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Monthly Archives: June 2016

Make Start up Leaner, Here Its Tips

As of late, it was uncovered that Snapchat has brought another $1.8 billion up in financing bringing the startup’s worth up to nearly $20 billion. For business people all over, this news is approval that the fantasy is conceivable – that with the right thought, an organization can become greater than anybody ever envisioned.

In any case, the truth is that Snapchat is an irregularity. A 2015 report from Sage observed that two out of each five new businesses fall flat. What’s more, one of the top reasons is being established by business people who don’t watch costs firmly enough.

Running a startup is expensive, which is why even wildly successful companies like Snapchat still need influxes of cash. But, it takes a while to get to that level. Startups need to do whatever they can to stretch their resources. That means adopting a lean business model, which focuses on getting your startup launched soon and in a manner that requires less initial capital.

Having a lean enterprise means knowing how to cut the wheat from the chaff. However, that doesn’t always come naturally.

Here are four ways to make your startup leaner:

# Make decisions quickly

Time is money. By taking substantial amounts of time to make decisions you’re holding your company back. Every option you consider, every time you weigh the pros and cons, the startup isn’t moving forward.

That’s not to say you should just flip a coin whenever faced with an important choice, but you need to realize that you’ll never have all of the information you need. All you can do is process the information you have and pull the trigger.

And if every decision has to go through the founder, CEO, and each investor, it’ll be a big waste of resources.Have a plan in place about the chain of command whenever a certain type of issue arises. Know who’s responsible for what choices and the criteria that will be used to evaluate options.

# Constantly run tests

If you’re waiting until your launch date to see if there’s a market need for your startup, you’re setting yourself up to fail. If no one buys into your company or its product, everything you’ve done up to that point is lost.

The better option is conduct smaller tests throughout development in order ensure you have an end result that there’s actually a market for. For example, at Coplex, we take the time to experiment with our clients to collect data about what parts of their ideas work and which don’t. We may end up developing something completely different from what we originally imagined, but it’s much more likely to be a success.

# Know what can wait

Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of thinking everything has to be perfect by the launch date. The product has to have every possible feature and every potential issue has to be figured out. It’s more important to nail down the basics and get the business running as soon as possible.

For example, say you’ve developed an idea for the Uber of dog-walkers. You get caught up at the office and need someone to go let your pooch out. Sure there are other features that could be added to make the service more interesting like grooming or training, but they don’t need to be ready to go from day one. Adding all those extra parts will just take more time and money and keep pushing back the date when you can actually start making sales.

Decide what the core of your business is. Focus on getting that off the ground and when you become more financially stable you can develop further and make improvements.

# Think twice before hiring

Once your company begins to grow, you have to hire more employees to handle the load. And since startup companies are always evolving, chances are the types of employees you needed at the beginning won’t be the same as the ones you need in six months or a year. So you bring on even more employees. Next thing you know your payroll budget is out of control.

A 2015 First Round survey found, 68 percent of startups planned on hiring as many as 20 people over the course of that year. But you have to wonder how many of those hires were actually necessary. Were there enough new duties and responsibilities to create a whole new position? Did no one else on the team possess the skills needed to do the task? Could it have been done by a temporary contractor? Ask yourself those questions before hiring and you’ll know if a new employee is really the best way to go.

Startups are expensive and unless they’re run properly they will bleed money. As an entrepreneur the best thing you can do is have a lean enterprise that allows you to allocate your resources in the best way possible.

Know The Reason why Company need Comprehensive Business Plan

In the perpetually changing universe of business and money, where market strengths, innovative advances, global occasions and flighty client requests appear to move once a day, numerous organizations end up exploring harsh waters looking for the colossal business sector open doors that exist not too far off. A few organizations misread the momentum and wind up submerged – consider great organizations like Kodak. Others can ride the influxes of chance because of watchful arranging, keen exploration and tenaciously planning for every possibility.

The importance of having a comprehensive business plan, with the participation of (and buy-in from) your management team cannot be underestimated, especially in times of dramatic economic and industry upheaval. The world may seem to be spinning out of control, but with a smart, thoughtful plan, surprises can be mitigated, crises can be controlled, and levelheadedness can lead to opportunity. I learned this lesson through personal experience early on in my career, and it has been a crucial component of what has made me successful in the disparate fields in which I have worked.

One of my first formative professional experiences was with the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce. I was recruited and retained by a group of local business executives to analyze the financial condition of the Atlanta public schools. After months of research, analysis, interviews and assessments, we concluded that one of the fundamental problems facing the school system was, as a large operation working without a coherent business plan. This resulted in an inefficient use of funds that further depleted the resources available to the deserving children of Atlanta. The school system was a big business but did not apply basic management principles into its operation. For me, this crystalized the importance of having a plan.

Due to my work at the Chamber of Commerce, I was hired by the president of the Portman Companies to assist with strategic planning. As a young member of the executive team, I was often critical of executives that did not have a plan. Challenges and mistakes, however, have a remarkable ability to provide valuable lessons. They help us remember to practice what we preach. As my career progressed at the Portman Companies ,I eventually ran a business unit at a very young age. Guess what I forgot to do? I did not seek the input of my colleagues or thoughtfully analyze all aspects of my business. I did not have a business plan and boy what a mistake it was. After launching a business on gut instinct without a thoughtful business plan, I promised myself I would never approach business again without a well thought out plan.

What are the parts of a good, solid plan? First it involves sitting around a table in an environment where people feel comfortable debating, disagreeing, and presenting different perspectives. This back and forth pushes the boundaries of what is possible, generating the best ideas from your team. This can be a lengthy process–you cannot force creativity. But once it concludes and a framework is formalized, after verifying everything by the numbers, metrics, financials and relevant market research and analysis, I follow disciplined adherence to the plan and pursue it vigorously, checking in every month or so that we’re still on the right path towards success.

In 1995, NASCAR had a terrific product but did not have a comprehensive brand awareness strategy and did not aggressively advertise the sport, resulting in limited interest and investment by Fortune 500 companies. After I arrived, we developed a sophisticated and disciplined approach — a strategic plan — that focused on consumer marketing. It led to unprecedented results for NASCAR. Similarly, strategic planning was critical to our success at IMG, where we re-invented various lines of our business which caused its value to triple.

Equally important during this internal planning phase is to not only consider the steps that will ensure success, but to develop contingency plans for unforeseen events and potential hazards on the horizon. This requires carefully and honestly thinking about the “what ifs” and “then whats” allowing your business to better handle shocks and surprises. With critical foresight, you and your team will be more surefooted as external forces push and pull you and your competitors in different directions. You will be able to stay on your feet and walk through the storm instead of getting tossed around–or even worse–sunk by it. Thinking critically of any possible deal or investment, no matter how attractive it may be, minimizes mistakes and limits surprises should Murphy’s Law ever take hold.

Today, as head of Bruin Sports Capital, the twin yardsticks of devising a comprehensive business plan, validated by its financials, and the value proposition of finding companies riding a tailwind–in marketing, in digital and in fan experiences–have led me to make the investments we’ve made so far–four with our first year alone–and give me (and my investors) great confidence for success beyond Bruin’s first birthday.

Succesfull Start up

How do you know if your startup will be successful? originally appeared on Quora -the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.

Answer by Leigh Thompson, serial entrepreneur turned serious entrepreneur turned lighthearted entrepreneur, on Quora:

You know your startup will be successful when you validate your idea before starting it up!

To say there’s no way to know if a startup will be successful is untrue. Some people assume success means to be the best in the industry, up to the standards of a Facebook, or a Whatsapp.

If success means to provide enough value to enough people to generate a profit, then yes, you can absolutely identify if your startup will be successful early on.

By the way, Pat Flynn has a new book called Will It Fly? This is much more in depth on the subject than I’ll go into here, but if you like my answer, consider giving it a read.

Essentially, validating a business is proving that your idea will work before spending time and money creating that business.

Before coming to me, my last three consulting clients all spent over $15,000 to build a website, produce a product or content, and then market it. Unfortunately, all they did is waste their time and money. They spent all of that only to find no one wanted to buy what they were offering.

I hear all the time, “But people loved my idea and thought the idea would be great.” Here’s the problem with starting a business because other people thought it was “great”: People are nice (usually), but their words aren’t enough to get an accurate idea of whether a business will work or not. Here’s an example of what I mean.

  • You (talking to a group of friends and family): “Hey guys, I came up with this idea to sell padded pens so you can write longer and more comfortably! I’d sell them for $15 each. What do you think, would you consider buying them?”
  • Them: “Definitely, we love it! What a great idea! You’re going to sell millions!!!”

This is where most people feel like they’ve validated their ideas and now go about wasting time and money creating it. Expanding on the scenario, here’s what it would look like to actually validate the idea.

  • You: “Oh, that’s so great to hear! I actually have the first batch in my car now, I’ll go and get them. Who wanted to buy my padded pens for $15 again?”
  • Them (any combination of): Crickets. “Oh, I don’t have money on me now … I need to check with X first … I don’t need a padded pen … etc.”

If you went about starting your business half way through the above conversation, you risk wasting time, energy, and money. Imagine instead, you finished the above conversation and found out no one wanted to buy your idea. That’s ok. You could ask them why, ask what they would buy and then “pivot” to a better idea that peoplewould pay for.

There are hundreds of simple, cheap, or free and fast ways of validating a business. In this day and age, that is the best way to start a business.