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Five things great startup founders do!

Five things great startup founders do!

In most spheres, some businesses become great, some that break even, and some that barely manage to survive. Business owners define success differently, some define it as a boom in their revenue while others may look at it more in terms of impact on their community and world. No matter what success means to you, there appears to be something common to great startups, that others may be lacking.

Most of these things do not come up later in the business. They are applied from the first day the business hits the ground and sustained till growth.

Delegating and outsourcing

As you well know, the entrepreneur always has a lot to do. sometimes even after hiring staff to get the same thing done. To build a great startup, you have to keep delegating on the front burner. When hiring, keep in mind that you may someday have to delegate your CEO duties to those staff, so do make sure they are capable.

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Outsourcing is the second face of delegating. If you do not have staffs who possess the competency you require in a certain area, don’t hesitate to outsource the task. The important thing is that at every point, you should have experts handling different tasks. Expertise and competence are things great startups take seriously. This can be difficult for some CEOs and founders as they struggle with guilt over not supervising each task on their own. At some point you are going to have to step back from the business to scale, you might as well start preparing for it early enough.

They empower staff with clear functions and directions

For great startups, there is a structure around hiring staff so that right from the resumption, they are empowered to deliver the right results. Clear expectations are set, roles are defined, and clear instructions are given. With this kind of structure, you will hardly have underperforming staff, and when you do, it is quite easy to spot them and address the issue.

The not-so-great startups go ahead to hire staff even when they have not clearly defined the expectation for that role, and end up with staff wandering about the office, not sure exactly what they should be doing. They usually would have big titles without clearly spelled out duties and responsibilities. They would also have lots of underperforming staff, resulting in a bloated budget without corresponding results.

They maintain a two-way communication flow with staff

As against the one-way communication flow among other businesses, great startups build two-way communication with staff. So, instead of firing staff for not meeting expectations, great startups have a process of finding out why and where they are struggling with their functions and empowering them to succeed. To build a great startup, be ready to teach your staff how your business operates. They may come to your company with their technical skills, but you have to teach them the peculiar operations of your business.

They take data security seriously

Successful entrepreneurs run a tight ship in data security for their business, and they enforce all the necessary protocols to maintain it. You need to know to protect the sensitive proprietary data that comes to your employees through their work email inbox. You don’t want to later find out that data that should have been protected was being compromised, perhaps by employees who save, forward, or text them.

If your employees lose control of their email account, forward emails to the wrong person, or intentionally share an attachment against your wishes, it can be tremendously damaging to you, your customers, and or business partners.

This is something that should be done from the first day because if you fail to define the data security protocols early enough, it gets more difficult to do so when the firm has scaled. It might require training existing staff on data security protocols and implementing certain security measures.

They maintain a work-life balance

It is very interesting to note that the startups that produce the best results are not always the ones overworking their staff to the bones. A 2014 study by John Pencavel at Stanford University shows that a 55-hour workweek produces the same results as a 70-hour workweek. Overworking yourself and your staff may not result in more productivity, and in fact, more hours may translate to less productivity. Maintain a work-life balance and allow your staff does the same.

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