Although the launch phase of a startup comes with its own set of thrills and challenges, maintaining achieved success once the company starts growing often presents new hurdles. As the business expands and new workers come on board, company culture and a unified mindset become crucial to setting goals and driving results. As the CEO of a healthcare IT company that was founded in 1999, which now has $325 million in revenues and a customer base of 100,000 physicians, I'd like to share the lessons I've learned that helped me build something that will not only last, but will leave a legacy that improves the lives of patients everywhere.
Empower the customer
The goals you set for your company should always revolve around building a product that benefits your customer. When we launched, we recognized that technology could be a catalyst to completely transform medical care at the delivery side by making it far more streamlined, preventing errors, avoiding duplicates and making access to information better. Our main goal was to create a platform that improved the patient experience and made the doctor's job easier and every product we've developed mirrors that mindset, ensuring quality and satisfaction from consumers.
Focus on building a company, not selling it
Instead of raising capital, concentrate on building a solid product. Rather than looking into an IPO, think about establishing strong recurring revenues. Each share you sell to investors gives them more voice to decide how you will conduct business. A public company must always keep in mind the wants of investors and Wall Street. Also, make sure your customers are happy instead of creating large sales and marketing departments.
Expect your challenges to evolve with your company
You'll find that the challenges you experienced when you launched will change as your company grows. At the beginning, it was more about creating a deep enough product to attract a broad customer base. Once we went through that, the focus became growing the company at our high-speed rate and having it remain scalable. Now, growth and developing a different set of business lines to create ultimate customer experience are our focuses.
Turn your weaknesses into strengths
When we began, we were not as well-versed in the industry as some and it worked out for us. It can be an asset not to know too much when starting out and instead let customers and intuition guide your business. Sometimes, knowing too much beforehand can cloud your judgment and cause you to miss opportunities.
Reset your goals
Don't measure success by the bank account or the company's worth. You make goals and once you reach them you reset. I think I have found a goal in healthcare I can reset for the rest of my life and never reach the end of it.