Archive for May, 2014

Write Your Own Rules for Success

Posted: May 18, 2014 by Bob Gilbreath in Culture, Leadership, Startup

BobGilbreathAhaAs the company that began with three people in a basement scales into the 30-plus person territory, we growing entrepreneurs begin to feel an innate need to implement traditional structures. The people we hire more often come from big company jobs where they expect policies, perks and handbooks. They don’t know the founders personally, and are not used to culture and trust as the bonds that hold workers together. But instead of giving in to the status quo, we entrepreneurs must resist and write the new rules for corporate success.

A few months into our work together, my co-founder, Michael, and I had to deal with an early employee that expected us to adopt many of the “rules” of a big company. He asked us to cover the cost of parking, wanted to select a different health care plan, and was concerned about his title. We hired the person because we thought he was strong, and we needed someone in the position quickly. But we were uneasy, and a few months in we asked him to leave.


Things Are Looking Up

Posted: May 4, 2014 by Chuck Matthews in Culture, Ecosystem, Innovation, Leadership, Startup

The optimist says, the glass is half full; the pessimist says, the glass is half empty; the engineer says, you’ve got about twice as much glass as you need for the job.” – Unknown

Dr. Chuck MatthewsWith new buds blooming on trees and flowers, birds chirping, and the return of baseball, Spring always signals a time for renewal and optimism. A positive attitude can certainly be motivating.  For small business owners, this certainly seems to be the case.  According to the Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index, small business optimism has hit its highest level in five years jumping 21 points in the first quarter of 2014. They cite a number of key drivers that contribute to this overall increase in small business optimism: improved cash flow, improved access to credit, and expected increases in revenue and hiring.

Challenges of course remain.  The good news on this front is that according to the WF/GP Index, these concerns are more focused on attracting customers, and targeting business opportunities than on continuing challenges from the overall economy or government issues (regulation, taxes, healthcare).