As the adage goes, go alone if you want to go fast. Go together if you’re going to go far. Co-founders have always been there from the start. They will assist you through the crucial early stages of starting a business: developing the product, establishing the model, and onboarding the first customers.
Working with a cofounder from the start, however, has some drawbacks. Tommy Griffith, the CEO of ClickMinded and a former head of search engine optimization at Airbnb and Paypal, just added a cofounder to his company, founded five years ago. ClickMinded is a series of digital advertising coaching packages for entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs. In its tenth year, the company is on track to generate over one million dollars in revenue in 2021, a nearly tenfold increase since bringing on cofounder Eduardo Yi, whom Griffith credits for most of the preceding four years of growth.
Griffith outlined the six reasons why taking on a late cofounder is an idea you should consider.
Their vested interest in learning
Griffith saw a lot of experts while selecting between this feature and hiring a chief know-how officer. “Workers clock off in the evenings and on weekends,” Griffith said. “As they should.” Cofounders, on the other hand, “think business concerns when on vacation and in the bathtub.” This kind of commitment means you’ll have more time to focus on the issues that matter most to your company. Cofounders are committed to the company’s long-term success. As soon as they’ve settled in, they’ll have shared, they’ll be vested, and they’ll have a lot of say in how the company functions.
Griffith is also certain that your late cofounder should be allowed to significantly contribute to the product’s and company’s long-term vision. “Good people have options, and they want autonomy and companionship in order to contribute to their vision. Give it to them and stay out of their way, and their commitment will take care of itself.”
Their modern perceptions
Most businesses will reach a stalemate at some point in the future. Griffith started moving before the deadline for ClickMinded. “We were progressively improving, but not at the rate I had anticipated when we first started.” “What we had been doing got a completely new lease of life,” he says of his late collaborator. He studied people’s behaviour, revamped the platform, and provided us with more material to talk about in advertising.”
Because a late cofounder hasn’t been a part of the company’s journey so far, they’re more likely to challenge assumptions and turn over old stones to find new options. The startup phase hasn’t worn them down, so they can bring fresh eyes to an established business model. They’ll restructure its operations, increase its advertising budget, and help it reach new heights.
Fill the void in terms of abilities.
“Yi is the engineer and handles technical difficulties, while I’m more concerned with sales and marketing,” Griffith said. “Complementary competence is critical to the success of our cooperation and the subsequent growth of our company.” Most entrepreneurs should hire contractors or employees to fill up the gaps in their skill sets. This might involve handing up control of aspects of the company to people who aren’t as invested as a cofounder is likely to be.
Finding a late cofounder that understands a certain area of your company, if done well, might guarantee that one side never falls behind the other. “The technological side of ClickMinded is now just as strong as the sales and advertising operation, for example,” Griffith said. “Plus, the autonomy of the work at hand is likely to be just what an enterprising crew member is looking for.”
Make use of a proven concept.
Good people, especially technology engineers, have options. Yi was in high demand when he joined ClickMinded. For him, one of the most appealing aspects of joining the company was that it already had a proven product, a modest but growing userbase, and cash flow. This significantly reduces the danger of a late cofounder with various options and benefits. When the options were joining a tech company as big as a little cog in a big wheel or starting from the ground up in an unknown startup, the middle floor seemed appealing.
Griffith’s proposal had been validated by a consistent course offering and a satisfied customer base, so he, too, had options. He also kept more equity since he didn’t start in a partnership structure. “Overpay and ask for a lot,” Griffith’s strategy is. Give a lot, but expect a lot from everyone on the staff, including himself.
Establish a win-win situation.
The cooperation is a good example of a win-win situation. Griffith is a late cofounder who assists in taking the company to the next level. The sharing structure is set up so that all of the events are entirely satisfied, and the vision and goals are shared. Yi enters as a late cofounder to an already existing business, allowing him to improve on something that, for the most part, already works.
“We were clear on the partnership terms from the start,” Griffith said, “and we spent a lot of time figuring it out together.” The service stage and shareholders settlements include a variety of just-in-case clauses and the lovingly dubbed “Zuckerberg clause,” which prevents one cofounder from usurping the other. “Although our working relationship is pleasant and everyone seems to be content, we wanted to make sure we were protected against what may happen sooner or later.”
The complete alignment is discovered.
While many small business owners might be hesitant to readily hand up large portions of their company to an approaching late cofounder, Griffith contends that being emotional and taking things too personally may go in the way of a fantastic collaboration. “Most people are concerned about equality,” he said. “They put a lot of effort into trying to provide you a fair deal for everyone.”
Griffith believes that a focus on equity misses the point. “When Eduardo initially came on board, I felt that I had been too kind to him. Now that he’s tenfold expanded the business, it looks that I’ve given him too little. Concentrating on harmonising incentives is a better strategy.”
After you’ve gotten everyone oriented in the same direction, roll the cube and take strategic risks to grow your company. “It’s not going to be entirely honest all of the time, and aiming for decent equality is what keeps business owners from making a potentially game-changing business decision.”
There are other options for growing a business without recruiting more staff and contractors. It’s possible to start alone and recruit buddies later, which has a lot of advantages. Could this be the turning point your company has been looking for?