This article tells how it is possible to create a business without exaggerating, without becoming too big, optimizing all aspects to be fast and simple, while obtaining big profits.
We will find a series of useful tips to have a better management of our company.
The guide to follow to leave
First of all, ignore the pessimism of others. People are lazy, envious, pessimistic. When you express your idea, they will try to make you give up. Especially if you are hopeful and ambitious. Don’t believe them. Give it a go.
In the business world, failure seems to have become a fundamental rite of passage. The truth is, failure is not a prerequisite for success. A Harvard study showed that entrepreneurs who have already been successful tend to repeat themselves in 34% of cases, while people who have already failed keep the success rate equal to that of “newbies”: 23%.
Evolution does not depend on past failures (at best you learn what not to do, what does not work and what you need to do), but on the consolidation and development of what has worked. This is what you need to do.
Do you think planning is the best thing. The truth is, long-term plans are simple wishes.
Nobody can know what will happen. Plans are inconsistent without improvisation, and you have to learn to improvise.
If by chance you start and things are going well, ask yourself this question: is it necessary to increase the number of employees? Probably not. The important thing is that your business remains profitable, sustainable, lean. Small businesses are beautiful and desirable.
In modern society it seems that workaholics are the masters. In reality they seek unnecessary problems to find unnecessary solutions, to be able to work harder and feel like heroes. They lose focus and focus on irrelevant details.
They are also not efficient. Working too hard is not sustainable in the long run, and when the nervous breakdown arrives (and it certainly comes) it takes a long time to recover. The real hero, while the workaholic is trying to work more unnecessarily, is already at home because he has found a faster way to complete his job.
For this reason, when you have a consolidated reality, send people home at five, discourage prolonged and inefficient work.
The easiest and most straightforward way to create an excellent product or service is to produce something you want to use. To put it in a slogan: “scratch your own itch”. Tickled. If you solve a problem that you have first hand, you already have clear what you need, you know how to evaluate the quality of your work.
In short, you know exactly the right answer and defend it. The important thing is to act. The idea is worth nothing, it is the action and execution that count. It doesn’t matter if you don’t think you have time. Time has it and you can find it. It doesn’t take much.
If you work efficiently, an hour or two a day is enough, or a few work weekends to leave. The perfect time to start something will never come. So start now.
When you start, try to rely on your financial strength and not to ask for funding. Indeed:
- When you ask for funding you lose control.
- Your lenders want to monetize as soon as possible. This means that, to earn quickly, you could be induced to skip some fundamental steps, while you have to concentrate on a lasting and sustainable business over time.
- Spending other people’s money is addictive.
- Usually it is a disadvantageous pact. In the beginning you have no power, your financier has much more than you.
- Seeking financing is incredibly expensive and distracting.
Acting with your resources also allows you to focus on what is really important and priority, optimizing your skills and finances at best.
For example: avoid long-term contracts, excess staff, final decisions, meetings, inventory (physical or mental), too rigid solutions in terms of hardware, software and technology in general, long-term plans, excessive office bureaucracy.
To get started, you need a commitment strategy, not an exit strategy. Everyone thinks about the exit, or the moment when they will sell their business. But the truth is that exits occur in the minority of cases.
Also, are you sure that starting a business you don’t like and want to liquidate as soon as possible is the right thing for you to do? It should be added that focusing immediately on the sale of the company makes you lose focus on the really important things.
Focus on priorities to continue
You must understand that you have limited time, energy and resources. Accept it, and focus on your priorities. You cannot do everything and do it well. Concentrate on one thing and do it well. Find the epicenter of your product and work on it. If you open a mobile hot dog store, the epicenter is hot dogs. Start making them good.
Then you will think of paper, receipts, decorations and so on. If hot dogs are bad, everything else is irrelevant. At first, ignore the details. As you progress, important and impossible things to ignore emerge. Only then do you pay attention to them. Doing it first is useless and it sways you.
Remember to make the right decisions at the right time. Don’t say “I think about it”, but rather “decide on it”. If you postpone decisions, hoping that the perfect answer will come, everything remains uncertain and could get worse. You don’t need big analyzes, you need the right analyzes.
Also for this, don’t make too big decisions if it’s not necessary. A small decision to solve a detailed problem is easier to modify if necessary. For this, keep the focus.
If there is a constant in Gordon Ramsay’s “Nightmare Kitchens” program, it is the abundance of dishes on the menu. The first thing Gordon does is always to decrease the number of recipes. Less is better. So you will be forced to do things well and honestly check if everything is going as it is necessary. Avoid developing unnecessary tools or features. In the beginning do something good.
Later, make it great. What matters is reaching customers and making money. You can develop secondary products such as books, tutorials, etc., when you have already consolidated your main business. Then it becomes a good idea, which few companies think of. Set a launch deadline and stick to it.
It doesn’t matter if your product isn’t perfect, if it doesn’t have all the features you want, if it’s not chock full of accessories. Build your needs now, leave luxury for a second moment.
You have to focus on what won’t change. What are your essential values? What are the main points of your product? Those don’t have to change.
Use simplicity to increase productivity
If you need to explain something to the team, don’t use complex and abstract concepts. Draw, describe things to do in a practical way. Abstraction creates an artificial consensus based on the fact that people don’t really understand what you are talking about.
He honestly thinks about the possibility of closing. It may be time to close the business when there is no longer a reason to create the product, when the problem you were trying to solve is actually imaginary, when the product is useless, when you are not adding value to the market, when you’re having no impact.
In these cases, consider whether you can do something else, perhaps more easily. If not, stop. Don’t throw away some good time for a bad job.
For productivity, it is important to avoid interruptions. Set up communication based on e-mails and not on calls, avoid meetings or instant messages as much as possible. In particular, on meetings:
- they usually concern abstract things and concepts, not real problems;
- they convey a very limited quantity of concepts per minute;
- require adequate preparation that many are unable to provide;
- very often they have an agenda so vague that nobody has a clear objective;
- They procreate. A meeting leads to another meeting, which leads to another meeting … and so on.
So here are some tips:
- set a timer;
- invites as few people as possible;
- always have a clear agenda;
- start with a specific problem;
- meet at the place of the problem, this stimulates concrete solutions;
- end up with a solution and empower someone to implement it.
Although the most important goal is long term, create partial sub-goals that allow you to keep a good pace and feel satisfaction when you complete them.
Don’t be a hero. Most of the time it is better to be a ending than a hero. Complete your goals in the most effective and efficient way possible, then rest. Do something else. Get out of the office and live. And then sleep. Enough. Deficiencies in sleep cause blockages, lack of creativity, lowered mood, decreased motivation, irritability.
Know that your ability to make estimates sucks! Do not focus on the distant future, but on the present. Also for this, avoid long to-do lists. They take dust. Make short, doable lists. Do not set priorities mechanically, because you may be wrong in some evaluation.
Simply, write the most important things first, to be completed now. Then add the rest. But don’t add too many! Once you have completed a short list, you can create another one.
Get inspired but don’t copy!
Do not copy. If you copy, besides being dishonest, it also means that what you are doing is useless. It already exists! Let yourself be influenced, but don’t steal.
If you think your competitor sucks, say it. Propose yourself as the anti X. It can be a good way to define and differentiate you.
To beat competitors, do less of them. Solve simple problems and leave them complex, difficult, long. If your product has less functionality, don’t be ashamed of it. Highlight it proudly.
The most important thing is that you focus on yourself and not on them. It could become an obsession and divert you from the main focus.
The power of the NO
Be nice and explain your reasons. You will be understood much better than you think. Say no to your ideas too: don’t confuse enthusiasm with priorities. Focus on creating a product that is not appealing on the shelves, but that is satisfying in people’s homes. If something goes wrong, don’t apologize in a false or detached way. Take on your responsibilities and make the customer understand that you really care. Reply quickly.
How to promote yourself when nobody knows you yet, but also after …
In the beginning nobody knows you. You are worried, you would like to be famous and known, but the truth is that it is better this way. In the dark you can do what you want, with the best timing, without external pressure. You can test random ideas, try new things.
Darkness protects your ego and preserves your self-esteem. One day you will miss the darkness.
Don’t try to have an audience, build it. Make people actively come to you so you don’t have to look for them. For this, you must produce interesting content, sought after by people. Make tutorials, teach, train your potential customers. You will be repaid with interest.
None of your competitors are teaching their customers, which is why teaching is a huge competitive advantage. The chefs write recipe books, but are not afraid that some cooking enthusiast in the world will take their place and step over them. Do the same.
You can also tell what happens behind the scenes. This creates empathy and a more direct and authentic communication with your audience. For the same reason, avoid press releases. They are cold, artificial, useless. Nobody then talks about it, nobody is passionate about it. Also, avoid the big newspapers, the mass media. Prefer niche and targeted communication channels.
Don’t worry about guaranteeing some product features for free: if the product is good, people will buy it in its entirety. Be sure of yourself and your product, don’t be afraid to offer it.
Remember: marketing is not a corporate department.
That’s all you do. Marketing is your every answer on the phone, your every email, every word you write on the web, every time someone uses your product, every receipt.
How to build the winning team
In the beginning do everything you can on your own. You will realize what you need, the difficulties you encounter, you will be a better manager than yourself and your time.
Hire someone when the pain and fatigue of having to do all the necessary tasks becomes too much and the pace of your job is no longer sustainable. Hire only the strictly necessary people. If not, you will be induced to invent non-existent problems to give them something to do. Furthermore, the intimate atmosphere allows sincerity and objectivity, far from the modesty of formality.
Don’t rely on resumes, which are often invented and impersonal. Read the cover letter, and maybe assign some test assignments to the candidate. You will see his attitude and his skills in practice. Don’t pay too much attention to the quantity of the previous experience, but rather to its quality.
Try to hire self-employed people who know how to manage and motivate themselves and who accomplish their goals. If you can, hire someone who writes well. Writing clearly reflects clarity and consistency of thought. You can also hire people who work remotely.
This way you really insure the best. If you were to stop in your geographical area, resources would be much more limited.