4. Write a Manifesto
Write a one-page, bulleted manifesto. Start with 3-5 core principles you want to convey to everyone, both inside and outside of the organization. These should be general ideas about what people will take away from interacting with your business. Ours, for example, were: service, quality, challenge (as in the status quo), individuality, and fun.
All written and photo content, in-person interactions, and pretty much every touchpoint with a customer or prospective/current employee, should leave people feeling at least one (ideally two or three) of these principles.
Refer back to the manifesto often. Use it as a measuring stick when you hire. We check off each principle directly on the resume when interviewing prospective hires.
— Michael Koranda, Pacific Issue
5. Challenge Your Employees
People need excitement. You have heard the old saying, “Variety is the spice of life.” It is true of so many aspects of life. Many high-quality employees leave the best companies when they feel there is no room for growth.
The growth these employees are speaking of isn’t always promotions and new positions. It often means room to grow in their current position. They want the opportunity to be challenged, to explore, and to innovate. The best companies give employees the freedom to create and grow the company.
— Aleania Orczewska, Carte Blanche
6. Hire Smart
Over the past eight years, I’ve had startups ranging from a travel company for expats and college kids in Santiago, Chile, to my current project, Givebuy.org. One thing I realized is how easy it is to visualize a Google-type atmosphere and then fall flat on your face when all of your employees (whether it’s two or 2000) are not happy.
An employee is an essential asset for a startup, especially a low-budget one. With my first startup, I hired two college students because I thought they would connect with potential clients better than someone older with experience (we were targeting exchange students for ski trips). I was wrong. They were terrible, and I was essentially paying them the little money that I had to not really do much at all. That money could have gone towards a hundred other things, and I didn’t realize how difficult hardworking people are to find.
So, in short, my advice is to hire smart. Get people who will not only work hard to better your startup, but also help create a positive atmosphere. The opposite can ruin a startup.
— Andrew Parker, GiveBuy