by Kirk Waldfogel, CEO of Model Match
As we all try to move on from the rollercoaster that was 2020, it’s always good to look back as we look ahead. At Model Match, we were fortunate to not only survive the social, political and economic turmoil of the past year, but also thrive and even expand our business.
But as much as we feel fortunate for that success, it certainly wasn’t an accident – and the principles we used to get there will be all the more applicable if you’re looking to start your own business this year.
First, get SMART with your goals.
When we talk about setting goals for a new business – or any business – there’s an old-school exercise called SMART to make sure those goals are:
Whether you have quarterly goals, yearly goals or other short- and long-term goals, those goals should be relatively specific but also well-rounded enough that you’re improving yourself and the business at the same time – financially, physically, spiritually and emotionally. Either way, it’s important to make sure those goals are tangible, so that, whether you succeed or fail, you’ll be able to take something away from the experience.
Next, measure twice, then measure again.
Regardless of what goals you set, the one part of the process that should definitely be singled out is how you’re measuring success or lack thereof. We use metrics in every vertical within Model Match, including on the development side. We have a very specific scale that review every two weeks. If we need to tweak it, we tweak it, and that’s how that team has continued to grow. It’s the same with the sales team, the business development team and the recruiting team: Every goal we set is held to metrics, but it’s also about whether they’re ultimately being met. If you don’t have that as a baseline when you look back, that will get you in trouble.
Last, put the right people in the right places at the right time.
As an aspiring business owner, you definitely want to be in the business as much as possible. But that also means trusting the right people and deferring to their areas of expertise at every opportunity. Of course, that starts with choosing the right people to hire, which can be a challenge in these unprecedented times. Hiring people without meeting them face to face means relying largely on technology to get to know people, which can make it difficult to read their personalities. You have to learn how to use that technology to engage and interact with people in a way that will allow you to read whether they’re a fit for your culture, even though they might not even end up working in your office for the foreseeable future. On top of that, you might naturally end up interacting with different personality types based on the different segments of your business. At the end of the day, it’s about building and maintaining relationships and partnerships.
Starting a business is always challenging – even under normal circumstances – but always have enough confidence in who you are and what you’re doing to take that leap regardless. Armed with these tips, you’ll be a few steps ahead as you take it.
As CEO, Kirk Waldfogel sets vision and drives overall strategy for Model Match and was recently awarded a Top 10 Talent Management Solution Provider in 2018. Kirk’s former companies were winners of VentureNet99, and earned a Most Innovative Product Award at CES in 2003. Recently his accolades include winning 2014 CTIA Startup Lab, selected as 2014 Telecom Council of Silicon Valley Most Innovative Product, and winner of the 2014 CES AppNation Garage.