Throughout his career, Jack Dorsey has operated with a laser focus on the power of fast, simple, and effective communication. Reaching well beyond his work in founding and serving as Twitter’s first CEO, Dorsey has applied his passion for good communication to his other business ventures, as well as his personal management philosophy.
All posts by Will Roffe
Founding and running a business is a taxing experience, both in the short and long term. Going on to transform a new startup into a successful and growing enterprise is a downright herculean task. The road to success is long, and can often be discouraging. Considering this, it’s understandable that a large majority or new businesses never make it past their first year, and many of those that do never grow to become significant names in their industry.
Running any startup requires entrepreneurs to walk a financial tightrope before becoming profitable. International startups, though, face the added complexity of managing international transactions, foreign suppliers, distributors, and employees. This makes it even more difficult for them to become profitable and makes them even more vulnerable to cash flow interruptions than their domestic counterparts.
Looking at the biggest names in tech entrepreneurship, one could be excused for imagining that disruptive AI innovation was largely limited to Silicon Valley in the US. Of course this isn’t actually the case. While Facebook, Google, and Elon Musk have dominated headlines on their development of artificial intelligence, Dr. Catriona Wallace has been putting it into practice in Australia. While big names are concerning themselves with attention-grabbing super AI, Wallace is working at the cutting edge of AI technology to develop practical applications and create real value for businesses and their customers.
Growth is a complex process for businesses, especially when they’re transitioning out of their initial startup phase. Business owners often view cash flow issues as their biggest barrier, but there’s an additional challenge that needs to be overcome after financing has been sorted. Continuing to satisfy a growing client base while going through a growth phase is an enormous challenge. It means finding new suppliers, buying equipment, acquiring new facilities, and, most importantly, expanding your workforce without seriously disrupting your current activities.
Every small business owner dreams of making it big with a massive contract that doubles the size of their business with a single signature. Accommodating rapid growth like this, though, presents a number of significant challenges. Businesses who aren’t ready to manage these may miss out on major growth opportunities, or even jeopardise their business in some cases. Those who meet their business’ rapid growth needs well, on the other hand, can enjoy incredible growth while minimising many of the risks that businesses often face when scaling up.
Online reviews have become increasingly relevant to online, and increasingly also brick-and-mortar businesses in the past decade. Initially they came about as a way to get a feel for the quality of a product or service online, where customers couldn’t interact directly with products or businesses. Over time, their popularity has increased, and 4 out of 5 online consumers now consult online reviews before making a purchase. As a result, online review sites have emerged as a battleground.
While many successful startups are built on a single disruptive innovation, it takes a consistently innovative company culture to grow into an industry leader. A single brilliant entrepreneur can almost never do the back-breaking work of running a business while also continuing to come up with transformative ideas. Rather, many of the longest-lived and familiar brands we know today rely on the innovative potential of their entire staff to drive them forward.
Entrepreneurs rarely go into business with the goal of remaining small in the long term. While each business owner’s ultimate ambitions might vary, success for entrepreneurs normally means pursuing competitiveness and growth. Considering this, it’s worth noting that over 97 per cent of Australian businesses are small businesses. Growth is difficult, and it’s very common for entrepreneurs with big dreams to join the ranks of small businesses that survive, but don’t quite thrive. That doesn’t mean, however, that growing and scaling up are distant dreams.
Along with co-founder Hayley Barna, Katia Beauchamp has taken the beauty industry by storm, transforming the way millions of people select and purchase beauty products. Founded in 2010, her startup, Birchbox, brought beauty products into the subscription economy, and has since taken over a significant portion of the beauty industry. As of 2017, Birchbox was working with 300 brands in six countries.