What do most first-time entrepreneurs think is the key to success? A good idea.
In my opinion, less than 10 percent of a business’s ultimate success comes from the idea—it’s merely the starting point of the whole venture. The vast majority of success, the other 90 percent comes from great execution and usually a little luck too. Great execution certainly starts with the founder’s hard work, but to really succeed a business requires a team of great people and a culture to support and retain them.
Hiring the right people is one of the hardest but most important parts of starting a business. It can be overwhelming to try to do it all, and it’s also an unsustainable way to run a growing company. If your business is going to succeed, you have to hire people you trust, delegate everything that isn’t an essential part of your role as the CEO, and stay focused on growing your business and leading the company.
There have been a million books written on how to make the best hires, but for a startup, the best advice is to find people who have a strong work ethic and who are more interested in learning and contributing than they are in compensation and benefits. Employees who have that mindset are going to constantly strive to do better and to grow the company. And when you find people like that, your job is to do everything you can to reward them for that dedication.
In addition to finding and hiring the right people; you have to keep them interested. When you’re starting a company, often you only have five or six people, so why would you worry about culture? But, as your company grows, six can quickly become 60, and you find yourself running a real company with a culture that just happened organically. The best way to avoid that is investing in company culture from the outset.
Many companies, especially in the tech space, throw free meals, sky-high salaries, and beautiful expansive campuses at their employees in an effort to keep them around, but loyalty can’t be bought with perks. Thoughtful and conscious investments into the ways employees interact and the way workloads, stress, and requests are handled matter more than most entrepreneurs give credit, especially when they are starting out.
Some of this advice may seem like common sense, but first-time entrepreneurs frequently undervalue the importance of hiring and keeping the right personnel when they are starting their businesses. Your employees are the single largest determining factor of your success. Invest in them and your workplace early, and you will see those returns down the line.
Contact RCB & Associates, LLC at 616-233-9550 to discuss a custom benefit plan for your employees and company culture.