The Most Common Issues For Scaling Software Companies

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Business of Software Conference Europe 2019, 11-12 April 2019, Cambridge UK

This April we’re running our 18th Business of Software Conference. Over the past 13 years we’ve spoken to hundreds of founders and CEOs of software and SaaS companies looking to scale their business. We’ve seen a common set of problems and hurdles that they encounter during the growth stage.

This year at BoS Europe we’re answering some of the most common questions we see scaling companies struggling with. We’ve brought in speakers who have experience taking companies through these problems, either as CEOs/Founders scaling their own companies, or as consultants helping SaaS companies to take the leap into growth.

Here are the most common questions growth companies have – find some answers at BoS Europe

Product Strategy

How do you ensure your users value and pay for your product?

By fixing your product discovery process to ensure that you’re prioritising the work that will actually solve your customer’s problems. Randy Silver will be sharing a new approach to generate genuine insight into the problems your customers need you to solve in order for them to value your product.

How do we compute value for customers and turn that into pricing?

A very important question, often with a wooly and intangible answer. Not from Rich Mironov, though. Rich will be sharing why he believes pricing strategy should be mapped out before product development, and will cover some software pricing essentials – customer value, pricing units, and pricing tiers.

People, Culture, & Process

How do I hire and nurture AI talent in a hugely competitive market?

Hiring is consistently the biggest problem for companies pushing beyond the startup phase. Who better to answer this question than Poppy Gustafsson, CEO/Co-Founder of Europe’s fasting growing super scaleup, Darktrace. Poppy has seen the company grow from nothing to 1,000 employees in 5 years, which is just bonkers. She’ll be sharing how Darktrace’s hiring strategy has flourished by not focussing on AI skills, but rather by nurturing bright graduates and training them on the job.

How do I lead my team more effectively?

The person answering this question has helped over 15,000 people in 25 countries answer this question. Claire Lew is the CEO of Know Your Team, a software tool that helps managers become better leaders. She’ll be talking about how to avoid accidentally being a bad manager, and sharing some practical tips to help you lead your team more effectively.

How can I maintain a focus and trust as we grow?

Teams that don’t trust each other don’t work well together. Morale, productivity, staff turnover and outputs suffer. Drawing on personal experience and a lot of study, Gareth Marlow will help you to appreciate how trust issues may be limiting your company’s growth and the role you might be playing in destroying trust, and share some concrete steps you can take to build a culture of trust in your company.

What can any SaaS or software company learn from remote work?

More and more companies are becoming remote-first, realising that the benefits are too great to ignore. Amir Salihefendic has run Doist as a remote company from the start. Amir will be sharing the core disciplines Doist has developed over the past 10 years to make remote working an effective and wholly worthwhile endeavour. These disciplines will be just as relevant for leaders in more traditional, non-remote organisations.

Sales & Marketing

How do we conquer new territories without making costly mistakes?

A big question for growing companies – how do we expand globally? John Snyder led his company Grapeshot from a humble beginning in Cambridge into global expansion, opening offices across North America, Europe, and Asia. John will be sharing what he learned from Grapeshot’s international expansion so you can learn from their successes and avoid the mistakes they made.

How do I onboard new sales staff quickly and effectively?

Scaling the sales function of the business is often a tricky step. Getting new staff up to the same speed your Head of Sales has been operating at can be a slow, laborious process. Paul Kenny has tackled this problem with many software companies, including Stack Exchange and Redgate. He’ll be sharing some tactics you can take away and implement to help your sales team reach their full potential, quickly.

When is the right time to scale? What do you have to change to make it work?

CTO/Co-Founder of Mixcloud Mat Clayton seems like a perfect person to answer this question. Mixcloud reached 15 million Monthly-Active-Users with a staff team of just 5. Mat and his co-founders bootstrapped the business for the first 10 years, convinced that taking early funding would have sunk the business. However, last year they raised $11.5 million from a little known investor. Mat will be talking about the process of scaling Mixcloud as a small Bootstrapped team, and why they decided to take funding at this point in the life of the business.

Join us at Business of Software Conference Europe to hear the answers to these common issues for scaling software companies: 11-12 April, Cambridge UK.

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