Michael Hyatt and Nicole Verkindt on how to go from a small business to a real business

Facebook Live Michael Hyatt Nicole Verkindt

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:

Douglas Soltys

Douglas Soltys

Douglas Soltys is the Editor-in-Chief of BetaKit and founder of BetaKit Incorporated. He has worked for a few failed companies and written about many more. He spends too much time on the Internet.

  • Robyn

    I was literally having this discussion with my partner last night about how to scale his business process and systems, going from “working in the business to working on the business”. The conversation around “small business to scale” transition is super helpful. Being in this weird space where you don’t have the time to create the systems but won’t be able to scale the business if he doesn’t start creating the room, hiring the A players etc. Key learnings or take aways from this particular interview:

    “If you can’t effectively decentralize your authority, you’ll never grow.”
    “Be open about your strengths and hire for your weaknesses. ”
    When hiring A-players you want to find individuals that make it clear about what their value will look like in their first 100 days.
    As an A-player – we never know how good of a leader we are, until we leave our business and naturally how many people want to follow you.

    I’d love to learn more about the steps taken to start creating the room to ‘work on the business’ vs ‘working in the business’.