The role of a founder/co-founder – It’s Monday morning, and you have a meeting with the product team by 8:30 am to go over the product development roadmap. Immediately after that, there is a follow-up meeting with the tech team to understand their impediments and proffer a solution so that the product development exercise can continue. Did I mention that your meet with the prospective investors has been moved down to noon? My bad! So, you have to go over your deck to make sure you’re ready for the meeting. Also, after that meeting, you have a virtual sales call with one of your biggest clients yet. So you have to review the proposal prepared by the business team and get ready for the call and demo.
As the day unfolds, other key activities will be brought to your notice, for now, these are the most important activities.
Does that in any way look like a typical day in your life? Perhaps not exactly those items mentioned above, but there’s just a lot happening in your business that needs your attention as a founder. Thus you barely get a second to breathe. This most times is the typical situation for many startup/business founders or co-founders, especially those with very small teams. The plethora of activities daily gets from exciting to overwhelming in no time.
The big question is, how can you manage all of these and navigate through the noise and activities daily?
Navigating through the Role of a Founder/Co-founder
As a founder/co-founder, to build and run a profitable business, tonnes of activities will require your attention daily, but there are certain key activities with which you must interact otherwise you get overwhelmed, and your business suffers.
There are five major areas of every business;
- Product development
- Customer service
- Marketing and sales.
To build a highly successful business, you have to invest a reasonable amount of your time only in activities that rake in money for your business, while the rest of which you delegate or outsource.
The most important activity for every founder and business is sales and marketing. I will explain.
Business money is not in your product or service neither is it in your business operations or customer service. It is in the selling of your product or service. The moment you start a business and build a team to solve the pain points of people, whether you are a doctor, a UI/UX designer, a stylist, etc. you seize being just those things, you now become a marketer.
You are a marketer because people will not pay you for just creating a solution to their pain points they will pay you when they are aware of this solution, and you’re able to convince them beyond reasonable doubt that your solution is the best for them in the market.
This explains where you should focus your time as a founder – marketing your product or service and generating sales for your business.
Selecting Activities and Investing Your Time Wisely
As stated, marketing and sales are key areas where every founder/co-founder must invest a valuable amount of time. But aside from those areas, there are other very important areas of your business that need your attention. How do you select these areas and navigate through all of these daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly without being overwhelmed, stressed/burned out?
The Pareto Principle in Exponential
The Pareto principle (80/20 rule) states that “for many outcomes, roughly 80% of consequences come from 20% of causes”. As a founder/co-founder implementing this principle into your business means that you have to identify 20% of activities in which you participate that bring in 80% of your business revenue and growth.
To further zoom on things a bit, apply the Pareto principle in exponential. Identify the 20% of activities you engage in within the initially highlighted 20% activities that create 80% of your output and revenue. This is called your power 4% activities.
For example; the entire activities you involve within your business include; Checking emails, sending emails, writing sales copy, posting on social media, speaking with clients, having both internal and external meetings, developing proposals, recruiting, managing website, brainstorming, and developing strategic alliances, setting up systems and structures, public relations interview, designing offers and promotions, etc.
After listing these items, apply the Pareto principle in exponential to create a list with the following categories.
Revenue-Producing Activities (Power 4%)
- Writing sales copy
- Strategic partnerships
- PR interviews
- Doing webinars
- Investment meetings.
The remaining activities you sub-categorize as follows;
- Checking emails
- Running errands
- Customer support
- Checking stats
- Handling social media
- Product management, etc.
- Staff training
- Business development
- Website building and management
- Digital marketing
- Writing proposals
- UX research/UI design, etc.
Creating this list will help you prioritize the activities that are most important to your business, and requires your utmost attention.
As a founder/co-founder, it is easy to get overwhelmed by the number of tasks on your table, also, the leadership expectations from everyone looking to you set the tone for the organization’s business growth and work ethics.
The key to achieving all of these without being overwhelmed most of the time is to invest only in assets that yield positive returns. The most valuable of all of these assets is your time. Use the Pareto principle in exponential to create your power 4% revenue yielding activities while delegating some other activities to your team, and outsourcing activities like business development, website design, and development, UX/UI design, product development, staff training, etc. to professional organizations like Effe Towers with a wide level of experience in providing growth and profit-generating business solutions for organizations.