This is the eighth installment in my series on going from 1 to 50 employees.
We outgrew our 2nd office in 18 months when we went from 15 people to 50. Two things have changed about the nature of the business during this latest evolution. First, instead of being very scrappy with cash, we've loosened the purse strings. Second, vendor relationships have become much more important.
We used to be real cheap. We hated spending money. We worked so frickin hard to get the investments in the door that we wanted to squeeze every possible penny out of our investment. Unfortunately, its easy to save a dime and spend a dollar with that attitude. Maybe we should hire some movers for the office move... Maybe we should get a coffee service instead of running to whole foods every day... Maybe we should get a furnished office instead of worrying about starting from scratch with an empty space.
One of the ironies of getting larger is that we have identified more areas where we need external vendors to continue to grow. When there was only 10 of us, we did everything ourselves. Now, it is clear that we can be more efficient by sticking to our core competencies. Or, in Abe Lincoln's words "whatever you are, be a good one" All sorts of stuff... from doing the dishes, to hiring mobile application developers. We rely on "vendors" Sometimes those vendors are a single person that cleans up every night. Sometimes they are large consulting shops.
So now that we are at 50 employees. I have one more tool that is really critical...
Tool #9: Patience. Be slow to make judgments. Deliberate in actions. Patient in execution. These things are critical. Employees are trying their hardest to accomplish their goals. Trust them. Give them time.