Growing Pains

Growing Pains

Friday, 06 January 2012 00:00

Balancing short- and long-term activities in a start-up

This article first appeared August 23, 2011.

 

An issue we've been discussing internally at Shoes of Prey lately is how to balance short- and long-term activities.

 

We've got two big projects we've been working on over the last six months and together they occupy the equivalent of eight of our 17 team members full-time.

 

Both projects are progressing very well (we'll be ready to announce both soon), however the challenge has been they have had zero impact on sales to date as they can't have an impact until they launch.

That means that day-to-day operations and short-term growth activities have fallen to the other nine members of our team.

 

Our day-to-day operations are manageable with nine people, however we've had very few resources left to invest short-term sales growth activities over the last six months. And as is reasonable to expect, that's meant we've not been experiencing the same growth rates as we did last year.

As we're learning, start-ups need to strike a balance between short- and longer-term growth activities.

 

If we had our time again I'm not sure we'd change things as our two large projects are giving every indication they'll have significant positive impacts on our business, but moving forward, balancing the short- and long-term is something we'll give more thought to.

Michael Fox managed Google’s online sales and operations agency team for Australia and New Zealand before moving into entrepreneurship. He's a co-founder of Shoes of Prey, an online retail website which allows women to design their own shoes and Sneaking Duck, which sells fashionable prescription glasses online. He blogs in detail about the process of running Shoes of Prey at his blog www.22michaels.com.


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