Get All Access for $5/mo

3 Ways to Retain a Growing Startup's Original Spirit What got you "here" won't get you "there" -- at least, not the same processes, or means by which your company produces output.

By Jeff Boss Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Let's consider the following hypothetical (but all too real) situation: You and your friends have conceptualized a genius idea that has wooed the startup world. People love your product. As a result, demand has increased and therefore so has your need to answer the call. So, you scale your company.

The more you expand, however, the more difficult it is to maintain that startup feel, to sustain the uniqueness that once defined your company's culture and climate. Now, as a larger company, accountability has increased, there's an array of different personalities to manage, and you want to ensure each employee is happy, productive and is the right fit for the job role so you can maintain the right scale to match the current demand.

Related: CEOs of 3 Leading Companies Share How to Take a Startup to the Next Level

Sounds easy, right? Not so much. Here's the dilemma: What got you "here" won't get you "there" -- at least, not the same processes, or means by which your company produces output. However, the principles of trust, communication and teamwork will.

In reviewing the challenge that lies before you in terms of growing the company while preserving its culture, there are myriad intangibles to consider. To turn those unknowns into something more palpable, use the following guideline to gain a better understanding of what can be preserved, what cannot, and how you and your company can stay relevant:

1. Clean house

In other words, consider what needs to change. Generally speaking, the processes that govern organizational behavior must adapt as technology changes. What worked in terms of productivity three years ago is obsolete today for the simple fact that technology has changed, which suggests that the tools and systems used to manage people must change, too.

There are a plethora of project management apps out there that handle geographically dispersed teams of different sizes (Asana and Evernote come to mind). The variability of team location and team size thus determines the type of technology needed to not only stay up to date, but also manage people.

Related: 3 Lessons From the Company That Went From Struggling to $1.2B IPO in 7 Years

Whether it's three people, 20 people, or 100, each team size necessitates its own individual management approach. Matching the inputs of human capital with their intended outputs requires different processes and management styles at each stage of the growth game.

2. Save yourself

No, not in the selfish sense, but rather identify what shouldn't change. The principles that govern your brand and the values upon which you initially founded your startup are enduring beliefs that never grow old. Values and behaviors such as service, humility, communication and feedback only serve to improve the company and keep it alive.

When considering implementing new processes, ask yourself how they impact intangibles such as trust. In other words, will a new process build trust or deplete it? Why? If the answer is the latter, consider the longer term impact.

3. Merge the two

Now that you know what needs to change and what does not, ask yourself, "What new process will maintain the value of [blank] for [x] people?" In other words, if personal interaction has slowly weaned itself from daily activity due to sheer growth, look at your company's current organizational processes (meetings, feedback sessions) and consider how to involve the larger population.

Scaling isn't easy. It's almost as if you're starting from scratch because what works with 100 employees is completely different than what works with 1,000. Keep it simple by building upon the very elements that sparked your desire to start a business.

Related: 7 Startup Habits Worth Keeping No Matter How Big Your Business Grows

Jeff Boss

Leadership Team Coach, Author, Speaker

Jeff Boss is the author of two books, team leadership coach and former 13-year Navy SEAL where his top awards included four Bronze Stars with valor and two Purple Hearts. Visit him online at www.jeff-boss.com

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Side Hustle

This 26-Year-Old's Side Hustle That 'Anybody Can Do' Grew to Earn $170,000 a Month. Here's What Happened When I Tested It.

Stephen Alvarez was working at a dental supply company and following his passion for cars on the side — then an Instagram ad changed everything.

Business News

Lauren Sánchez Says This Is the One Thing 'People Don't Really Know' About Her Fiancé Jeff Bezos

Sánchez was interviewed by her longtime friend, actor and producer Eva Longoria.

Business News

Costco Is Raising Hourly Wages for Employees, According to an Internal Memo from the CEO

In an internal memo sent on Monday, CEO Ron Vachris informed employees of the $1 an hour pay raise.

Growing a Business

5 Lessons Learned From a 7-Figure Founder

Five key lessons I wish someone had given me when I first started out on my entrepreneurial journey.

Science & Technology

3 Metrics That Matter When Measuring the Success of Your PR Campaigns

ROI is always the goal in public relations. But did you know there are ways to measure it quantitatively rather than just assess it qualitatively? Here are some options to consider to automate and calculate the impact of your PR efforts.

Branding

The 20-Step Guide to Rebranding Your Company Online

When rebranding your company, consider these 20 essential action items to ensure a smooth transition and maintain and enhance your evolving digital reputation.