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Time-Starved Startup CEO: These Resources Are For You

We’re always running short on time. And when you’re heading a brand-new company, it couldn’t be truer. In fact, time management can be one of the biggest challenges that startup CEOs face, after a lack of funds, of course.

Longtime entrepreneur David Roth said this about CEOs: “As leaders, it’s our job to manage the time and money needed to get to the next level without running out of either one.”

Some successful entrepreneurs recommend the following tips:

  • Take a few moments to consider what’s important for the day.
  • Control interruptions: If working on a time sensitive project or if you’re on a roll, consider saying no to a team member’s request for “a minute”.
  • Don’t multi-task: Studies show it’s ineffective so focus on one project at a time.
  • Use short deadlines and stick to them.

These tips sound simple but putting them into practice may take a little effort. While fledgling CEOs work at implementing these suggestions into their daily routine, they should also take advantage of available resources that are dedicated to helping them succeed – or at least survive the work day.

Money, money, money

To raise funds, startup ventures can explore:

  • Crowdfunding platforms such as SeedInvest and CircleUp that are dedicated to securing funds for startups. (Halo Top, the tasty low calorie but high in protein ice cream that’s now the top selling pint in the U.S., raised seed funding through CircleUp.)
  • Incubators or accelerators provide seed money and often other resources, including consulting services and office facilities. (Y Combinator is one. It’s a company that, twice a year, invests a small amount of money into a large number of startups, according to its website.)
  • Local angel investors are wealthy individuals interested in startups and willing to invest. (Gust is one platform to use to find these investors.)

Find a Yoda

Many CEOs find it helpful to seek business guidance and there are companies dedicated to providing this sort of expertise. Clarity, for instance, connects fledgling startups with experts on a suite of business-related topics. Subjects include startups and the many types of marketing – online, social media, digital and more.

Marketing is a must

Marketing and social media are essential to the success of a startup but they’re also big time-suckers. Check out social media management tools such as eClincher or HootSuite. (HootSuite has an especially appealing tagline: “Do more on social – in less time – with HootSuite.”)

Explore marketing and social media tips and tricks digital companies suggest and then determine which are the most effective for your business and worth your time.

A few of those tips, compiled by Cloudways, are:

  • Identify the best social media channels for your business and focus on those
  • Create visually attractive content
  • Track data
  • Capitalize on trending topics
  • Stay active

Figure out benefits admin

Administering health plan benefits can be particularly cumbersome and tricky. Early-stage businessowners have a lot of big-picture questions to consider: What benefits do employees want? What benefits can my company afford to offer? What happens to our package as we grow?

CEOs may want to explore a relationship with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. Blue Cross is a recognized name with a vast network of doctors, specialists, hospitals and other health professionals and facilities. It’s in the business of delivering value-based health care plans that fit into the benefit strategies of a number of different companies.

Common objectives among employers are better cost control, increased access to care, healthier outcomes and improved patient experience. Blue Cross is pursuing these same objectives. All plans meet federal health care provisions under the Affordable Care Act. And Blue Cross’ CoverageforCompaniesÒ is a budget-friendly option for small businesses with no more than 50 employees. It functions as an online private exchange where the company establishes a budget and then employees select from a menu of PPO and HMO plans.

Find more information here.

Power by association

Associations can create great spaces to network, learn and share experiences. It requires some of your precious hours but the networking and learning experiences that come with being part of a larger startup community may be worth it.

Here’s a few to check out:

Startup Grind

Michigan Business Innovation Association

United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship

No office lease, no problem

Fledgling startups often appreciate the hassle-free and collaborative atmosphere of the coworking space. It’s also flexible and doesn’t break the bank, ideal for the cash-strapped new CEO. Find location and cost information along with user reviews on Coworker.

One last resource

Entrepreneur, the magazine and website, is a great source for industry news, in case you haven’t heard of it.

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Photo credit: Jacoblund

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