childhood friends and serial entrepreneurs Owen Hunnam and Charlie de Rusett, offer the following top tips for putting in place conditions under which your company can thrive:

Build the right team

Over the past five years, we’ve realised that building a world-class team is what will make or break a business. It’s worth spending the time and investment to ensure you hire really smart people; giving them the autonomy and freedom to execute their decisions and take ownership of their actions.We’re huge advocates of intrepreneurship, where people feel they are operating as a standalone unit within a wider business, and have the freedom to make their own decisions. Within this type of culture, people feel an extra sense of empowerment, where they can learn from their own mistakes.  

Take an agile approach

The premise of an agile methodology is often used within software solutions, which we believe really aids business growth. In simple terms, rather than wait and get everything 100 per cent perfect before you ship something, take a more iterative approach by working in sprints (such as short two-week periods) and assess what you have at the end of each sprint. If it works, use it, and take that foundation as a basis to scale moving forwards. 

Equally if it doesn’t work, learn from your mistakes and start another two-week sprint as a way of developing your product/service. This method allows the opportunity for feedback, whereas working on something for a year and doing a big launch is a much bigger process. In summary, something doesn’t have to be perfect before it goes live and you can make improvements based on feedback along the way. The main benefit is you can move much faster. 

Equal respect 

Taking equal interest in each of your stakeholders goes a long way. Traditionally people will look after their team members or clients as a priority, where suppliers sometimes come towards the bottom of the list. Certainly, in the earlier days, we would try to beat up suppliers, on price for example, but if you treat everyone as a partner, then everyone will buy more into your business and into your vision – ultimately helping you to get to where you need to be quicker. 

Real-time reporting

Setting up data streams to access real-time data (such as financial data like monthly profit and loss accounts) will make a big difference in being able to keep everyone up to date, engaged and motivated within the business. 

Collaborate more

It is very important not to become trapped and isolated when solving problems, no matter big or small. Looking for solutions to problems and new ideas outside of your usual ecosystem can bring better results than solving problems on your own. Taking advantage of crowdsourcing ideas from within your organisation and getting different people from different departments involved in solving a specific challenge could be of significant benefit to you and your business. 

Owen Hunnam and Charlie de Rusett are founders of Idea Drop