5 Tips for Leading A Growing Company From FORBES’ Next Billion-Dollar Startups
Part of any small business owner’s dream is to have rapid growth knock on their door. Unfortunately, it can come with caveats. Rapid growth also means an increased demand for your product, which puts pressure on your systems, people and manufacturing.
The founders and CEOs featured in Forbes’ second annual list of Next Billion-Dollar Startups have built rapidly-growing companies (some in just two or three years) while bringing groundbreaking solutions to market. Scott Crouch, founder of Mark43, for example, leverages software to provide instant data to police departments–systems that can empower first responders and improve safety.
Chieh Huang, founder of Boxed, is changing the way millennials shop for bulk items via app technology. He also made headlines this year when he announced that Boxed would pay for all employee weddings. A year earlier, he’d already agreed to pay for their college tuitions. “My parents taught me if you’re going to do well in this country, you better give back,” Huang told Forbes in a video interview. The perks, he said, are an investment into building a loyal workforce.
Of course, hiring and training a qualified workforce is equally important. Sam Shank, founder of hotel booking app HotelTonight suggests: “Train your people to constantly question. ‘Yes people’ are a greater threat to your company than any competitor.”
But many of these founders agree the most important key to becoming a successful company leader involves tweaking your own mindset.
“Be nice,” says Rob Solomon, CEO of crowdfunding platform Gofundme. “It’s so easy to fall into the trap of copying bad habits from bosses you have worked for…” Forbes asked Solomon and other leaders featured in Next Billion Dollar Startups: What advice do you have for someone new to running a company? Here are their answers, some of which have been edited and condensed:
1) “Keep moving … technology by its very nature is ever-evolving. So, the minute you think you’ve figured it out, is the minute you’ve marked your decline.” — Chieh Huang, co-founder of Boxed, which offers direct delivery of bulk-sized packages that its customers order via app or online.
2) “To focus on the customer first and build a product that solves a real problem. Then focus on people, hiring the best and taking care of them.” — Daniel Yanisse, co-founder of Checkr. The startup sells background checks to the likes of Uber, Instacart and Warby Parker.
3) “The first is just getting your product out into the market above worrying about all the other elements. You can always change your branding or hire lawyers, but it’s critical that you figure out if you have product market fit, and if you don’t, figure out how to course correct without getting stuck.” — Payal Kadakia, co-founder of ClassPass, which allows subscription customers to sign up for unlimited classes in everything from Pilates, cycling, boxing and boot camps to aerial yoga, pole dancing and underwater spinning via an app.
4) “Find out what you are good at as quickly as possible and hand off everything else to others as quickly as possible. The sooner you can do that, the more leverage you can enjoy and the more value you can provide to your organization.” –Ali Diab, co-founder of Collective Health, which provides customers with data and insights that help them optimize their health plans. It also sells customer service and software that explain benefits clearly, make filing for insurance claims easy and reimburse patients within days instead of weeks.
5) “Treat people with respect and value relationships. Don’t be a jerk. Even if you are brilliant, don’t be a brilliant jerk.” — Girish Mathrubootham, co-founder and CEO of Freshdesk, the company sells cloud-based customer support software that allows companies to reach their patrons through lots of channels, including email, phone, websites, forums and social media.
To read the full Forbes article CLICK HERE.
Growth is not something a lot of people are experienced with, especially first-time entrepreneurs. There are plenty of curveballs to dodge, and while you can learn from failure, failure at this juncture could cost you everything. Fortunately, there’s nothing stopping you from getting help. Finding a Mentor or a Trusted Advisor that can give you tips and advice can help immensely.
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