This post is part of the series " My five worst mistakes as an entrepreneur ."
One of the biggest challenges of the entrepreneur is to grow orderly : it is really difficult to continuously add clients, projects and employees maintaining both the quality and the soul of the company (and especially in a custom services business like ours).
As a result of growth, problems and organizational dilemmas always arise, and begin to need a structure and processes to do what until now simply "was done".
How is it possible that something was done without more? I think the answer is that the founding teams are so committed to the result (that the project works well, that the client is satisfied) that they do "whatever" to achieve it.
With this I do not mean that the processes do not contribute anything: on the contrary, it is absurd to reinvent the wheel once again or to risk forgetting small things that a simple checklist could always do consistently. But no process, however good it may be, can substitute having a team of people committed to the result . When you have "good people", they are responsible for covering any possible holes in the process. When you do not have it, the most exhaustive of processes will not prevent problems from arising.
That "have or not have good people" depends on you: how you make the selection when hiring and how to transmit to the team the principles that are important to you. Among my basic principles were the "obsession with service" and the pursuit of excellence: failing the Client was not an option, it was not admissible. However, as we grew, we placed more emphasis on organization and processes than on transmitting these principles . The consequence was that we lost the ability to offer the highest quality consistently.
An important note: transmit your principles is not something that is achieved by giving a speech from time to time . It requires dedicating your time to the people you are going to delegate, and working side by side with them so they can learn by doing: only in this way can you build a solid foundation on which to continue growing in the future.