The Secret of Start-Up Success

Articles that provide the reason for start-up failures are plentiful; and there are many websites that provide failure statistics.  So I’m going to take the opposite approach.  What are the top five ways to ensure your start-up has a chance to thrive.

  1. Control the emotion.  Probably the most important suggestion is a contradiction.  It is emotion that was critical in your creative thinking.  It is this emotion that has set you on the path as an entrepreneur.  However, un-controlled this emotion will be a liability.  At this point, it served its purpose.  Now move to the next level and become objective.
  2. Study your competition.  What are their advantages vs. what are their weaknesses?  As a new business, you will be required to, at a minimum match your competitors’ advantages.  To win customers away from your competitors you will need to solve you competitors’ weaknesses, i.e. make your company a better alternative.
  3. Take the pulse of prospective customers.  It is very important to understand your customers’ buying habits and changing desires.  Without this information, you may develop products and services that do not align with the market’s needs.  There is a high probability that time, money and resources will be wasted if this step is skipped.
  4. Assemble an all star team of experts.  Success requires multiple disciplines, i.e. Legal, Marketing/Sales, Accounting/Finance, and Operations.  If you cannot build the team immediately, seek an outsource resource for each area, to call upon when needed.  The trick of course will be to understand when the resource is needed.   An Accounting colleague once advised that often times he is asked to look at an established small business.  “Most of the time when a business comes to me for help, it is already too late.”
  5. Develop realistic plans.  Establish an annual business plan with a proforma financial plan.  At the same time, develop key performance measures of success.  These measures should be watched monthly as they will be the first warning signs if things are not performing to plan.  This activity is very important.  Not necessarily because of the resulting document, but more because of the process.  Planning requires that you review all elements of your business.

As the business grows, so will the complexity of the business. More decisions require more analysis. The aforementioned activities will better prepare your entity to start operations.

What is your experience?

Author: Regis Quirin
Visit Regis's Website - Email Regis
Regis Quirin is a financial executive with 23 years of corporate experience, i.e. New York Stock Exchange, JP Morgan Chase, and GMAC ResCap; and 15 years working with small and medium-sized entities, i.e. joint ventures, start-up entities, established businesses. In 2014, Regis published "Redesign to Turnaround Underperforming Small and Medium-Sized Businesses" available via Amazon.
© Copyright 2013 Regis Quirin, All rights Reserved. Written For: CFO Tips - What you need to know, to be a CFO TODAY!

Regis Quirin

Regis Quirin is a financial executive with 23 years of corporate experience, i.e. New York Stock Exchange, JP Morgan Chase, and GMAC ResCap; and 15 years working with small and medium-sized entities, i.e. joint ventures, start-up entities, established businesses. In 2014, Regis published "Redesign to Turnaround Underperforming Small and Medium-Sized Businesses" available via Amazon.

31 thoughts on “The Secret of Start-Up Success

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  12. Well I agree to some exten. But over two decades practical experience I experienced something unusual that is when you start and are not in a positions to forsee future expected competetors/threats , you are gone besides all measures taken as suggested by you . I will share an interesting practical excample regarding our country. Many companies started Chipps business and were doing well without realising that there are big giants manufacturing chips,like Pepsi globally. Pepsi had/and has a large market share in bevarage industry in Pakistan with strong distribution set up. Realising that now local has made good awareness in the Pak Market , they introduced lays brand ,chips in Pakistan , captured the 60% market just over the period of four years. Most of the existing manufaturing are now closing their concerns or has already closed.

    Certain analysis are now usual, we being CFO must see the potential overseas risk in country such as Europe, Japan , their economy failed and now are dismantling their units and selling it at scraped rates. They are moving to China due to energy and labour saving. Againg we CFOs being the core team member must analyse what would be Chinas impact after the decade , and then what would be the next move whether we are sailing in a safe boat or no.

    Thanks

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