Hi there! We’re moving forward on our startup series and we have something new for you this week! By now you’d have a fair idea regarding certain dos and don’ts- right from conceptualization to planning to setting up to getting funding for your business or startup. So this week we’re moving forward and will be talking about the actual running of a company, in particular a startup. We shall discuss work culture, goals and setting targets. In short, the essential requirements needed for the smooth functioning of a startup.
Objectives and Goals
What are your goals? How does your ideology mix with your financial objectives? Getting this mix right is tough for large firms but not smaller, leaner startups. The reason is simple. As a startup, your primary objective lies in setting up the basic framework for your ideology to flourish. As opposed to large corporations whose primary objectives mostly revolve around profit making, you aren’t expected to hit the sky early on.
For example if your startup deals in customer services, you would focus on delivering quality service to the customers as compared to similar larger firms whose main motive would be booking maximum profit per customer, because they are under pressure to deliver results to various stakeholders. In this case, customers feel they’re being treated to perfunctory service. You have the advantage of being unburdened by expectations initially. Use this period wisely. Establish the Why, How and What of your company.
Work Mean, Work Lean
No one wants to work in an environment hampered by red tape, bureaucratic hurdles and slow ponderous decision-making. Does that sound familiar? Well it sounds suspiciously like the way large corporations function.
Maintaining the “startup work culture” throughout the company’s growth, no matter how large or successful your firm might grow to become is very crucial.
It implies, working in small and fast units, direct access to the decision making body and empowering the lower rung employee or manager to make split second decisions on their own.
There might be bumps, decisions that don’t work out, but the risk is acceptable when you compare it to what you gain- a confident and experienced workforce all the way down who aren’t afraid of taking measured risks.
Hence the startup work culture isn’t just an initial phase, make it an essential core function of the company.
Expectations and Realities
According to the Office of Advocacy for the Small Business Administration, a US based institution; there is a 10 to 12% chance that your business won’t survive the initial year and a 50-50 chance that it won’t survive the first five years. Why? Mainly because small businesses and startups set unrealistic expectations and financial objectives for themselves early on, failing to live up to these expectations.
Start off by setting small, achievable goals.
1. Keep the bar intentionally low. Work on the company ideology and work ethic. Set the basic foundation.
2. You could approach companies set up by retired professionals specifically for the purpose of guiding you through this process.
3. Get to know your customer base. Research them thoroughly. Find out their needs so you don’t waste time rectifying and figuring things out when you hit the ground running.
Doing your basic homework right will help you in the immediate future. Don’t start off impatiently assuming that just because you have a wonder product in hand, that your company will succeed from day one. It takes more than just the product to make a company successful.
Keeping the above pointers in mind (or a blackboard, whatever suits you) move forward with enthusiasm and caution, indeed a heady mix! Good luck.