Many of our members and associates had gone to business management classes and are very aware of the ins and outs of managing business in any industry. IAM Group Limited Singapore provides the following as a manager’s guide to a healthy business, be it small startup, medium or a large corporate.
- Do your research and test the market. What are people willing to pay and for what? How much does it cost to acquire a customer? What is the lifetime value of a customer? What are the strengths and weaknesses of the competition? You should know your numbers and your industry better than anyone.
- Have a clear vision of where you want to go. You can allow it to evolve, but don’t change it or pivot on a weekly basis. You should have a general strategic roadmap for the next two-five years, a tactical roadmap for the next year, and a detailed plan for the next three months. This presupposes that you’ve done your research.
- Communicate that vision to your team. Get buy-in and feedback. They are the ones you hired to do the work, so you should be relying on their expertise. Don’t ignore their feedback because they’re in the trenches.
- Remove every obstacle you can so that your team succeeds. You’ll want to make sure they stay on track, but a huge part of your job should be enabling your team to do what they do best.
- Don’t set crazy arbitrary deadlines without first talking to your team on what’s possible. That’s a good way to get out of touch and foster resentment. Keep your expectations realistic. Watch out for burnout among your team members.
- Don’t create a culture where people have to stay late. People have families and lives. If people want to hang out with co-workers after work, let them make that decision. Don’t force them to do it under the guise of “team-building”, “synergy”, or startup culture.
- Hire well and pay well. Hire people smarter or more talented than you. Don’t be intimidated, learn from them instead. The wrong people, especially early on, can be a death knell for your business. More technical debt. More drama. Less momentum. Less revenue over the long term. Pay above market to get the best people and then make sure you keep them. Equity is fine as an addendum, but it’s no substitute for real money and a good health care package. Most startup employees will never even get to use their equity. If you can’t afford a real wage, you’re either not ready to hire or you need to reexamine your business model.
- Hire slow and fire fast. Be picky and don’t hire someone you think is mediocre. After you hire, a 3-month probation should be enough to know how someone fits and if they can do the job.
We here at IAM Group Ltd Singapore could write a whole book on this, but if you are doing what the above entails, you’ll be better to work for than 95% of the places.