Entrepreneur Mark Cuban may be the most outspoken, polarizing figure in the startup space. Not only does he own the Dallas Mavericks and make appearances on the popular NBC venture capital series, Shark Tank, he has started and sold companies his entire career. As most entrepreneurs have experienced, he’s also made his fair share of expensive mistakes. He recently gave Entrepreneur Magazine a list of short pieces of advice for the new entrepreneur.
Plenty of people are looking for jobs but a small fraction of those people would love working for your company. People have varying interests so find somebody whose interests match your business.
Startups have a youthful energy. Capitalize on that energy by putting everybody in the same room. Offices are for the corporate types; not your company where everybody is working towards the same goals. There are no CEOs and managers. There are only people working to make the company great.
If you’re an Apple person and another worker is a Windows person, let them work with what they know. If the type of computer has any influence on the success of your startup, there are probably bigger problems so let people use what they know so they’re instantly productive.
You don’t need branded pens, polos, and other branded bling. You aren’t Nike so don’t use your currently non-existent brand as an advertising strategy.
You don’t need to pay the big rates to hire a public relations firm. There’s an easy and free way to do your own PR, according to Cuban. As you’re reading and researching, contact the authors of articles you read. Tell them about your startup and offer to be an expert source. Journalists are always looking for the newest twist on an existing topic and you might be the twist.
You’re going to work long and hard so make it fun. Cuban says that he used to take his employees to a local bar and buy them the official company shot. In his first company, when sales goals were met, he would hand out $100 bills to his sales staff. He rewarded his staff for extraordinary work and made it a fun environment.
He notes that the only way to make it as an entrepreneur is to do what you love. Starting a business for any other reason besides loving the industry will result in failure.