There are several (somewhat) recent upstarts we could examine as modern business models, including Facebook, Twitter and the like, but the new possibilities offered by technology and the convenience of online marketing have allowed many other would-be small businesses to become thriving entities, as well.
We can even look at the monsters of industry like Apple and Microsoft, and realize they began as small start-ups in the garages of a handful of believers who saw their dreams and determination pay off in big ways.
So now you may find yourself in these trend-setters shoes, wondering how to turn your great idea into a giant business venture. Or perhaps you’d just be happy making a comfortable profit from a unique idea. As the head of a new company, or perhaps the new CEO of an existing company with great potential, you may wonder how best to proceed.
1. Remember “large” and “successful” are not interchangeable words in business.
If you are the head of a company making its name from a single product, there is nothing wrong with focusing resources in that direction. Find the product or service your desired customer base wants, and invest the time and effort to provide it better than anyone else.
Don’t be too quick to diversify. Though it is good to keep your finger on the pulse of your users and employees for future prospects, concentrate on that one thing that makes you special, and become the best you can be at it. The time to expand will present itself, but spreading yourself too thin can certainly lead to a quick and untimely demise.
2. Learn how to delegate, and do it.
All too often, a young entrepreneur with a brilliant idea feels the need to have absolute control over every aspect of his or her venture. As a CEO, it is your responsibility to make sure that all aspects of the company are running smoothly, but be careful not to micro-manage.
Whether you are a small garage group start-up, or find yourself at the helm of a larger established company, it is important to surround yourself with trustworthy people to help take care of the smaller aspects of the company.
Whether you are dealing with COOs, CFOs, managers at various levels, or simply team leaders; realize they are all there to help make your job easier, and help the company run smoothly. Let them do that.
It is worth conducting occasional reviews of all employees, and keeping an eye out for both weaknesses, and possible strengths (including possibility for advancement) in everyone. However, leave the day to day operations of each department to those you’ve entrusted with those powers. As CEO, your focus is on developing the bigger picture.
3. Clearly define everyone’s roles and responsibilities.
As part of your delegation, it is important to demarcate each employee’s titles and authorities. This will help keep minor squabbles in their perspective camps, rather than each little problem stacking up on your already loaded desk.
4. Learn from those in the know.
As a young CEO, it is important to recognize that there are many individuals with more experience and business acumen than you, so it is important to grow with the help of mentors.
Don’t feel threatened by associates older and wiser than you. Instead, use their experience to add to your own exposure, bolstering your ability to run a successful company.
5. Trust yourself.
Though it should not be your aim to alienate others, you must proceed with confidence as you guide high-level decision-making. In addition to your staff, your stockholders and board members will be looking for your guidance and insight, so it is essential to believe in your own abilities.
Outside advice is worthwhile, but be wary of those with ulterior motives. Believe in your vision, and follow it with the passion that brought you to the position of CEO.