Founders of companies of all sizes are faced with decisions during the early stages of the company that could impact the trajectory of the company permanently. These decisions need to be well thought out in terms of future profitability as well as company sustainability. A lack of physical office for example can save money during the first few years but can be seen as unprofessional once a company has established themselves after a while. The founder has to make these decisions on the facts that they have as well as any data that is available. The following are some decisions that a founder will have to make that can impact the future of the company.
In-House or Remote Employees
The decision between in-house or remote employees is a decision that more founders are faced with as technology has made working remotely much easier. The fact is that a small company can attract quite a bit of top talent with the promise of being able to work remotely. This can even attract this talent in lieu of higher salary as many people would love the opportunity to skip the daily commute. Combining this with the fact that you can work from anywhere in the world makes this a perk made of gold. In-house employees can build a company culture though as well as can help legitimize a company when a potential client visits. A good balance between staff in the office and staff out of the office can allow the company to save money from not renting a larger office space while still being able to retain the top talent that work from home.
What Type Of Business Will You Classify As?
Starting out most founders are going to be at a small company or running the show alone. This would be considered a sole proprietorship which has different requirements from a C-Corp. Taking a look at this C Corporation vs S Corporation vs LLC Table can clarify the different liabilities and requirements of each different classification of business. Annual meetings with shareholders and other investors might seem like a nightmare for a founder so setting up an LLC or sole proprietorship might be best when starting out. Other things that need to be considered is taxation when classifying as one of these types of business. The last thing a founder wants is a mistake on taxes during the infancy of a startup thus crippling cash flow and possibly the entire business.
The consumer has so much more power than in the past due to technology. Technology has made it easier than ever to voice opinions about certain companies, products, or services. Before the internet written complaints could go unpublished to the local newspaper or a complaint could be filed with the Better Business Bureau. The fact that these complaints went mostly unheard left the company in complete control. The shift is being made in every industry to a more client centric model due to the consumer having a voice. Even personal home healthcare assistants have made the switch with some states offering a program where a family member can be paid to take care of the member of the family unable to care for themselves. The decision between being profit driven and consumer centric might not be that difficult of one. Client retention leads to large profits so keeping current customers happy can lead to a consumer driven company being as profitable as ever with a sustainable business model.
How Will Marketing Be Handled
A small company needs to start marketing ASAP in order to start catching up to their larger competitors. With a small staff this can be difficult to do in-house so outsourcing the marketing campaign can be the wisest decision. The tough decision is picking a company to outsource to as digital marketing companies vary immensely in quality as well as price. Ask companies for sample campaigns that they have run in the past as well as reach out to those people who have “given” testimonials on the website. Unethical things like Blackhat SEO can cripple a business and have the company’s site deindexed from Google which is a death sentence for many companies. There are staggering statistics on things like click fraud where companies are charging their clients for fake and automated clicks in their PPC campaigns. Find the right company that is willing to show results for other clients and do a test campaign. The test campaign allows a founder to see the work processes as well as if the contractor is efficient with limited directions and values clear communication.
Make the above decisions carefully as the trajectory of your fledgling company depends on it. Every company is different so there is no one size fits all type of answer. Good luck and make your decisions on data rather than emotion!
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