However, once their start-up business starts growing, they will need two key resources, namely cash and humans to build a sustainable business for the long-term.
As an entrepreneur, one of the dreams you should have is to imagine your company in ten years’ time when it is worth millions. The company culture will depend largely on you, your values, your professionalism, your integrity, and your first ten employees.
These are the main variables that will determine your company’s culture, so take the time to carefully think what type of culture you want to engender. When your employees leave your company and think back to their time with you, will they have fond memories of how they grew with you? Or will they be just too glad to be out of there?
Highly researched statistics clearly reveal that the reason people leave organisations is because of their direct line manager. Not salary, long hours, challenging work, working conditions, bad coffee, no, their immediate boss. In the beginning stages of the business, that means you.
Always have good coffee as the basis of a good company culture and work from there!
What is company culture?
It can be likened to natural forces, such as the wind or tides. They are there, seemingly unnoticed, but they determine the drift of the ship.
The aim is therefore to build those seemingly unnoticed natural forces in your company in the way of instinctive, repetitive habits and automatic emotional responses. This should be to build self-sustaining patterns of behaviour that determine “the way we do things around here” that employees automatically use when faced with decisions and situations.
The culture should energise your people and make them feel good about what they do to advance the strategic and operating priorities of your company.
It is an emotional energiser that you cannot get anywhere else.
What you don’t want is for your culture to be a drag on productivity and commitment undermining long term success.
Culture is all about behaviours. You as the founder and owner, and the boss for most of your people, will have your behaviour scrutinised all the time, subconsciously or overtly, especially for newcomers.
People, can’t do with them; can’t do without them!
About those first ten employees – focus on getting them to build your company culture by leading by your example. These are simple behaviours such as the way you talk with customers, how you start meetings so you can tap into their emotional commitment. These people are going to form the nucleus of your company culture and will be your leadership cohort so spend the time and emotional energy to get them aligned with your preferred company culture.
Your culture should not be regarded as a “soft skill” that can be neglected or ignored. It should be a powerful competitive advantage to attract scarce talent to your company, where you may not be able to pay a market-related yet or provide other costly benefits.