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Startups - Getting it Right

The Team - Wednesday, March 02, 2011


So you are starting your own business.  You are good at what you do, you have a great idea to develop a profitable business and you will not be dependent on a lousy boss.

What a time of great excitement!

Despite the statistics that everyone quotes, you really can have a successful and profitable outcome.  Just make sure that you attend to the basics – the alternative is that the business becomes your boss.


The most basic of the basics is planning your way forward.  Know what you want, know what you have, know what you are going to do and how you will do it and know whether you have done it.  We work to an ABCDE process that incorporates this and more: your Aspiration, Baseline, Construction, Delivery and Engagement.


What do you want for your business and your personal life?  Set three to five year goals for both of these aspects.  Have a hunger to be the best in your field.  Build your business with the same rigour as if you are going to franchise it at some point.

What do you have now?  Why are customers going to buy from you?  What problem do you solve for them?  Who will be your first five customers and why will they buy?  Why will they trust you?  Why will they need you?

How exactly are you going to achieve your aspiration – for the next year, for the next three years and for longer?    A Business Plan is the most important tool you will ever develop for your business.  It’s not boring because it is the way for you to have more fun, more cash, more time and more success.


A Business Plan doesn’t lock you in.  Instead, it is like a plan for a holiday.  Sure, you see something else you want to do, so check how it interrupts and changes your original plans – will you have enough fuel, have accommodation and have money and still achieve your overall holiday goal?  If the answer is yes – then alter your holiday (or business) plan.

What is the market and how will it accept your product or service?  How will the market know you exist?  What marketing material will you need?  Will you ‘pull’ sales through advertising and web-marketing and/or will you ‘push’ sales through sales people (most businesses need both).

What is your organisational structure?  Draw a structure with all the positions that you will need when you’re successful.  Now put names to each position – oh there is only you, so put your name against all the positions.  Now you know how the company is going to grow.


Develop a financial plan with what you estimate income will be and the expenses that will be required to achieve that income.  If you hate the thought of doing a financial plan, then get someone on board who is able to help or you are doomed!

Chris Gray commented on 11-Apr-2011 06:53 AM
Hear hear! The basic financial plan is vital to the success of a start-up business. Financial capacity predetermines the size of everything about the business so is a fine place to start to ensure you do not run out of gas. Some say the only place to start which gets my tick.

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