Nicole Verkindt and Michael Hyatt have both shared their entrepreneurial journey on BetaKit as part of our Small Business series. In a recent Facebook Live panel conversation (powered by Dell), the two entrepreneurs and investors offered advice and answered several questions to help chat participants grow their own business.
“Almost the entire job of the founder is to convince people to join you on this mission up the hill.”
Both Hyatt and Verkindt were clear that transitioning from a small business to a real business comes with growing pains. The staples of startup culture — flexible work hours and a focus on fun — “work to a certain point, and then it falls apart,” Hyatt said. “If you want to put together something a lot bigger, you’re gonna have to bring in structure.”
For Hyatt, that structure is reinforced by hiring quality people and trusting them to grow the business.
“The tough thing from going to a founder-based business to a larger, real company is you’re going to have to hire some really fantastic people, give them complete authority over the business unit, let them hire, and own that,” he said. “You gotta figure out how to let people have authority and run the business to get bigger.”
Of course, that presupposes a business has the cash to hire the right people. Having bootstrapped their way to growth through sales at their respective businesses, both founders lamented the current fixation with pre-seed or seed rounds of funding and not enough attention on revenue.
“It’s really about going back to the fundamentals and figuring out how to build a real business than being so obsessed with the round,” Verkindt said. “It’s about doing the hard work on the ground with the customers than spending all your time on fancy PowerPoints.”
Watch the full conversation below: