So you feel like your ready to take your business to the next level, then…
Own the business. Don’t run it.
- Search: Pay a Task rabbit to go to your alma mater and post “CEO Wanted” signs with your contact info and relevant info about the new position for which you’re hiring.
- Leadership: Interview 5 candidates. They’ll all be clueless, but look for the one who can make intelligent decisions without having to ask you about every detail – the one who’s comfortable ACTING in a state of uncertainty. Don’t settle. Interview until you find the right person who’s going to make you both money.
- Short-term Incentives: Pay this person 20% of revenue + (plus) 40% of all new business – (minus) 60% of all lost business. I made up those numbers – do what you think makes sense but don’t be short-sighted or skimpy or you won’t find the right person. The incentive here is to put an end to your churn problem.
- Team: Ask them to propose a product development and marketing budget and to go hire 2 folks to work part time (with your approval). You’d be surprised what poor college students will do for $15/hour!
- Long-term Incentives: Give your CEO equity (assuming you have an incorporated company here). Put them on a one year cliff. Award them x% of the company if they make it 1 year – meaning they’ll take not only their salary but also x% of all profits. I recommend that x be large… I’m talking 20-60% vested over a total period of 4 years, meaning they would cliff into 5-15% of the company after year #1…and could eventually take control – which is fine if they’re making you basically free money!
Bottom Line: Life is all about incentives. This setup incentivizes you to 1) find the right person, and 2) fire the wrong person. It also highly incentivizes this person to do a great job and grow this business or GTFO.