4 Qualities of a Successful Founder

Traits that Build Thriving Businesses


Jana Ferreira
Content Writer | Sugatan
December 16, 2021


Just about anyone can start a business. But making that business a long-term success takes a little more than a dream and a dollar.

It comes down to having a stellar team and a founder who has hired the right people, delegates wisely, is always open to learning and has a good grip on their strengths.

Let’s explore the four qualities every successful business owner should have. 


1. Know how to identify a good hire


Your team is everything. They’re the ones who are going to make the magic happen while you – as CEO, MD, or Founder – support and guide the business from a more holistic point of view.

You need the right type of person for each role you assign. At Sugatan, we find that personality tests are highly effective in helping us assess new candidates. It helps us check whether they’re suitable for the job and the team.

Building a community of like-minded people within your organization will only enhance your chances of success because you’ll all be working towards a common goal and with the shared excitement of building something together. 

Like-minded doesn’t necessarily mean the same. Every person is unique and will bring different skills, strategies, strengths, and ideas to the party. Personality tests are helpful tools to determine whether you’ve chosen an A-team for your business.

Narrow down a foolproof hiring process to guide your decisions about a new hire. Here’s how we approach it.


The Sugatan Hiring Process

Sugatan Team

1. The Predictive Index Test

From the very beginning of the hiring process, we ask candidates to take this test to see what kind of fit they will be. These results are particularly important for our performance team (media buyers). New members have to match our Senior Ad Buyer’s personality. 

2. Interview #1

We schedule an informal chat to see whether the candidate will be a culture fit. 

3. Additional Assessments 

Some additional tests are marked as optional to see who is serious about the opportunity and who will do more. Once a candidate has been hired, we give them the PSIU and CliftonStrengths Assessments to see their true strengths and weaknesses.

4. Technical Test

We test their actual abilities to do the job we want them to do.

5. Interview Approval

Relevant parties watch the first interview with the candidate and determine whether they approve or not.

6. Interview #2 

We conduct an in-depth interview to talk about the technical test, the role, the team, and expectations from both parties.

7. Hired 

We hire the candidate with a 30 to 45-day probation period. 


Tip: Find out whether a person is detail-oriented by asking them to put a random word or emoji in their application email subject line. 


Founders should have trusted experts who can coach them on developing a solid team. HR consultants are vital to founders in this regard. It should not fall on founders to make these decisions alone. 


2. Delegate wisely


It’s never easy to let go of control, especially if your business is your baby! But sage delegation will lead to fewer sleepless nights and better control in the long run. 

Ever heard the expression “It takes a village”? Well, it’s true for most big things, and business is undoubtedly one of them. You need a team to help you achieve your business goals, so delegate responsibilities to them to allow each person to do what they do best. 


Delegation has 3 tiers:

1. Task Delegation

A form of micromanagement

2. Processed Delegation

Delegating to develop processes and systems

3. Outcome Delegation

Your management team act as directors, so they handle tiers 1 & 2


Tier 3 is ideal for founders but can be tricky for the directors who need to do most of the delegating. It’s difficult not to resort to micromanagement and to focus more on tasks than their outcomes… but that’s why hiring the right people is essential.


3. Know your strengths 


And how to use them! The best founders are the ones who lean into their strengths and then take them a step further.

For example, Kris Sugatan’s strength is developing people and building teams; that’s her primary focus. Some founders don’t have the patience for people development and want to hire experts from the get-go.

Instead of taking that route, Kris would take internal knowledge in a position into account. If someone is already in your team and can be upskilled or promoted, why not give them a chance? 

Kris’s strength is to build the team, but she takes it a step further by adding to the personal development of Sugatan’s team members. That leads to happier, motivated, loyal employees and more value for the business. 

Kris’s advice is, only hire a new team member when external knowledge is the only option. 

What are your strengths, and how can you make the most of them?


4. Always continue to learn


Being open to learning new things is not only a good trait for a founder but for anyone! 

However, founders need to stay vigilant about applying any new knowledge to a business because change always has a ripple effect.

Take a step back and see if the change you want to implement works in principle. Never make a decision out of fear. Here’s why.

How does it work in your existing culture and with all the variables within your business? If the change is forced, it won’t work out. Anything that hinders your speed or workflow is not worth it.

Be open to listening to your team members, no matter their roles. Join relevant forums or groups and become part of a community within your industry. Sharing and absorbing knowledge will keep you up to speed on industry know-how and will help your business far more than it will hinder it. 


At Sugatan, we started a private Facebook group that has grown to over 7.8K members, all working or interested in the eCommerce industry. We constantly share knowledge and learn from our peers, and we implore you to do the same! 

Join our Facebook group for valuable info about starting a business, digital marketing, and eCommerce.

Subscribe to our podcast for insightful discussions with industry leaders.

Check out this video to step inside the mind of Sugatan’s dynamic CEO and Founder, Kris.


“There are lots of bad reasons to start a company. But there’s only one good, legitimate reason, and I think you know what it is: it’s to change the world.” – Phil Libin, Evernote CEO




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