There’s nothing quite like working in a start-up. The US is one of the most prolific countries in the world in nurturing successful companies.
The enthusiasm, innovation, and lack of bureaucracy in start-ups are showing a whole generation that there’s a better way to work.
A more flexible, less rigid structure that allows you to really make a difference and really contribute to the success of a company.
There’s the flip side too. Ask anyone involved in a successful start-up and they’ll tell you that it’s not all flexible working, free breakfasts, gym memberships, and an office dog.
It’s hard work, long hours and an uncertain future. A recent study showed that up to 90 percent of start-ups fail. Ouch.
That’s why it is vital to celebrate your small successes and milestones, motivate your employees and build upon those successes. By doing this you will give yourself the best chance at reaching your ultimate goals.
Don’t think you have the budget? There are many ways to recognize success without affecting the bottom line. Here are 10 ideas of how you can celebrate your start-up’s successes.
1. Celebrate the journey as well as the destination
Don’t just celebrate the obvious big wins and milestones. Break down your successes into smaller, significant wins along the way.
This could be getting your first contract over $25K, gaining a client in a new industry, releasing a new version of your product or exceeding a monthly revenue target.
While they might seem insignificant in comparison to ambitions, they are a vital stepping stone to where you want to go.
2. Dedicate a channel to success
Your team communications software is a perfect place to celebrate your successes.
A Slack channel or What’s App conversation dedicated to wins, positive feedback or to give a shout out to colleagues for their hard work is great motivation.
3. Recognize Employee Contributions
Actively engaged, committed employees can make or break a start-up. That’s why it is vital to recognize employee contributions. Don’t horde all your positive feedback for annual appraisals or anniversaries.
Do it now and do it publicly. Let everyone know that their efforts will be recognized and rewarded.
It’s also important to recognize people individually rather than just thanking managers or entire departments.
Tracy Streckenbach, the founder of Hillview Consulting LLC, stated: “Culture is about performance, and making people feel good about how they contribute to the whole.”
4. Reward Your Employees
This can mean different things depending on the size of your start-up. You may already have a financial bonus scheme in place as part of employment contracts. If you can afford to reward employees financially, that’s great.
Something as simple as a team lunch, an extra day’s vacation or a night out can be a meaningful gesture to employees.
5. Team Outings
Getting distance from the office (or wherever your employees work from) is a great way to reset and grow as a team. It doesn’t have to be the dreaded ‘team-building’ day but an activity you can do together.
This works particularly well if you have a workforce that works in different locations and doesn’t get to see each other very often. Use the time to decompress, bond as a team and set goals for the future.
6. Tell the World
Some successes are worth shouting about. If there’s a good angle for a news story, press release or social media post then do it, toot your own horn.
Not only will it motivate your team, but it will also help raise your brand and industry profile.
Building your profile in this way is a great marketing tool and will prove that you’ve got what it takes.
7. Thank Your Clients
Let your clients know how important they are to you. Continue to build your relationships with them by thanking them for their business and how vital their input is in developing and defining your product or service.
Send them an email, a card or a small gift. Just as your employees like to know they are valued, so do your clients.
8. Do Something for Yourself
You might be a one-man (or woman) start-up. But that’s no reason not to stop and acknowledge your success.
You could reward yourself by taking a day off to do something you love, ordering a cigar from a premium cigar company, or booking that vacation you’ve been promising yourself.
9. Throw a Party
If you’re celebrating something big, then it might be time to dial up on the celebrations. Invite your clients, suppliers and other important stakeholders to celebrate your success.
Take time to really celebrate what you’ve achieved. Dance, eat cake, take photos you can look back on as you move forward to your next big milestone.
10. Do something that matters
If parties aren’t your thing, then do something that makes an impact in other ways. You could support an environmental project, donate to a charity or allow employees to volunteer for causes close to their hearts.
The Successes and the Hard Times
While running a startup isn’t all successes, it’s important to honor the highs and the lows. A new business comes with no shortage of challenges, so take the good times as they come.
Looking for more advice on how to keep your entrepreneurial spirit going? Check out our blogs for everything from tips to tech to get your business to the next level.