As a CEO and entrepreneur, I am always looking to others on similar paths to share insights on what has guided them to success. Even across verticals, there is always advice and tips that ring true for all budding and successful companies.
Along my journey of building FlipGive and becoming CEO, a few themes continued to come up during the early stages of creating the company and into what FlipGive is today. These tips are ones that I wish I would have realized sooner in the journey of FlipGive, but I am thankful that our company emphasized and integrated these important outlooks into our culture.
1. Team First
We would have never found success in building a team funding platform if we didn’t first focus on our own FlipGive team. Any successful business needs a diverse team whose skill set compliments one another. Most importantly, you need to build a team-first culture. You cannot tolerate bad culture fits, no matter how brilliant or talented they are.
2. Adapt or Die
Before becoming an E-commerce and digital fundraising powerhouse, FlipGive went through three iterations in a relatively short amount of time. Dating back to grad school, I knew I could harness the power of technology to broker a beneficial relationship between companies, consumers, and causes. What I didn't know at the time was that my idea would completely flip the youth sports fundraising world on its head. As a leader of a company, you must be flexible and ready to adjust your business goals based on opportunities and learnings you encounter along the way.
3. Failure’s Not Flattering, But It’s Often Necessary
If you’re playing it too safe so as to avoid failure, chances are you’re not going to make it. When you set out to innovate and scale up rapidly, you need to be willing to take chances. It is, of course, wise to fail small, but if you don’t keep pushing the envelope and creating, you’re going to get left behind.
4. Embrace the Burden of Opportunity
When you are building a business, there are always going to be distractions. As the leader, it is on you to protect your team from those distractions so they can focus on moving things forward. Ruthless decision making is required to determine what is a priority and to keep your team laser-focused on the mission and vision.
5. Listen to the Market
Not only did FlipGive change three times to meet customer and consumer needs before ultimately getting it right, but the product itself is also constantly changing to meet demand. Baseball, football, basketball, and hockey were obvious sports in need of change when it came to teams raising funds. Cheer, dance, gymnastics, and quidditch–yes quidditch–were not.
Every CEO should consider implementing these tips into their businesses, as I have found them to create success over and over. As leaders, we must always remember to take advice from others, learn and grow all for the betterment of our companies and team members.
About the Author
Mark Bachman is the CEO and Co-Founder of FlipGive, a team funding app that makes raising money a breeze. Mark is passionate about building better ways to raise money for youth sports and in using the marketplace to help better the world.