Growing Fast: How To Keep Up When Things Take Off

  • FWB Events

Together with our friends at MBM Commercial, we hosted a breakfast event last week at our FWB offices as part of our Female Founders series. Our event attracted a wonderful group of entrepreneurial leaders, all eager to hear from our three speakers who have all excelled and are at various stages of their entrepreneurial journeys.

Jules Salmond, Co-Founder and CEO of CienDos

Jules shared her journey of building a start-up focussed on incentivising real carbon emissions reduction across corporate networks. Jules emphasised the importance of building high-performing teams and executing strategic goals effectively from the inception of a business.

Elaine Van Der Berg, CEO of Pufferfish

Elaine spoke about the challenges and successes of scaling up Pufferfish, a leader in digital displays. Under her leadership, the company saw a remarkable 60% growth last year and Elaine highlighted the critical aspects of managing rapid growth and the importance of having strong investor backing and strategic planning during the scale-up phase.

Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne, Founder of Genius Foods

Lucinda discussed her experience in growing the UK’s number-one gluten-free brand. Lucinda shared insights on navigating the rapid expansion of a business and preparing for a successful exit, offering invaluable advice to those at the later stages of their entrepreneurial journey.

Some other practical insights:

  1. Know Your Purpose: Make sure you understand exactly what and why you are going into a scaling stage. Your why can be the guide and basis for all your following decisions and strategies.
  2. Plan For All Scenarios: Be ready for everything to go right and wrong. Have a scale-up, scale-down, and shut-down plan. Be ready to rewrite all your plans and strategies with brutal objectivity.
  3. Focus on Efficiency and Standardisation: The session clearly showed that most founders see their product as their baby. Before adding and expanding your product offering, or expanding where you are offering it, make sure your product is standardised and efficient. Utilise tools, processes, and AI to enhance efficiency.
  4. Choose the Right People: Whether it’s your team, your board, or your investors, ensure they understand your vision, speak the same language, and are willing to join you on the journey. People invested in your why will cope better with any shifts in the original plans.
  5. Keep It Simple: Too much variation can hinder your progress if introduced prematurely. Keep it simple and make sure that as you grow, your team understands the offering as well as you, the founder.

The event highlighted that scaling a business is a journey that requires clear roles, responsibilities, and a shared understanding of the ‘why’ behind your business. We are grateful to our speakers for sharing their wisdom and to all our attendees for joining us and look forward to continuing these conversations at our next event in the series.

To express interest in attending our future Female Founders Series events, contact us at events@fwdbltrd.com. We continue to support and celebrate the achievements of women in entrepreneurship.

Lindsay Cramond

Director

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