Thinking of starting up a business or
already running a startup?
Is it your first business or are you a serial entrepreneur?
Are you a senior executive team leader spinning out
or have you just had a great idea?
Whatever stage you're at, here are some things to consider courtesy of StartUpThings.com
Have you created a business plan?
➤ A lot of business people think that a business plan is only really needed if you are looking to raise money but it can also be a great way to help you clarify things like objectives and strategies for yourself and, if you have one, your team.
Have you defined what you regard as success?
➤ What you regard as success is all that matters and defining a goal or a number of success milestones can give you things to aim for and help you monitor how you are doing. Investment experts often call these things 'KPIs' (Key Performance Indicators).
Love the things you do
Do you love the things you do?
➤ Having a passion and enthusiasm about what you are doing will almost certainly energise your business and help you achieve your objectives. So, consider basing your business or at least significant parts of it on things you love doing.
What problem does your business solve?
➤ Businesses are often highly successful because they solve things for customers. Consider defining what problem or problems your business solves and highlight the solutions in your sales and marketing activities.
Sell, sell, sell
How are your selling skills shaping up?
➤ If it looks like you are giving a hard sell it may be that you are not selling hard enough. But do remember to deliver on your promises to help ensure your customers keep coming back to buy things from you.
Are you taking crazy risks?
➤ There is a school of thought that contends that unless you risk everything and go for it you are not committed to what you are doing. But putting yourself under pressure can cause stresses that could lead to poor decision making so calculate those risks.
What is unique about your product or service?
➤ Having something desirable that is unique and special and not available from anyone else will give your customers compelling reasons to buy from you. Marketing experts often call these things USPs (Unique Selling Propositions).
Profits, cash-flow and things
Are you watching the numbers?
➤ Keeping on top of the numbers is an important thing to do. Particularly cash-flow and profitability. Finanacial experts often call the figures 'metrics', but try not to get too obsessed with spreadsheets and accounts.
Fans as customers, customers as fans
How do you get fans for your business?
➤ Make a website. Tell your story. Spread the word. Be honest about things. Consider exploring 'tribe theory' and what used to happen when we were cavemen.
Are you taking time off?
➤ Some of your holiday dreams may need to be put on hold but the thing is it's important to take time off to rest and recharge your creative batteries.
Head or heart
Deciding things with your head or your heart?
➤ Consider listening to both. After all, they are connected. If all the figures stack up but something doesn't feel right something is almost certainly telling you something.
Are you having fun?
➤ Business is a serious thing but it's ok to have fun. At least try and do one fun thing every day. Honestly, it's ok.
What about a Mentor?
Do you have a mentor?
➤ The early stages of a startup business can be a very exciting but often daunting time. The right Mentor can help you make sense of what is happening. Someone who can help you define goals and objectives and strategies and be an un-biased sounding board for your ideas and keep you on the right track as things change and develop on your entrepreneurial journey.
So, there you have it, a few things for your consideration. Food for thought, stating the obvious or a useful checklist? What's missing?
Comments and feedback welcome: email@example.com
StartUpThings.com is on a mission to encourage sound thinking about business startups and running them successfully.
Sponsored by Adrian Langford
Picture © Virgin Management Limited