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Start-up and expanding businesses

Supporting Start-up businesses:
Voltedge is working with Entrepreneurs and start-up companies to ensure that the start-up phase and the development of the business is linked to sound human resource practices, providing customised services and supporting a wide range of needs.

We are constantly seeking out new ways to work with clients to help build successful businesses and great organisations. Our work with start up ventures provides us with an opportunity to understand their business model in detail, right across all industry sectors to ensure we are offering real added value and are meeting the needs of the organisation at the right time.

Some of the critical areas that come up for our clients are:

Have a look at our case studies with 3 start-up organisations at different stages in their development and see how our contribution is designed to be fit for purpose and relevant to current needs:

Case study 1 – early stage start up.

Company profile: A small award winning company developing a software product for the international market. With less than 10 staff, they had already been successful in their 1st round of funding and were just getting ready to complete development of the product to allow testing of the market with the objective that they would sign up a number of key customers early on which would then help the 2nd funding round and get feedback from the market on the product .

Support provided: Our initial introduction to this company was to look at the terms and conditions of employment for the core team who had been hired initially on contract mainly to help the development of the software and its capabilities and conduct some market analysis.

During the course of our engagement, a number of employee relations issues arose which we provided support and assistance with, such as

  • Share options for the start up team and what format it should take. This became very topical and we advised on an appropriate course of action to ensure the company was able to recognise the initial team but also have scope for future investors and additional staff numbers.
  • Some performance related problems arose which were significantly impacting the delivery of the solution and so we advised the CEO on how to identify exactly the issues and then address them constructively with the staff concerned.
  • Mentoring for the CEO: while the CEO was very experienced and technically very competent, they were experiencing some concerns and hesitations in relation to dealing with some of the structural and people issues. We provided regular support and mentoring which enabled the CEO to identify a suitable structure for the business as it was developing and to address and deal effectively with the people issues and communications needed to clarify roles and reporting needs etc.
  • Documenting standard terms and conditions for staff, those who were permanent, on contract and providing a service to the company. We also set out a core number of policies which ensured the company was starting off in a compliant position, and had available the entire key documents and terms needed to manage and grow a strong and effective work environment.
  • Recruitment: we provided support and advice on the identification of the skills needed and translating that into detailed job descriptions which could be used to attract suitable candidates. We also provided advice and support on the use of cost effective recruitment and selection such as social media, graduate programme, networking groups etc.
  • We have developed a starter pack suitable for companies at this early stage of development. It is practical and cost effective. We want to develop and grow our relationship with companies like this so that we can work in partnership and provide the right support and advice as the company grows.

    Case study 2 – ramping up for growth:

    Company profile: A young technology company, providing services through cloud technology to the international market place. A number of years in operation, the company employed less than 25 people, had a well established market base with significant clients already on their key customer list. They had also a strong investment record and when we became involved, their main objective was to scale the business for expansion.

    Support provided: Most of our engagement at the early stages was with the management team, focusing on business strategy and how best to execute the opportunities and objectives identified. We provided mentoring and support to the CEO, which grew our understanding and knowledge of their business and its model, and this made us more effective in our support of the managers and the challenges they had in relation to their functional areas. We looked at the whole area of leadership and competencies needed in the business, what and how they wanted their company to be views externally by the customer and investors but also internally by staff and how it would attract staff.

    We helped develop a work culture reflecting the values and work environment they desired, establishing a skilled management team capable of translating that into meaningful engagement with staff and promoting an environment of excellence, opportunity, creativity and enjoyment in what they do.

    Aligned with these services, we develop supporting structures such as performance management tools, skilled people manages, robust policies and procedures that reflected the desired culture and we provide ongoing support to managers on the proactive resolution of any employee relations issues that arise, these can be as simple as an issue with leave or with ownership of a task etc.

    Our approach for companies like this is very much around fully understanding your current team, its capabilities and skills so that you can develop a clear and comprehensive plan of what you need to have in place to achieve and deliver your strategic objectives.

    Case study 3 –getting ready to double in size

    Company profile: A very successful and well established Irish company in the gaming sector with a number of international clients and significant contracts agreed for the next 2-3 years. While in a strong market growth sector, the company has developed very strong relationships internationally and has an established presence in Asia and the US. With the planned expansion, it now needs to look at internal processes and systems to ensure it can embrace the opportunities presented and consider growing and expanding their offices outside of Ireland where necessary.

    Support provided: Our services have ranged from providing support to the management team on agreeing and implementing a change programme in relation to their operations and structures worldwide as well as developing some strategic initiatives that are aligned to the overall objective of the business.

    This has entailed design and delivery of management development training, performance management and a 360 review for managers, detailed training and development planning for managers and staff, policies and procedures that are effective and reflect best practice in relation to terms and conditions of work, the design and roll out of some work cultural initiatives to increase employee motivation and engagement.

    We also provided recruitment and selection advice and support not just from a strategy point of view but some practical hands on support so that the expansion plan could be managed and implemented effectively. Fundamentally we needed to ensure the company could and was attracting the skills and professionals they needed from the international market place and were offering a competitive and career developing opportunity for those selected so salary, benefits and reward programmes were also reviewed.

    When we have an opportunity to work with companies like this, we are very keen to understand the business and what it is that had made achieve successful to date. In order to grow and expand, it is critical to retain that unique factor that has made them successful while at the same time recognising the areas that need change and restructure.