5 Tips for Building a Great Company

Bo Burlingham, the Editor-at-Large of Inc. Magazine, spoke at Startup Weekend Cairo this past weekend, on his top tips for creating a truly great company. As a writer and editor for almost 30 years at Inc., and the author of Small Giants: Companies that Choose to Be Great Instead of Big, Bo would know.

To get mojo- Bo's term for the business equivalent of charisma- follow these steps:

1. Bigger is Not Better

Being big and great are not the same. A small company can be great, and a big company can be a blot on humanity. 

2. Don’t be seduced by venture capital firms offering millions

More promising startups have been killed by having too much money than by having too little.

3. The #1 Success Factor is Resilience

All entrepreneurs fail. The most successful ones pick themselves up, learn the lessons, and move on.

4. Success is in the Numbers

The goal of every startup is to reach viability- first on paper, then in reality. You can live and die based on your cashflow.

5. Put Employees First

One of the best things you can do to create a good company is train your staff, so that everyone from the CEO to the janitor is learning and thinking about how to create a better business.

Most importantly, Bo says, never forget your passion. An entrepreneur is “someone with the passion of an artist, whose means of expression happens to be business.”

And if you hear someone telling you you’re crazy to want to start your own company, ignore them. In fact, “All entrepreneurs get this kind of negative feedback,” says Bo.” If you don’t have people telling you your idea is completely crazy, perhaps there’s something wrong with your idea.”

Read Bo's articles on Inc. com, or contact him on Twitter at @BoBurlingham.

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