Monday, December 17, 2012

The First Step in Building a Team

Attracting the right talent when building a start-up is an essential process if you want your company to succeed.  Once you determine a potential candidate has the skill set for a position then the first and most important consideration is to evaluate how well this person will fit on your team.  Perhaps you are starting with the first person you plan to hire besides yourself.  You then need to consider a candidate that compliments your personality and skill set.  When adding an new employee to a team, consider who is on the team and who should meet the candidate during the interview process.  Collect all honest feedback from everyone who is involved with the potential candidate in order to have enough information to make an educated decision.

However, you will sometimes get it wrong and select a bad fit for your team.  My best advice?  Let them go immediately.  When employees don't fit on a team it brings down the entire team and creates a negative tone which wastes more energy than it creates plus it shifts your focus from growing your business to dealing with issues.  

Consider your screening process, philosophy, and always pull in key employees to get their opinion on a candidate before you higher them.

Lisa Kentzell, photo by Chris Marquardt

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Thoughts and Consideration Before Starting a Business

I don't know if I can really teach anyone everything I have learned about starting a business or becoming an entrepreneur but a willingness to take risks, enthusiasm, discipline, and passion are absolute essentials to begin the process.

The first critical piece of advice that I can provide anyone is that you must be passionate about what you are doing before you even consider launching a new business.  Why?  Because you will work hard, possibly harder than you have ever worked for a previous or existing employer and you may not earn money right away.  Always consider your financial situation and I highly recommend having six months of living expenses in the bank before launching a new venture if you plan to quit your job.

Next evaluate your own skills and knowledge, and it is imperative that you be brutally honest with yourself.  Identify what you are an expert in, identify what you have some knowledge about but clearly do not consider yourself to be an expert in, and identify what you know nothing about.  When you understand your strengths as well as your weaknesses you gain perspective and should consult experts when you know nothing about a topic.  

Finally take the time to map out your goals and game plan before launching your new business.  Always look at other entrepreneurs and successful businesses related to your business.  How are they similar to yours, what can you learn from their business, what processes can you use from their business, how will yours be different?  Always research what has been done in your industry before you and consider these words from Sir Isaac Newton "If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants". 

TWiT Gear, photo by Lisa Kentzell

Friday, December 7, 2012

Beginning my First Blog

Welcome!  This is my first blog post and I plan to start sharing my experiences and knowledge about growing start-ups and what it takes to launch a company to the next level.  I've been with for over 4 years and have spent over 25 years helping businesses take that next step.   I am not going to turn on comments here because I won't have time to moderate them but I will answer questions at  Stay tuned, more to come!

Lisa Kentzell, photo by Chris Marquardt