|The transition from entrepreneur to manager can be difficult, but managerial execution is probably the most important factor in a successful business.|
Hintz: I think one of the most important things is building the right team. You've got a small team; you can't afford to have weak players. So recruiting is especially important, and there are a couple of things I really look for: I want people who are really smart. Chances are in a small business it's going to evolve over time, and what the business needs will change dramatically. You need versatile players who can tackle anything -- much more so than industry or domain expertise. The other thing I really look for are people who are humble. I can't have any prima donnas on my team. You need people who can roll up the sleeves and do whatever the business needs.
2. Don't be afraid to fire people.
Hintz: I've done it many times. It's still traumatic. Despite the fact that I have a number of tips on how to hire good people, we all make mistakes, and you just have to be really good at identifying those mistakes early and take action swiftly. When new hires come on board, I'll often say the first 90 days is really a probation period -- and that's really just a fake term I've made up, but it mentally sets the expectation that we'll be talking throughout that 90 days and I could come to you at any point and say it's not working out. It just makes that whole process easier for both parties. 3. Just say no.
Hintz: Especially once we have a little bit of success, we get a lot of inbound attention. People want to do deals with us, they want to talk about how they can expand our business. It's tempting to hear them out, and we want to be polite, but we have to get really comfortable at saying no to things. One of the tricks that I use is once a month I sit back and I think "What is it that I really need to accomplish this month? What are the three or four things that the business really needs?" And as the month goes on, as new opportunities surface, if they don't match with what's on that list I consider them distractions and I just have to say no. -- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York. To contact Laurie Kulikowski, send an email to: Laurie.Kulikowski@thestreet.com. To follow Laurie Kulikowski on Twitter, go to: http://twitter.com/#!/LKulikowski
Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.