“There are no limits to growth, because there are no limits of human intelligence, motivation, & innovation ” – President Reagan
Startup Topics: Follow your Passion, Commitment, Target Market, Flexible, developing your Processes, play to Win, Customer Service is King.
Is it a go? So you have a great idea that you think can make a lot of money. If you want to get into business, that can be a good first step. But there a lot of things to consider before leaping into that world. Maybe you like your idea, but is it your passion? Do you know how much people are actually going to buy the product or engage with it? What do the hard numbers tell you about this idea? Obviously there are a lot of key things to consider when you’re going startup. But some are more crucial than others. I’ve laid out the seven most important ones for you here.
1. Follow your Passion . . .
not just what you think is going to be easy to be profitable. Think about a Startup idea you have. Are you in love with it? Is it something you’d be ecstatic to eat, sleep & breathe every day for a few years? If it motivates you up just thinking about doing it for a living, that’s a really good sign. If not, throw the idea out and find another. But that doesn’t mean you have to turn all of your hobbies into your career. You can love your work too. You may be passionate about a lot of things and always have been. Turning your passions into a Startup in some way, shape, or form wont steer you wrong.
2. Question your Commitment . . .
from the very beginning. Too often I hear startup entrepreneurs say how hard they’re working and that they are “all in,” when in all honesty, they don’t dedicate enough time to be an employee–let alone a Founder or CEO. If you want to find a sure-fire way to irritate & discourage all of your teammates & employees, be the type of Founder who’s never around. A discouraged, unengaged team is the first sign that a business is doomed to fail. If you are not willing to dedicate the time and obsess over your business in the early years, you are not cut out for this kind of life. And that’s okay—a Startup is not for everyone.
3. Make sure the Market is worth the effort.
Once you’ve determined, what it is you’re passionate about, you need to take a step back and evaluate the market size. What’s it’s potential? Let’s say you build this business idea into something best-in-class. What’s the ceiling? And more importantly, is that ceiling high enough for you? Too many ideas launch without a clear understanding of the reality of the opportunity–and those are the ideas that fail. You need to think long & hard about any idea you have, before you risk your life on it. It should be something you’re willing to work tirelessly to build–for yourself, and those around you.
4. Don’t get Stuck to your Ideas.
Be Flexible when the Market or an Opportunity demands it. Because your company can change rapidly in its Startup phase, you have to be able to pivot & adjust to new developments. Just because it starts as one thing, does not mean that will be the only Mission of your business.
Look at Amazon. It started as an online Book-Seller and has since expanded to be the largest full-line Retailer in the world. A large part of their success is due to their ability to take advantage of new opportunities. Find ways to diversify your product or service, then be ready to make changes as those lines develop.
5. Prioritize developing your Processes.
In the beginning stages of your business, creating Written Processes for how you do things–from recruiting, basic simple tasks to complex ones. This will be one of the things that defines your long-term success. Having Written Procedures will it help you delegate the day-to-day tasks you do as Founder. It will make everything (ie. training, process improvement, etc) that much more streamlined. It’s ok that processes change as you grow. Update your Docs. But having clearly defined Procedures early on, will pay huge dividends = smoother operations = less time = less $$$ = more profit = competitive advantage.
6. Always play to Win / don’t ever stop Improving.
The head coach of the New England Patriots, Bill Belichick, has a way of motivating players – Tom Brady, of raising their expectations so they believe that they will win. It’s the same in the business world as it is on the football field. You’ve got to expect big things for yourself. You’ve got to expect that you’ll win !!! Don’t go into any venture believing that you’ll fail, because then you will. Expect the best for you & your team. Say what you want (your Goals), what you expect to happen, and then take action to make it happen. The life of an Startup Founder isn’t for everyone, but if you’re passionate, committed & willing to risk big to win, you’ll make it !!!
7. Customer Service is King.
How you treat your customers is vital to your future success. You have to listen to what your customers needs are, instead of assuming you already know what they want. To be a successful startup, you have to have a good connection to your clients. Get out of your office, and meet with your Customers face-to-face. No matter how big you get, be humble and get real with your Customers so you can collect information on how to make their experience even better. Both Sam Walton & a Founder of Costco, toured hundreds of stores a year until they retired in their 70s. That’s how you understood your customers’ needs.
Comments: Do you have any Ideas on how to grow a Startup faster?
from INC Zine 9/18 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz