BS Holds Your Startup Back
Updated: Sep 25
Last week we briefly discussed how BS can hold your CFO back. What is BS in a company? It’s the meaningless behaviors and practices that hinder the progress and success of your business. Today we will take a deeper dive into how BS can hinder your startup as a whole.
“Ask for Forgiveness, Not Permission”
This famous quote by U.S. Naval Officer Grace Hopper has become a favorite by modern-day tech companies large and small. It translates to “if somebody has a sound idea for the business they want to implement, they should do it and explain themself later.”
This aspect of company culture gives a good amount of trust to employees, as usually employees would need to communicate up the chain of command to get their voices to be heard with the ultimate hope of implementing positive change in the company, which could take weeks or months. Nowadays, startups know that responsible employees know their job function the best and how best to make processes more efficient. And any good idea that will save the company money should be implemented as soon as possible. For example if the finance team realizes a certain expenditure is not leading to a positive ROI, they should be able to cut or alter budgets, without having to go through the chain of command.
So give more trust to your employees so they can manage their own decisions, and allow them to explain themselves later. This company culture will save copious amounts of time and money and make your employees more comfortable at work.
Don’t Hold Meetings That Could Have Been an Email
We’ve all been there. Maybe you’ve had to endure weekly, or even daily, meetings to discuss the same thing each time. Or had to be part of an impromptu meeting to discuss something, when in the back of you remind you’re thinking the information could have been relayed via email and you’d have more time to work on other projects.
This productivity secret is a favorite of Elon Musk: get rid of frequent meetings unless the matter is urgent. If no longer urgent, drop the meetings. If your team meets weekly to discuss reporting, just send the reporting and analysis via email or Slack and discussions can continue from there. That way, people have more time and mental energy for more pressing business matters that pertain to their job and ultimately your company’s success.
Don’t Skimp On Your Employees
Let’s not beat around the bush; employees are there to help make your company’s vision a reality, but they are also there for money (they wouldn’t do it for free). Companies always want the highest output at the lowest price for their employees. Though to be taken seriously by your prospective employees, you will want to at least pay market rate, but not the low end of market rate if you want the best of the best. The smartest, most experienced, and most motivated employees who will be most effective at their jobs who demand higher salaries would still be earning your company a profit, and they may stay loyal to you for longer if you take care of them.
Don’t forget about other benefits as your company grows and makes massive profits. Reward your employees with annual bonuses, stock options, and company outings. Employees who are treated well will remain loyal to your company and its mission, and you may be an attractive pick for prospective employees. So don’t skimp on your employees. You take care of them and they’ll take care of you.
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Still not convinced? Ask yourself this:
Is your financial system set up and organized?
Do you know your company's outlook in 3-5 years?
Are you aware of key factors that impact your financials?
Are you prepared for tough questions from VCs?
Focus on generating revenue. Leave the rest to us. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Until next time,
Rich Zhou, CEO