A Chief Technical Officer (CTO) is someone who will make everything work. More and more businesses rely entirely on computerized systems and automation to function. The average entrepreneur starting a new small business has a small technical team, and the CTO is the thought leader. They won’t just repair they’ll innovate, making this an essential role within the company.
What can you do when you’re a small business without any additional room in your budget?
1. Work Over Your Budget Again
It’s easy to assume you automatically can’t afford to add another person to your team. Take a closer look and factor the cost into your current budget. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you can find some wiggle space by making cuts and adjustments elsewhere. Sometimes the best way to afford a CTO is to force one into your company.
2. Outsource the CTO
There are independent consultants acting as CTO’s for multiple small businesses at the same time. To ensure the smooth running of your small business you shouldn’t spend money you don’t have. Outsourcing the issue and paying someone for a couple of days every week may allow you to slip that new member into your team.
You could even bring someone in remotely. For example, you could employ an independent CTO from another country and deal with them remotely.
3. Begin Combining Roles
To start strong in business you need to economize. Sometimes the best way to do this is to combine roles together. Similar roles, such as IT consultant and CTO, can be dually handled by the right candidate. Employing someone to carry out both tasks can be a great way to cover two positions without paying two salaries.
Beware of combining roles exclusively for the reason of saving money, though. It’s always better to have an expert in one position than an over-stretched worker covering two positions.
4. Going into Debt in the Short-Term
A CTO can be such a valuable part of the company during the new business formation phase. You may discover that the best way to afford one is to go into debt in the short-term. Payable debt is common for small businesses, so should you ever go into debt to afford a CTO?
This all depends on your income plan. How quickly will you be able to generate enough money to cover the new position and how much debt will you be in when you reach that point? You must decide based on your own calculations whether going into short-term debt is the right option for you. If you want to start strong in business you may find that debt is the worst possible option for you.
5. Don’t Choose the Best CTO on the Market
Small businesses don’t need to have the most qualified CTO. The chances are your internal systems aren’t big enough to warrant a full-time, high-cost CTO. It’s always nice to have the best CTO in the world working for your company, but do you really NEED them? In a lot of cases, their skills are completely wasted on the average new business. Think about searching for someone more affordable. They may have less experience or they may specialize in micro businesses.
6. Wait Until Later
In the first six months, you won’t necessarily have the need for a CTO. You’re establishing your product and working on basic marketing. Too many entrepreneurs attempt to employ a full team from day one. It isn’t the best decision money-wise because you can’t utilize their full potential just yet. Can’t afford a CTO right now? Wait a month or two when you can better utilize them.
You can make room in your budget for a CTO if you try hard enough. But what’s more important is hiring the right person for your business. The ingredients for a perfect start include a robust hiring process, acknowledging your short-term needs, and considering what you can do with each member of your team in the future.
How and when will you make room in your budget for a CTO?
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