Starting a business can be a challenging undertaking, but it can also be a rewarding experience beyond imagination. When we started the Kindred Technology Group, seven years ago we invested $75 and a dream of being our own boss. However, we quickly realized that we needed more than a dream and maybe a little more than 75 bucks..but not much more.
On this journey, several strategies have helped us meet our goal of helping people. Here are 3 of them that helped transform our business.
Don’t do it for the money
Someone once told me “Just work, the money will come”. While that’s not totally true, but the idea is right. Money makes you lose your focus and even start resenting why you started your business in the first place. Don’t get me wrong, charge for your services and pay attention to the bottomline. However, if you find yourself only seeing clients as $, then you need to revisit what your’e doing. Whenever I started focusing on the money, I found that ideas didn’t flow as easily, also the quality of our service decreased. The bible says’ “The love of money is the root of all evil”(1 Timothy 6:10). So money isn’t bad, but making it your focus isn’t a good thing. If you find that you are making money the reason you are starting a business I suggest you do one simple things: In one sentence write down how your business will help people. If you can’t do that, then money might be clouding you vision,(or you have a horrible business model).
Find a mentor
When I say find a mentor, I’m not talking about an official process that you interview candidates and review resumes. Our mentor was someone we met at a networking event. He had a business model and vision we admired. He was also pretty successful. Most importantly he was willing to share and listen to our ideas. We would call our mentor when we had a new business idea or looking at starting a new revenue stream. He was honest with us and would let us know if something was a little crazy or out there.
Hire people smarter than you
This one took me awhile to apply and wish I adopted it earlier. I was doing it all, meeting clients, developing sites, designing graphics, and suffering some serious burnout. One night I was editing a CSS file and said “God, why am I doing this and isn’t there someone smarter than me that can do this”. The answer was a resounding “yes”. So with that CSS edit, I decided to hire people that know much more than I did, and not to be scared that I would lose control of my business. In fact thats when my business started to really grow. 7 years later, we have a global team working around the clock, that are experts in their fields. Yeah, I don’t know the inner workings of ruby on rails, but I have a team member who can chop up some code while you sleep.
So no mention of technology here or cool apps. While that’s important, these three lessons helped move us to being a better business.