After four years as CEO, I recently decided to take a step down as the CEO from a startup I built and grew from the ground up. Although I am still involved in the business, I have stepped aside from the day to day activity to make room for a new team that will help grow the business globally.
As much as it is a momentous decision to begin a startup, it is hard to find the right time to exit the company you had built from your sweat and blood. Here are five tips on how and when to know the right time to take exit a startup.
People always say that timing is key. When looking to exit a startup timing plays a very important role. Starting and running a business is a very challenging task and comes with many highs and lows. During the first two to three years you are building and forming the foundations – sometimes this groove happens a lot sooner, but being able to leave the office and know things will function is a great milestone. Once you feel that the business is able to function without your input, it gives you confidence that taking a step down won’t impact the day to day activity.
The team of any business is the single most important asset. Without a world class team, you are unable to build world class products. When starting out my goal was to grow and hire a big team – people always asked ‘how many people work for you now’. After a while it became clear that a big team meant a bigger burn rate, and ultimately more stress. Last year we became a lot leaner and Brndstr now has a small team of engineers and designer who are more than capable of delivering quality products. Having the right team and diverse set of skills means that stepping down and exiting a startup has an easy transition into new management.