Focus on building your company as much as you do on your product


Starting a new business requires you to do many things that you may not enjoy doing. You may end up spending a lot of time focusing on tasks that you feel are mundane, unneeded, and downright archaic.

I’m sorry to be the one to tell you but you’ll have to do these things. You’ll have to pay the bills. You’ll have to slog through agreements, contracts, and a bunch of paperwork for insurance, taxes, healthcare to get things set up. And, once you’re business is up-and-operating, you’ll need to take time to focus on the nitty gritty details of budgets, projections, etc.

But it isn’t all bad. Even though these tasks are a bit boring and stressful they give you an opportunity to build your company like you build your product and to know your company inside out.

Build your company like you build your product

Every company in the world has to set themselves up as “a real business”. But this process gives you the opportunity to build your company the way you’d like it to be long-term. How do you want to structure your company ownership? What are your goals with your company beyond the first product you’re working on? Or, are you only building one product? What type of culture will your company have? What about employee benefits and the team itself? All of these decisions and more are started in the very beginning and molded over time.

When you’re building  a product you sort of know what you want that product to be from the very beginning. You know it will take years to get the product to align to your vision. And the product may change slightly or drastically over the years but – if you look back at it – it is usually ends up just being that the path to your vision winds around a bit. The same could be said for a company. You may say you want your company to be like ______________ (fill in the blank with your favorite company). But that company has been around for many years and has profits and a great team. You’ll get there. But it is these little mundane and nitty gritty decisions that start at the beginning that will help you get there.

So don’t get frustrated in the beginning. Don’t give up and just sign all of the paperwork to get it off your desk. Take the time and attention those tasks deserve to help you to set up the company you want. You’ll be left with a company you’re proud of.

Know your company inside out

A professional golfer can only take 14 clubs in their bag to begin a tournament. The only time they can replace a club is when one is damaged. Even though they are somewhat resource constrained there is virtually no situation a pro-golfer could not get themselves out of with the tools they have in their bag.

By being the person that is forced to do all of the work to set up your company, to know the finances in-and-out, to understand your growth-rate, expenditures, opportunities, cash-on-hand, team abilities, and so much more (all of this you’ll know off-the-top-of-your-head) you’re just like that golfer. You know what your company can do and can’t do. What your team can handle and can’t handle. How long it will take for your team to accomplish a goal or how much money you’ll burn to achieve it. If you aren’t involved with all of the boring yet vital details of building your company you wouldn’t have the knowledge you need to make the big decisions quickly.

Most people wouldn’t call the process of building a company “fun”. But I’m sure many can agree that going through that process is incredibly valuable and worth every moment of sweat, stress, and paper cuts.