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Entrepreneur Office Hours: Issue #202
Who's ready for another experiment?
In last week’s issue of EOH, I committed to carving out a space for teaching entrepreneurs about building and nurturing audiences with social media. That led to an entire week of me thinking, “I have no idea how I’m going to do that.”
Things I’ve considered include:
Posting a weekly article about audience building
Including a section in these EOH issues about audience building
Starting another newsletter
Since I don’t know what the best solution is, I’ve decided to experiment with something completely new: I’m going to run an email mini-course about social media audience building for entrepreneurs (i.e. why you all, as people interested in entrepreneurship, should care about this stuff). The first email will hit your inboxes on Monday, part #2 will show up Tuesday morning, and part #3 will arrive Wednesday.
By the end, I hope you’ll A) better appreciate the reason I’m pushing this “online audience building” stuff; and B) have some sense of the next steps to take to get started.
So… yeah… be on the lookout for that mini-course beginning Monday. If you like it and think it’s valuable, I’m happy to cover other topics in a similar way. If you hate it and don’t want anymore entrepreneurship advice from me, well… you’re going to really hate the rest of this newsletter because it’s filled with nothing but more entrepreneurship advice from me. 😁
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Office Hours Q&A
I’m a solo founder of a new B2B SaaS company. I regularly find myself struggling to juggle all the different areas that need my attention - product development, marketing, sales, customer support, etc.
I’m curious to know how did you prioritize your time and focus when you first started your business? Do you have any pro tips or advice for a first-time founder like me who’s working without a team and trying to figure out where to best allocate my precious time resources?
Thanks in advance,
I should start with the caveat that I’ve never been a solo founder for any sort of software business. I’ve always had co-founders, and I would highly suggest you find yourself other people to work with, too. As you mention, being a founder requires enormous amounts of effort, and doing everything yourself is near impossible.
However, even as a co-founder, I certainly remember feeling exactly like you… like I was being pulled in dozens of different directions at once. I get it. Most entrepreneurs know exactly how overwhelming it can feel to have so much work and not nearly enough resources to afford a team that can help get it all done.
My advice is to focus on just one or two metrics that directly correlate to the growth and health of your business. For me, that was recurring revenue and product usage. I decided I would spend 90% of my time on initiatives that moved those two needles, whether it was fixing bugs, pitching customers, or writing content to drive trials.
Beyond that, everything else became secondary. ESPECIALLY FUNDRAISING! (Which can be a huge distraction.)
In other words, you have to be disciplined about ignoring non-essential tasks in order to maximize growth. Where possible, outsource or automate what you can. Most importantly, you need to get comfortable letting non-critical stuff slip through the cracks.
The good news is it gets easier as you scale. Granted, you’ll run into other problems related to scaling, but they’ll be different problems than the ones you’re facing now which are, admittedly a bit lonely.
This brings me to my final piece of advice which is to find a community. Even before you find a co-founder, start working from coffee shops and co-working spaces and anywhere else where you can be around other entrepreneurs. This will energize you and motivate you to keep working. It might even provide some great connections and, ideally, a co-founder.
Got startup questions of your own? Reply to this email with whatever you want to know, and I’ll do my best to answer!