Sunday, September 4, 2011

Top tips for successful start-up

  • Make sure you have the right person at the helm. It will be easier to encourage a positive organisational culture if the people at the top offer strong leadership, commercial experience and business skills – combined with the right attitude and values, this will help to ensure that you achieve your social purpose.
  • Build the right team. No single person can be expected to possess all of the skills needed so make sure you have a strong team who can focus on their own area of expertise. Build a team with marketing, business development, financial management, product development, operational and human resources experience.
  • Build a team with shared vision and values.
  • You will probably be running a business with limited resources so you need to be resourceful in your attitude to problem solving.
  • Things change so you will need to conduct regular reviews. Be prepared to think on your feet and alter plans accordingly. This will sometimes mean responding very quickly to situations that you could not have envisaged.
  • Bureaucracy needs to be kept to the minimum and good team communication is essential.
  • Start with good practice and this will pay dividends as the organisation grows.
  • Build trust with all members of staff not just management. Be prepared to trust your staff and delegate responsibility for day-to-day tasks.
  • Don’t take your eye off the ball as far as the market is concerned. You need to focus on sales and your customers will soon let you know if you are not giving them what they want.
  • Marketing never stops. Don’t think that just because you have put effort and resources into marketing at the beginning, you can sit back, relax and wait for the money to roll in.
  • You will have to ensure that you are aware of shifting developments in the markets: socially, and economically and that you remain on top of any new technology.
  • Have patience. It usually takes three to four years for a new business to move towards viability.
  • Don’t forget why you started! You will have good days as well as bad but if you remember your original motives behind starting a business you can take heart in the real difference you can make.

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