In my first post, I talked about how letting go was one of the most difficult things to do as I transitioned from a startup founder with my hands on every piece of the business to CEO of a growing company. Here are two additional lessons I’ve learned:
- When to pay yourself and bring on staff. I waited four-and-a-half years to give myself a salary. During that time, I worked long hours from home building the company, doing everything from administrative work, sales, marketing and more. In addition to figuring out when it was appropriate to pay myself, I was hesitant about bringing on staff, knowing no matter how exceptional a candidate was, they would never have the same stake in the business as I did. But hiring new talent was imperative, and the natural next step in the company. To that end, entrepreneurs must learn to set expectations with their first employees and be realistic with what they can offer in the early years of the business.
- Don’t ignore the little guys. After launching the company, I started working with smaller parking operators, educating them on the product and explaining how it would make operators money. Once this sector of the market understood the product and saw the benefits, I felt comfortable approaching the mid-sized and larger players. This approach can help build the successful foundation of any venture and gives the necessary “wins” to tackle those higher-level goals.
Stay tuned for the final post in the series, where I reveal two additional insights gained as I’ve grown ParkWhiz.