Startup founders constantly make decisions. Most are small and quick, while some are major and long term. Here are three ways to make better decisions:
Five minute calls
- What: WhatsApp/Zoom/Hangout, etc.
- Who: Friends, mentors, accelerator program managers, fellow founders who may have previously faced a similar challenge.
- How often: 5 to 10 a day.
- Why: Need to take in information quickly.
Founders are experts at processing information from multiple sources and making decisions. Quick calls throughout the day are a effective way to crowdsource ideas and share information to keep stakeholders up to date on rapid progress. Being able to “hop on a call” becomes its own skill. At the speed of pace of change, why sit down for a one hour coffee, when you can have 5-10 video calls/WhatsApp chats per hour?
- What: In-person, sit down meeting.
- Who: Co-founder.
- How often: 1 to 2 a week.
- Why: Get in synch.
Often, once a week or more, founders need to huddle up and discuss operating issues or strategy. If you let a few weeks go by without catching up with our co-founder formally it is easy to get out of synch. When you need to close a round, fire fast, or it is important to be on the same page. Solo founder often find one or two peers or mentors to establish this type of interaction.
- What: Both in-person and connected by video call.
- Who: Diverse group of advisors and investors.
- How often: Once every two months.
- Why: Generate enriching conversation around strategy.
It is never to early to put together an Advisory Board. Founders prepare a short deck and invite people that can listen and offer feedback. These are ideal for issues like when to raise capital or how to structure the team.
Each founder will find her own way to build a desicion-making structure. Creating a rhythm and including the right peoples make these decision-making spaces more productive.