How To Build a Company From Scratch
So, you want to build a company.
Millions of people have done it, and millions of others have failed. Building a great company is a work of art. It also happens to be one of the most high-impact actions anyone can do. Great companies can reshape our world for the better, but they are also complex, multi-faceted human-machines of daunting scales.
One key fact to keep in mind is that startups change drastically between their founding and going public. Change is probably the single most characteristic factor at any startup company.
Christian Wylonis, CEO and founder of The Org as well as successful serial entrepreneur, wrote a guide on how the org chart of a startup evolves from its founding to its IPO:
Since we’re starting from scratch, let’s outline the core concepts you need to know in-and-out before you start your startup journey.
First up, what exactly is a company? What separates companies from non-profits and other organizations, and what are corporate officers’ unique responsibilities? Find out:
Second, what is the difference between public and private companies? How do ownership structures affect company operations? Which is better for your needs? Find out:
Third, you’ll need a clear idea of what a Board of Directors is. Take a look at our Board of Directors overview.
Fourth, who reports to the CEO? Find out:
Finally, what is a C- Level Executive? We hear these acronyms being thrown around, but what do they mean, and who do they include? Find out:
Generating investment is never an easy task, as you often have to “sell” yourself and your company to possible investors. Networking is a great way to ease into this world and attract investors in more relaxed, natural settings. Rather than cold-calling random investors, try asking for advice from ones that you admire. Picking their brain allows you to build a rapport with possible investors, and they’ll be much more willing to invest in your company down the line.
Here is an article that explains how a public org chart for your company will attract investment to help you out even further.
Your company won’t do much if no one knows about it. However, garnering attention for your company is much easier said than done. New companies have found that press releases are crucial when looking to get fresh eyes on your company.
Press releases are marketing tools for your business. They serve as an introduction to your business, giving you a respectable way to establish yourself in the market. If you’re not sure how to go about writing or promoting a press release, see our guide on writing a successful press release.
To help you start writing your press release, we’ve taken the liberty of rounding up some of our top picks for the best press release software.
The Org provides a free platform called Wires, where companies can share their press releases for free. See out how The.Org can get your company noticed and help you reach new audiences.
How to Lead
Leadership is the single most crucial skill you can have in building a company from scratch. If you’ve got an ambitious idea, you simply cannot do it alone, and knowing how to unite a group of people behind a collective mission to achieve the impossible will be the deciding factor in your success or failure.
First, the essentials: you need to establish a CEO and president of your company. Although some people think these two roles are the same, your company’s future lies in keeping them separate. The CEO serves as the head of the company and only answers to the board of directors. They have the final say in decisions and are seen as the face of the company.
The president of a company is in charge of taking the CEO’s vision for the company and making it a reality. While the CEO’s primary role is leadership, the president is involved in the company’s daily operations and takes action to follow the CEO’s direction.
In short, while their roles differ significantly, both the CEO and president must work together seamlessly to run a successful company. This article outlines the apparent differences between the CEO and president and how you can succeed in these roles.
Once the CEO and president’s roles have been clearly defined, establishing a clear leadership form in the company should be your next undertaking. Without strong leadership, even the best-laid plans of a company will fail.
Although you want your company leaders to be respected, hiring employees who “crack the whip” isn’t the way to go. Your leaders should be adept at earning your employees’ respect and trust while navigating teams through the waves of transition. Resilient leaders have a treasure chest of strategies and tactics to implement and are interested in their team’s thoughts to ensure a collective rise to greatness.
Meeting business KPIs is essential, but true leaders will understand that bringing out the best in their employees and achieving business objectives can co-exist. This guide will give you clear outlines of having effective leadership in your company.
The Org’s Guide to Leadership
Great people build great companies. That’s why no single action you take early in your company’s life matters more than finding the best talent for your task.
To attract the right talent, you’ll need well-written job descriptions and career pages that can both sell your company to applicants and help them decide whether they’ll be a good fit.
Luckily, we’ve put together a complete guide on how to super-charge your hiring process and find applicants no one else sees:
Building an Executive Team
Ok, here’s the deal: the C-Suite is different. Every successful company needs to have a solid C-Suite full of capable, talented individuals.
Scout on The Org
Executive recruiting for start-ups is a nightmare. To make this process easier, The Org offers an alternative to start-up executive recruiting through our Scout platform.
There are so many different three-letter C-Suite acronyms these days that no one can know them all. That’s why we write guides detailing everything you need to know about every executive position and some extras. In these articles, we run down:
- Job responsibilities
- Skills and educational background
- Difference between similar-sounding positions
- How much they get paid
- Some famous holders of each position
- Typical career paths which lead to the title
Our goal is to give you an all-in-one reference guide to help you build your executive team and make the essential hires that will put you on the road to success.
Building an Engineering Team
Developing an innovative engineering team is vital to creating company products beloved by employees and consumers. Hard-working members will understand how they fit into the overall vision of the company. They will also go into every project, understanding how to make data-driven decisions. They must also be proficient at changing directions to meet market demands. Of course, no engineering team is complete without a VP of Engineering. Here is a brief overview of the VP of engineering role and how they provide leadership and direction for the engineering team.
Growing and Scaling
Growing and scaling a company is the tricky part. Now that you’ve got your business off the ground, you need to decide what your endgame is. Ask yourself, “What is the ultimate end goal for my company?” Once you have that in mind, you can plan a concrete scale strategy to get there.
Keep track of what needs to be done to reach each new level of growth. Whether it’s building new relationships, looking for more investors, or hiring advisors, each need should be met promptly. There are many ways to grow and scale your business. Here’s our guide to company growth:
The Org’s Guide to Growth