For entrepreneurs with a new venture, it's easy to get caught up in the many details of trying to get the company off the ground and think only about managing the day-to-day.
But Camilla Velasquez, who works as head of product and marketing at JustWorks, a platform that provides human resources for start-ups, says that isn't enough.
Velasquez, whose job history also include stints at Etsy and American Express, believes that entrepreneurs can do a better job of making diversity and HR initiatives top priorities when starting a business. That way, they won't run into trouble in the future.
She spoke before the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) last year, calling for better practices by companies to train their employees from the get-go.
Here are three things she recommends budding business owners do to help them succeed:
Don't just focus on staying above water
Velasquez says that entrepreneurs shouldn't only try to stay afloat. Instead, they need to aim high and thrive in their roles by building a strong foundation for their companies.
"During the first few years of a start-up," Velasquez writes in her written testimony to the EEOC, "the company is mostly focused on hiring, and staying alive."
She tells CNBC that foregoing proper employee training and HR practices can be a liability in a start-up's formative years. "Before they know it, their companies have 50 people and they still think that they're fighting to survive," she says, "and that any other types of infrastructure and training is a luxury to have."
That's not true thanks to available resources, she insists. "By the time they feel like they're past survival mode, it can often be a little late in the game to start looking backwards and to try to create the diversity [in the company]."
And that's why Velasquez addressed the EEOC. "I really wanted to recommend is that these companies actually make it a priority the day that they start," she says.
Get employees proper training and human resources, fast
Employees need proper training from a human resources perspective, says Velasquez. "After the first round of funding, basic HR / people operations is still a luxury, though, and it's rare to see a true HR representative hired until a few years into the business," she continues. "Hiring and anti-discrimination trainings are rarely happening because of the need to remain lean. In fact, it can be quite late in a company's timeline before these trainings happen."
"They should acknowledge openly the trade-offs being made at the early stage by not hiring or tending to HR needs," she adds, "and supplement for lack of HR through cost effective ways."
An example she recommends is "a comprehensive one day EEO training on anti-harassment and prohibitions on discrimination based on age, race, color, sex, religion, national origin, disability, and genetic information."
"Make EEO compliance and diversity and inclusion initiatives a priority as early as possible-building it into the company culture fabric early will ease challenges in the future," says Velasquez.
Make communication among workers a priority
She also states that fostering authentic dialogue among employees is important for any new company. Otherwise, serious issues can arise. To help, she says surveys and the like can "make people's voices heard."
"I think communication breeds trust and silence often breeds fear," Velasquez tells CNBC. "And so I think that people [should feel there is] a way to talk about their experience internally and not externally."
With proper protocol and feedback, she says, entrepreneurs can ensure employees' needs are met. "It's never too late," says Velasquez.