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Organize your start-up: Part 2

In this post we’ll take a look at how you can organize your start-up in terms of communication, time management, and your team.
Effective communication and optimal time use go hand in hand. Disorganization happens when people aren’t clear on goals, requirements, and strategies. When delegating tasks to your team members, be very clear on what you expect. This saves times and reduces the failure rate. Make sure their capabilities align with your expectations though – don’t be unrealistic!
One unnecessary thing that I’ve noticed takes up a lot of time is daily meetings. This works for some companies, but I think a weekly meeting (maybe on a Monday or Friday morning) is sufficient to keep track of everyone’s work, to discuss issues, or to make plans. If you must have a meeting every day, only ask relevant people to attend. Let others get on with their work.
Your start-up team has the potential to make or break the business. When hiring employees, it’s easy to make mistakes, especially if you’re new to the interviewing and recruiting process.

  • Don’t make unnecessary hires. Wanting to work with someone just because you get along with them does not mean they’ll make a great employee. Evaluate what your company needs against what a candidate can offer.
  • Make a hiring decision based on both instinct and ‘good fit’.
  • Take everything into account when hiring: the interview, resume, testimonials, their motivation and enthusiasm, and – of course – your gut feeling.

In start-ups, it’s common for people to be assigned to things that fall out of their specific job requirements. This is fine and it allows for learning new skills. However, don’t make someone do something that they are not comfortable or confident enough to do.
This is not only a time-waster, but it can create resentment on the employee’s side, and hold them back from doing the job they were hired to do. It’s important to provide regular feedback (such as in the form of rewards or constructive criticism), and support & resources to help them do their job.
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I want to add a little note here. Start-up environments are usually hectic and it’s not uncommon for people to ignore their health and well-being in favor of – for example –getting a product out. For the sake of your sanity (and that of your team’s), make sure you all get enough sleep, exercise, and a general time-out from work life.
This doesn’t mean ignore project deadlines, but look after yourself. Feeling mentally and physically unwell does not help a business produce the best results.

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