The building blocks of a successful startup
Jane Edwards outlines three critical things you need to consider when starting a small business – and that will help you to sleep at night! Puma Punku is a huge stone structure built around 500-600 AD, at an altitude of 12,800 feet in the Andes in Bolivia. The stones are massive – the largest weighs […]
Jane Edwards outlines three critical things you need to consider when starting a small business – and that will help you to sleep at night!
Puma Punku is a huge stone structure built around 500-600 AD, at an altitude of 12,800 feet in the Andes in Bolivia. The stones are massive – the largest weighs approximately 131 tons, which is twice the size of most modern-day earthmovers. There were no trees within the area to create logs to roll the blocks on and the blocks are precisely cut shapes and sizes. How did the people who built that structure over 1400 years ago even move them let alone design and cut them?
People are far more creative and capable than we ever give them credit for. It is mind blowing to think of all the achievements that people have made throughout history. One thing that I have noticed in many of these incredible stories is that these successes have not happened through just one person. People have sought support from wherever they could find it, whether that be mentors, experts, risk takers, leaders, creators, coaches – the list goes on.
Starting something new such as creating or developing a business requires support for success. Why would you try to do it alone or to start from scratch and try to invent processes and structures when you can use others who have already taken these journeys and learnt along the way. There are resources everywhere to help you, the key is finding the right ones.
Over the years that I have been working with small businesses I have found that there are three key factors that are critical in helping towards creating success and will help you to sleep at night!
The first is to identify the right business for you.
Let’s face it, this business is going to take all your time, resource, energy and likely your soul – so you had better like it. A business that fits with your values, aspirations and lifestyle will enable you to create the positive, happy future that you deserve. How many people do you know who are working in jobs or businesses that they don’t like or enjoy? Why would you waste your life doing something that you don’t love or doesn’t give you or others what is needed, when with the right foundational support you could create something that brings you and others success and happiness.
Once you have identified the right business, the next important step is to check for viability.
How will this business support you and give you the lifestyle and income that you planned? To do this you will need to look carefully at your market and identify exactly who you are targeting. Who are your customers? Where will you find them?
It sounds like a great idea to sell as much as possible to everyone, but that isn’t how the market works (unless of course you are Amazon). What is the competition doing? Why should someone buy from you rather than another business? What about pricing? How do you know what to charge? Your break-even – how much do you have to earn just to meet your responsibilities. Financial management, how will you finance this business until it is profitable? You might be selling a lot, but remember turnover isn’t profit. There is a lot more to success than many think and I wonder how those brave souls that just jump in without doing any of this, sleep at night.
This might all sound a bit scary, and overwhelming but going through these steps in a practical way will really help you to feel more confident about your business and give you the information that you need to make good decisions.
Do you remember the early Americas Cup challenges? I remember reading about Team New Zealand being overwhelmed with decisions about what to do, buy and change. Making the wrong decision could cost them the Cup and failure. So, how did they decide? The boat that went the fastest was going to win. Simple as that. The story goes that when they were confronted with decisions one key question they would ask is “will it make the boat go faster”? Identifying this one factor was critical to their success.
What is critical to your business and will make your boat go faster?
It is clear that Puma Punku was not built by one person but by many. The design and build of this huge structure would have been accomplished through teams of people from wise mentors to people supporting on the ground. They would have looked at other designs of those before them, taken advice and counsel from experts and looked for answers within their village.
This is the third critical step when starting a small business. There are people who have the knowledge and experience to support you towards success – use them.
Find people who you can relate to and who have the skills, resources, or experience that you need – and hire them!
Only do the things that only you can do. Why spend hours, weeks, days, months trying to do something that is clearly outside of your skillset or experience when you could get this done and move into operating your business successfully. There are excellent resources and courses too – find them.
So many people in small businesses try to do everything themselves and frequently either come unstuck or prolong the development period of their business, when they could have moved into operating and money could be coming through the door.
Whatever is your Puma Punku, you will be helping someone and making a positive difference in the world.
Enjoy the journey and creating your exciting future.
Jane Edwards is the founder of Budding Businesses. For more go to: www.buddingbusinesses.com or https://www.linkedin.com/in/jane-edwards-487a5950/