Buckle up, because Robbie Allen is going all in for the last episode of For Starters, sponsored as always by our friends at Robinson Bradshaw law firm. In the podcast’s tenth and final episode (of Season One, anyway), he asks not one, not two, but four guests—all of whom are successful entrepreneurs—what they would do if they were to start a company all over again. And, even more importantly, what they wouldn’t do.
Allen talks to James Avery, CEO of Kevel; Jessica Mitsch, CEO of Momentum Learning; Brian Handly, CEO of Reveal Mobile, and Brendan Morrisey, founder of Netsertive.
Here are some of the highlights:
- All of the guests say one thing they would do if they started a company again would be to be more deliberate with who they hire. “The team is the number one focus,” Mitsch said. “I would make sure people have the flexibility to be in a startup and know that we’re gonna make a lot of shifts and changes in a short amount of time. People who can ride that wave are so important.” (12:10)
- Morrisey’s top piece of advice is to stay close to the customer. Many founders tend to drift from the customer to the conference room, when every question concerning what to do next with the company can be found by listening to the customers with an open ear, he said. (26:30)
- For Avery, he said he would be more cautious early on and spend less money on things like amazing benefits packages for employees right out the gate. (5:30)
- The first thing you should do, Handly said, is as much market research as you can. At the end of the day, you have to get people to pay for your product if you want a business at all, so make sure talking to potential customers is at the top of your to-do list. (21:10)
For more insight on what to do when starting a company, listen to the full episode (and subscribe!) below: