By Jas Saran, CEO of G Web Pro Marketing Inc.
Running a startup isn’t easy. As CEOs and founders, there are many things working against us -- be it time, competition or team efficiency. That’s why you need to keep a close eye on performance and get ahead of any issues before they arise or get out of hand. Here’s how:
Recruit based on dedication and passion.
Employees are your biggest assets. But when your startup is still in its learning phase, mistakes occur frequently. You need people who are going to take responsibility and help one another, rather than finishing their own work in time to go home. You need employees who feel just as passionately about the company as you do.
When recruiting and hiring, keep in mind that professionalism can be built later; right now, you need dedication and passion. Ask candidates the interview questions below to determine how passionate they are:
- “What are your hobbies?” Ask them why they love this hobby and if they have any future plans for it. Passionate people show great enthusiasm for what they do beyond work. They are the ones who will bring diverse thinking to their roles.
- “How generous you are?” Passionate people love to see others succeed. They want to help people to grow. Ask them for an example of how they help people outside of work.
- “What excites you?” Passionate people are generally unafraid to show emotion. Note what makes them excited when new ideas are discussed during the conversation, and then see how they react when you bring them up again.
Once you hire fresh talent, remember to give them the opportunity to learn. If you need someone who is experienced and professional in a management role, offer them incentives or a partnership so they aren’t likely to leave during the learning curve stage. In this way, you will not only build a passionate team, but also reduce expenses associated with employee turnover.
Empathize with employees.
There will be times when clients lose faith in you. Don’t lose your cool -- and never direct your anger at your employees, even if they made a mistake. Instead, always remember all the hard work they have been putting in day in and day out.
It’s important to empathize with your employees. Listen to their problems and share yours as well. Help them understand how you feel after getting feedback from clients. This is where constructive criticism is key -- start by pointing out where they have done an excellent job on a particular project. If they encountered problems, try to solve their queries first and then highlight the areas where they need to improve. Help employees realize that this is important for everyone’s growth. Bursting out in anger will only demoralize them.
Build relationships with clients.
It is of the utmost importance to have strong bonds with your clients. Try to go above and beyond for early customers because they have shown faith in you as a newer player in the industry. Consider their business as your own and regularly share new ideas to show that you are committed to them and want to see them grow.
No one likes mistakes -- especially clients who may be tempted to cancel the project depending on its severity. However, if you show your dedication and commitment to fixing a mistake as soon as possible, you can earn back trust. And if you already have strong relationships with your clients, you are less likely to lose that trust when something goes wrong. So, do extra work to show your dedication toward the project. Call clients often to keep them in the loop. Ask about the problems they have faced and go the extra mile to solve them.
Give it some time.
Rome wasn’t built in a day. If you want to succeed, you have to give it time. You will experience failures. You may feel like there’s no way for you to succeed. The thoughts of starting over with another venture may even cross your mind.
This is when you need to demonstrate patience. Hang in there. Having no work in hand doesn’t mean that you have to fire all your employees. Difficult situations demand financial support, and that’s why it’s better to plan for such circumstances before jumping in. You can apply for a business loan prior to launching your startup. Consider making arrangements for a parallel source of income to ensure that you can make it through the tough times.
The four factors mentioned above are the foundation of any business and the key indicators of success. Set aside a little while and consider each area discussed. If you feel that you can manage them all, go for it.
Jas Saran is the CEO of G Web Pro Marketing Inc. As a digital marketer, he is an expert at connecting brands to their target audience.