If you’re running a business, or about to launch a brand new disruptive start up on an unsuspecting world, you’re about to discover that being a founder and CEO is much more than one full time job. Especially in the early days when your team is lean and tight, you’ll find yourself not just taking the vital strategic decisions for your business to steer it towards success, revenue and scaling, but also acting as the chief salesperson and advocate with your important clients, fulfilling all the important functions of HR from making hires, approving (or denying) holiday, and ensuring your employees feel valued and developed. You’re in charge of filing vital documents, with deadlines that could have serious consequences if you miss them.
It’s a difficult situation to handle: for one thing, there’s no way for any one person to be an expert in all these different areas, so although you’re the one in the driving seat for all of them you might not be the person for the job! The sheer stress of all these different jobs and the knowledge of the responsibility on your shoulders can contribute to the all too real risk of ‘founder burn out’ that could see your entrepreneurial career curtailed well before its time.
You need to find supporting businesses who can help, and learning to work with them doesn’t help you in the moment, relieving the pressure of running a business alone, but also develops your personal network and gives you important experience delegating, setting targets and assessing how they’ve been met which will become more and more important as your business scales and your role becomes more managerial.
Interim Management companies can supply experienced members of staff who are step above ordinary temps to provide their expertise and set up systems that will help you govern and regulate your company until you can afford and justify full time HR and IT staff for example, while online lawyers and accountants allow to get what you need from these vital professional services without paying too much or taking too long out of your day.
Working with a market research firm like Attest can get you vital information to inform your decision making process, lifting the burden of making decisions from your shoulders and giving you hard data that makes it easier to decide what the right thing to do is. It also gives you ammunition when you’re accounting for your decisions in front of investors, board members or even simply your employees.