Starting Up: Don't Overlook These Important Aspects
It's a commonly accepted opinion that creating a business is hard work. Of course there's your product or service to perfect and your funding to sort out but some of the logistics are much easier than people realise. It's often when something is overlooked that it all feels a bit too hard.
Startup Weekend is a great place to start (c’mon, it’s in the event title!) but after the weekend, your team will be responsible for carrying forth. As some advice, here are some areas people overlook in the early stages of business - don’t let your team be one of them!
1. Incorporate stategic planning sessions from the start, even better if you do this with an external advisor. Building these habits and relationships early gives you a great base to develop from as your business grows. Clear strategic direction engenders greater clarity of direction, unity of decision-making, and provides greater traction to actions taken. Vital issues are considered early, often resulting in savings of time and money.
2. Consider your marketing plan early on. Knowing how you will be promoting your business lets you design systems, processes and collateral that support your intended channels. This saves wasted efforts that don't actually fit with the marketing plan.The Team at MAD Media suggest that as part of your Marketing plan you need to focus on your key points of difference. Doing this early in your business startup will make sure you have a product or service that not only is marketable, but also has cut through in an often saturated market space. Having clear points of difference will set you up to have a business that stands head and shoulders above the competition and gives you the tools to shape a marketing campaign that will get noticed by your target market.
3. You may not have a CIO or CTO on board when you start. This is no excuse to defer all IT strategy until you have the skills in your team. It's important to get IT advice near the beginning because it'll be easier to set you up for growth then, compared to trying to retroactively tidy up down the track.
4. Find a good accounting system and use it! A system won't help you if you aren't inputting the correct information. From day one, ensure that you know how you will track your income and expenses and make sure you keep it up to date. Most cloud accounting systems automate a lot of these tasks for you so talk with your accountant to review which would work best for your business.
5. Ensure that you are complying with any legislation and requirements that are specific to your industry. You don't want to go too far and realise there's quite a big regulatory hurdle standing in your way. Find out about it first so you can plan with it in mind.
And a bonus tip - learn everything that you can! Take advantage of the network you build during the weekend and find some people you can trust to get you going on the right foot. When you're running the show, it doesn't hurt to know a little bit about a lot of things - you can leave the work to the experts but understanding these aspects of your business will empower you to feel more in control.
Startup Weekend Taranaki takes places 18th-20th October 2019. Early bird tickets are on sale until 6th October (and early birds get a cool free t-shirt too!) so buy your tickets today.