Es ist soweit, du hast den Hype überlebt und aus einem kleinen Startup formt sich ein Unternehmen. Du bist jetzt nicht mehr nur der „Gründer“ eines Startups sondern ein ernstzunehmender „Geschäftsführer und Unternehmer. Ein Ritterschlag für die einen, ein Fluch für die anderen.

  1. Create the vision of the alternate future you want for your customers.The best CEOs are relentless about the continued evolution of the company’s value to customers. Make sure the vision is simple, powerful and unique. Really take the time to really spell it out, because this will be your one true guide through your company’s journey.

  2. Recruit and retain the best talent. The number one issue growing companies, especially hyper growth companies struggle with, is talent acquisition. Yet, the most important fuel for your growth is great talent. This means as the leader of the business you have to be a recruiting machine.

  3. Develop and lead the executive team. Ultimately, the number one job of a CEO is to assemble a holistic team to run the business and lead this team.

  4. Manage the Board of Directors. Startup boards can be super helpful or they can be a complete distraction. The CEO has the responsibility for determining what type of board the company should have, who is on the board and how the board operates. In my experience, most early boards are a distraction, and it’s up to the CEO to make sure that this doesn’t happen.

  5. Ensure the company’s product roadmap is in line with the alternate future. An early stage CEO must pay extra special attention to product plans, ship dates and progress. At it’s core, this is how a company progresses, so CEOs need to stay focused on the heart of the business, in addition to fighting fires in other dimensions.

  6. Develop and maintain the business plan. Second only to TEAM, is the CEO’s responsibility to develop the strategic business plan. Without a business plan, watch everything fall apart faster than you can say “Series A”.

  7. Evangelize the market. CEOs must know how to paint a vision and get people to listen. Every CEO must do some speaking at industry conferences, blogging, speaking with the press or writing contributed articles. There are tremendous opportunities for feedback as you hone your message.

  8. Strategic selling with key customers. Getting a very important customer to make their first purchase, painting the vision of the alternate future with a customer who is looking to make a larger purchase or helping to save an early customer where things didn’t go so well are all examples of where a CEO’s sales magic can make a world of difference.

  9. Measure the important things. An effective CEO understands the key goals for the company and the key metrics that tell everyone if the strategies laid out by the team are working. It’s critical to be able to differentiate between what is a little spark versus a full on fire to put out. You’ll get burned badly otherwise.

  10. Establish a rhythm to the business. Everyone on your team must understand that you are building a culture of planning, performance and constant improvement. As CEO, strive for complete transparency and dependable frequency of communication.

  11. Understand funding needs. Running out of cash in a startup is not an option. The CEO must understand how much money the business is spending and what fundraising needs the company has going forward.

  12. Develop network of potential investors. Raising money takes time, but it takes less time if you’ve already done you r homework to understand who are the likely investors for your company. CEOs should always be researching who is funding their type of a business considering the company’s industry, geography, business model and stage.

  13. Run the fundraising process. The CEO runs the process. Nobody, but the CEO in an early stage company should be running the process with investors. Investors are backing the CEO.