Your start-up is moving towards great things – at least, you want it to be. During all of the inherent chaos that comes with starting a new business, you may have become distracted from your goals. We know you want to push your start-up to be the best it can be; here are a few ways you can get yourself on track for success:
Find the Track
The first step might seem obvious, but it’s very worth noting. In order to get “on the right track” you need to know what your track is. In other words, you need to prioritize.
Start by coming up with a company mission, if you haven’t already. Your mission and your core values should drive all of your strategic decisions. You created your start-up to fill a market need – keep your ambitions and mission in mind when you create priorities.
Next, write down what your priorities are. There can be a tendency for new companies to prioritize based on capacity – what you can do instead of what you should do. This is often a bad move, because you’ll find yourself working around bottlenecks instead of working towards getting a product or service to market. Focus your efforts on a particular priority, diverting energy from other priorities until you complete that goal.
Another problem that can come up when finding the right track is creating competing priorities. Harvard Business Review has an excellent article on this topic in which they describe a postal service that prioritizes “efficiency…and customer satisfaction”. One worker found conflict in those priorities when they were delivering mail to an elderly citizen who wanted to chat. When evaluating your priorities, make sure two conflicting priorities don’t share the same ranking – be clear with employees about what takes precedence.
Finding the right track also means prioritizing tasks that grow your core business. Have you had success with a particular product? You might be tempted to develop ancillary products, but early on in business development you should focus your efforts on increasing the quality, lowering the price, and expanding the market of your first product.
Expand and Outsource
Capacity is, as discussed, one of the things business owners are most prone to considering. There will come a time (it may be now) that you need to increase your capacity to achieve your goals. You can increase capacity by hiring employees and/or by outsourcing tasks.
Generally, you’ll want to hire employees for work that you know is going to:
Continue for the life of your business
Require constant/consistent work (full-time hours)
Will benefit from someone developing/growing with the company
Conversely, outsourcing is good for:
- Temporary work/tasks
- Work that only needs to be done occasionally
- Work that doesn’t require a firm commitment to the company’s culture
A creative director should be hired, not outsourced. Many accounting and bookkeeping services, on the other hand, can readily be outsourced. We offer bookkeeping services in Winnipeg – we can save you a lot of time if you’re not a professional bookkeeper, and your skills can be put to better use.
A quick note before we end: these are just a few of the many things you can do to keep your start-up on track. Keep in mind that these are guidelines, not rules – you know your market and your business, and if you don’t think some (or any) of these guidelines will work for you, feel free to disregard them. Every business has a different journey.