So you’re now an established startup with a product you know sells. You’ve gone through Series A funding and are now looking to scale production and reach customers on an international scale.
It’s time for Series B.
For any company, going from A to B is an extremely exciting time, but when you start digging into the logistics – from choosing your new market, scaling your team, and budgeting and timing – it gets complicated quickly. When a company goes from Series A to B, there’s a few things that can take a tumble. We’re going to take a look at some of the specific pain points of companies moving from Series A into B that are often left unaddressed until years later, and provide actionable tips for avoiding these break points.
Be Clear On Your Go-to-Market Strategy
In most cases, a Series A start-up has already proven its product by the time it comes to raise Series B funding. However, many continue to focus too much on the product. With increased funding and a shift in scale and growth, the focus should now be on your go-to market strategy.
Your strategy should be scalable and efficient, so be clear on what moving into new markets means for your company, be ready to act, and be pragmatic and precise with your future growth plans. This way, departments can work better with each other and everyone is aligned on company goals.
Recruit Support For Your Sales Organisation
As a company grows and scales from Series A to B, they often underestimate the importance of support roles for the sales organisation and end up underbudgeting for them. Any company moving from Series A to B needs sufficient sales coverage to effectively scale their product so that it can compete against more established competitors in the market. By hiring capable sales operations and enablement support people now, you’ll be able to supercharge sales performance, let leaders lead, and ensure your sales targets are scaling and growing.
Invest In An Inbound Team
Many organisations realise too late in the game the importance of an inbound engine and have historically attempted to scale by just increasing their outbound. Whether it is adding a demand-generation lead to your marketing team or leveraging social media, the earlier you scale and invest in your inbound team, the better.
With the right tools, inbound marketing is a fantastic way for companies to continue generating leads and increase revenue as they grow. Knowing your target audience, how to get their attention and convert them to leads and ultimately customers is one of the most necessary skills for a scaling business. If you start investing in producing content for your website for example, you’ll be able build awareness and branding over time which, a year down the line, will make your continued growth much simpler and more effective.
Get Your Team Right…Now!
Now is the time when you need to start introducing specialist team members and possibly making difficult decisions. Series A and ‘start-up’ people tend to do a bit of everything, but as you scale, you’ll need specialists who are experts in their specific fields, which sometimes means those who have worked at the company from the beginning need specialise and move up into management positions.
A diverse team with different skills and specialities is critical to the success of a company growing from Series A to B. Failure post-mortem FinTech’s have often lamented that ‘I wish we had a CMO/CTO/CFO from the beginning’. At Zirtual, a company which was forced to lay off 400 employees overnight after a series of miscalculations and financial mistakes, co-founder Maren Kate Donovan later acknowledged that one key mistake was not bringing a CFO on board sooner:
“If [a board] had actually been in tune, this would have been caught six months ago…I blame myself on a lot of this, in not hiring more experienced people…In retrospect, if we had a senior finance person and a senior ops person it would have been a completely different story.”
By getting your C suite professionals on board, you place your company in excellent stead for continued growth, and it means you’re getting what you need to get right, right now!
If you’re looking to build and scale your team, Storm2 can help. We have extensive experience working with companies moving through all stages of funding, bringing the right people into your business at the right time. If you’d like to discuss your hiring needs, get in touch. Our consultants are experts in the FinTech industry, and are best placed for finding the technically skilled c-suite candidates for start-ups and scale ups globally.