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All about entrepreneurship, intrapreneurship, ideas, innovation, and small business.

Tips For The Startup CEO

by Stacey Thompson

Big and successful companies, more often than not, start as very small and scruffy startups running off a little money and a lot of dreams. Also, at the head of these ambitious ventures is the founder, taking on the tasks of the CEO, president, and even a few other executive positions rolled together in one hyper-stressful package.

Most people in upcoming companies work this way, juggling two or more positions at a time, making things work in the hopes of hitting paydirt and expanding the team so more talented and qualified people get onboard. But, for now, the CEO and her core team must be able to make ends meet and succeed in growing their fledgling corporation.

It’s Not the Size That Counts.

While you, the struggling new chief executive, might have a lot of things on your plate, they all have to point towards your goals. Take note that “large” and “successful” can actually be mutually exclusive. It is a good idea to have your products or services making an impact in your corresponding market/industry and bringing in revenue first before thoughts of expansion and diversification come in to mind.

Growing the company is something you can plan towards once you’ve seen that your products or services show that they can indeed compete and eventually dominate. My opinion on this might not be popular, but I believe scaling the company up is something completely optional (your board of directors will most likely not agree with that sentiment). It doesn’t take a mega-corporation to make the best products or services. Use your Google-fu to discover how some companies have decided to stay small or grow gradually and maintain their commitment to producing the best products and services for the market without becoming too greedy and pulling in investment money from external sources.

Do Not Be Afraid to Delegate.

As confident as you are in your capabilities, as well as the exact direction in which you wish to take your budding business, it is necessary to be able to trust people to work with you in carrying out and attaining those highfalutin and idealistic sentences emblazoned on your company’s mission and vision plaque.

It can be difficult for some CEOs to let certain things go and entrust it to other people, and there is ample justification in being protective of your growing “baby.” This makes hunting and evaluating potential talents for these integral job positions all the more important. Take the time to studying and interviewing your applicants, because these people will become part of your team, and their performance and capability to work well with the rest of your people will determine the success (or failure) or your business endeavors.

Be The Hungry Wolf.

This was most eloquently put by the late and great Steve Jobs in a commencement address at Stanford in 2005. This kind of advice is apt for just about everybody, from athletes to entrepreneurs, to business executives, to fresh high school or college graduates. While it is a well-deserved privilege to rest on your laurels, it isn’t going to take you anywhere, and it might just hinder you from reaching higher heights than you have ever imagined.

It is quite an achievement to be at the head of your very own company, but the journey has barely started. Do not be lulled into a sense of comfort at this point; keep your eyes focused towards the horizon of possibilities. For every achievement and milestone you surpass, you should always set your sights on an even further goal. I’m not just talking about the number of zeroes on the company’s bottom line, there are way loftier and nobler aspirations for a company than just making more money.

Onward, chief executives and entrepreneurs!

Stacey Thompson is a professional writer, marketer, entrepreneur, and a lover of weird little animals. She is based in San Diego, California, and fulfills the role of a chief executive in own small business. Stacey aspires towards the goal of becoming a leader deserving enough to be invited into peer circles like the Sage Executive Group.    

This is an article contributed to Young Upstarts and published or republished here with permission. All rights of this work belong to the authors named in the article above.

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