As managing partner and co-chair of the corporate department at the law firm of Posternak Blankstein & Lund LLP, David Barbash has worked with numerous entrepreneurs and start-up businesses, and he offers this advice to clients and those considering starting a new business.
(Photo courtesy of David Barbash)
Barbash addresses four key points for new business owners:
It is crucial to understand your strengths and weaknesses. I ask clients to evaluate themselves and every potential new hire, to think about what each person brings to the table. If you take the time to ensure employees are working in the job that is best suited to them, you will be way ahead of the game in terms of organization, effectiveness and productivity. Failure to take these necessary steps will often ensure just that: a disorganized company that is not set up for success.
My next point: don’t lead by default. Just because you are the founder, you may not be the person best suited to be CEO. A frank evaluation of yourself is just as important as the evaluation of other employees. Often, it can be difficult to assess others and yourself in an honest manner, but taking care to do this will pay dividends. Seek out qualities that you believe are important in others and look for them, but also keep an open mind. Being open to new qualities and possibilities will only expand the potential of your company and those you employ.
Good communication is imperative, but more than that, honest communication is key. Be clear about your business goals and how you want to achieve them, as well as candid about things that are working as well as those that are not. Be willing to change and adjust your course as needed.
Be investor ready. Usually, you have one shot to make a good first impression. If you are a tech start-up looking to gain traction in the venture capital community and obtain financing, always put your best foot forward. Sometimes the best business mind is not the best with investor interaction. Conversely, an employee with excellent customer service skills may be horrible at crunching numbers. Put the best team in place, each with a well-defined role, when pitching your business to investors.
This article was written by Robin D. Everson for Small Business Pulse