In the early days a founder needs to do everything and be a jack of all trades. Often the difference between success and failure is whether you complete the task yourself. However, as a founder, when do you become the exact obstacle to success? A founder that has trouble letting go of tasks can actually hurt a company from scaling and often is the reason why founders leave the companies they started. So when are you considered a bottleneck to your own business growth?
Avoid being the problem by taking the time to invest, outsource and systemize.
Invest to Grow
It's hard to go from famine to feast. You got there because you were scrappy. However, with money in the bank you need to spend in order to take things to the next level. There's projects and tasks you can still do yourself, but it might be more productive to pay someone else to do it.
What would your board or investors want you doing and what would they tell you to stop doing? What is easiest to outsource? What must be kept in house? These are the types of questions that you must take action on so you can spend valuable time focusing on your most important to dos. Investing also means hiring the right staff for support and growth.
Decide What to Outsource
Start by making a list of everything you do on a regular basis. Determine what is taking up the most time and preventing you from moving forward with other areas of the business' development. This is a great example of what we recently experienced with product management -- as of February we hired our first product manager. I handled all of it early on, and still can. However, I became the bottleneck and was slowing down our tech team from scaling more quickly.
Define Your Team
Being defensive about roles and holding on too tightly can hurt the company long term. You need to take a critical look at your team and decide who may be able to take on tasks you're no longer able or willing to perform. If there's one thing that was recently reconfirmed as a new mother, having a baby and managing a startup teaches you to ensure the company has the right resources, and to delegate better.
Step Back to Move Forward
VenueBook is in expansion mode, bringing our event planning products and services to cities beyond New York, including our newest addition, Washington, D.C. As we continue to grow, we'll need to be alert to new problems and priorities; and as a founder, my role will continue to morph at every milestone we reach as a company. Allow yourself to let go, continue to ask important questions and focus on what's most valuable -- all while having the right support system in place.
- Kelsey Recht, CEO and Founder, VenueBook
Follow Kelsey Recht on Twitter: www.twitter.com/kelseyrecht