This is the first blog in our monthly ‘Portfolio insight’ series, where we will showcase our portfolio companies and provide insights on their growth journeys, written by the companies CEO’s themselves.
I am Simo Salmensuu, CEO of Miradore. Miradore is 2006 founded Finnish software company providing cloud-based SaaS product to MSPs (Managed Service Providers) and IT departments to secure and control their clients’ devices in the most cost-efficient way. Miradore has raised around €1.2M from 3 rounds, with investors such as Innovestor Ventures, Inventure and Takeoff Partners. Today Miradore products are used by more than 10,000 companies in more than 160 countries.
I joined Miradore back in March 2016, having previously worked at ZyXEL, Nokia and Comptel. As the company has grown, it has meant that I as it’s leader and CEO have lost some of my capacity to do all the things I managed to do earlier. Meaning, I’ve had to trust my team members so that I can give parts of my work duties to them, freeing up myself to new more relevant challenges related to the company’s growth. This change has not been easy, but it has been extremely rewarding to see how our team has evolved with the changes made.
Pivoting company strategy for growth
Another change that we made as the company grew was the company strategy. That was a scary time for us, since at first we did not show or tell anyone because we were afraid of the customer reaction due to the quite substantial change. However everyone in the company felt this was not the right way to deal with the strategy change due to it confusing our customers.
We decided to be bold and openly communicate our new strategy to our customers, partners and new job applicants. This was absolutely the right thing to do! This transparency on the companies direction made the strategy easy to understand both inside the company and outside amongst customers and partners. This openness created great discussions and made it possible for us to review the companies direction with different peers.
Leadership principles for growth
A few key take-aways that I have learned throughout my career on how to lead and facilitate growth are:
1. Ask for help and learn to tolerate stress
I have a rule to myself. If I don’t understand a challenge after 10 minutes of careful thinking – ask for help. I have boldly used this mindset through my career and I think it is one of the most important take-aways I have. This also helps with managing stress. You can’t cry for every failure. Leading a growth company is a very stressful work environment and it is not a perfect working place for everyone, you just need to accept the fact.
2. Stick to the goals and dream big.
No matter how bumpy the road is – focus on the goals and have a growth mindset. If you don’t dream of one million, you will not get one million. This is a principle I use myself and which I encourage my team to also use. Every one of us has his/her own style to doing things…however that is secondary. What matters is that we achieve the set goals.
3. People management skills and positive spirit.
A great team is needed to produce results and achieve the set goals. This means you need to build a bright and talented team. I also strongly believe a positive spirit towards your work gives you the needed extra miles, and helps you when faced with significant challenges. As CEO, I place a lot of focus on making sure that my team feel positive at work. I think this is extremely important especially in growth companies, where the business and it’s growth are constantly undergoing changes.
4. Use your strengths and experience.
Everyone of us is very good at something. If we can find a role at work where these personal strengths and own experiences can be used to achieve the company goals – that is a perfect setup.
Finally, in my experience the best way to molding and setting up your growth company for success involves managing change in a way that allows the company and team to scale, clear focus on what needs to be done and enough courage to trust your instincts.