No Time to Develop Process? Think Again!!

A number of years ago a new client responded to my question “can I see last year’s financials?” by handing me the check register for his business checking account.  Ignoring some other issues (many?), this is indicative, to me, of a problem that many individuals have when they start their business – they don’t put processes in place to ensure that what needs to be done is a) being done, and b) being done in a standard and repeatable manner.

So when should you develop and implement processes for your business?

Pivot!! Make Your Decisions Quickly

Those of you that know me, or have been following my Business Execution blog, know that I am a big proponent of planning – both strategic and tactical.  So, how can I now be advising you to make your decisions quickly?  Doesn’t that fly-in-the-face of taking the time to think things through and plan?

Let me explain why I don’t think that it does, and why I believe that the speed of your decision making can be an accelerant to the growth of your business.  After all, I am as big a proponent of execution as I am of planning.

Can money make you stupid?

Last week I talked about the new JOBS Act making “equity-based crowd funding” legal; and how I believe it is a good thing for startup funding.  So this week I thought I would talk about a potential pitfall for the entrepreneur from this “easy money”.  I’m ignoring any pitfalls that may be introduced by the act itself – until we see a draft of the regulations I think it is too soon to comment.

While I don’t have any “real data”, based on my own experience I would say that when you talk to people starting a business at least 80% of them come out with some statement along the lines of “if I can raise [insert number here], then all of our problems will be solved”.  Unfortunately for many of them, raising the amount of money they are targeting – or even twice as much – won’t help them succeed.

Small business – the engine of the US economy?

Politicians and the media like to spout what seems to be conventional wisdom that “small business is the engine of the US economy” and that these businesses create the most jobs.  But is that so?

One of the criteria describing Collaborative Xceleration’s target market niche is “small companies looking for exponential growth”.  So, recently I’ve been doing some research into how many of these companies exist in the U.S., and what their geographic distribution is (this is also input to deciding where we are going live!).  As part of that research, I’ve come across some interesting data that addresses the “engine of the economy” statement which I thought I would share with you.

Surround Yourself with Smart, Trustworthy People (Revisited)

In last week’s post, Surround Yourself with Smart, Trustworthy People, I talked about building teams of smart, trustworthy people around you.  In two LinkedIn groups that I post this blog to I got comments that I thought I should address here – especially as I thought I had covered the points they raised in last week’s post!  Also, I had a meeting this week with an individual where the subject of networking for leads came up, and which tells a similar story to that of the comments.

Surround Yourself with Smart, Trustworthy People

Recently, on behalf of a couple of new business owners I had met, I reached out to a past client because I thought they could provide some insight to and even connections for these new individuals.  This week, I got an email back from the past client in which they made a statement which I think is very apropos to the content of my last few blogs.

The past client said that the individuals should “surround themselves with smart, trustworthy people.  You can’t do these sorts of things alone.  Building a strong team around you takes time, a great deal of belief, money and tenacity.”  They clearly hit on my recent themes of “you can’t do this alone” and “get good people on your team”; but, in just those few words they touched on so much more.

Lessons from Facebook for Entrepreneurs

So the big financial news this week was that Facebook filed it’s IPO.  On Thursday, if you watched the financial news channels, you might have been forgiven for thinking there was no other financial news that day.

As I listened to the news reports and read the articles in The New York Times, I was struck by the little nuggets behind the news about how to be the founder/CEO of an entrepreneurial endeavor.  Not that any of this is new and hasn’t been said a thousand times before, but it always seems worth repeating.  So, I thought I would share with you what leaped out at me.  Perhaps you saw/heard some different things that could also be “lessons from Facebook for entrepreneurs”.

Building a Better ‘First-Time Entrepreneur’

This week I talked with an entrepreneur (no names; no pack drill!) who isn’t happy with the speed with which their business is progressing (come to think of it I’m not sure I’ve ever met an entrepreneur who was happy with their speed of business progress [superemotions file=”icon_biggrin.gif” title=”Big Grin”]) – and, actually, my conversations were with more than one such entrepreneur.

This got me thinking about weaknesses exhibited in the businesses of first-time entrepreneurs, specifically during the period before they get to revenue.  My conversation with this individual covered most of the topics that I’ve detailed below; they are ones that commonly come up in conversations with first-time entrepreneurs (I’m sure you can come up with others!!).