Entrepreneurs need a framework that addresses critical factors for preparing their business for market while being involved in a dynamic community full of people who want to contribute. They don’t need another unstructured “advice blog”; they need to communicate preparedness to those who matter.
In this vein, I’ve benefited from developing some of my own structured thinking around the pinnacle of startup / new business creation questions: “Are you prepared?” I realized that before you can answer “yes” or “no” to this question, there are secondary questions and even a layer of tertiary questions that need to be considered.
- Team Formation: “Is your team in place?”
- Product & Services: “Do you know what you’re selling?”
- Customer & Market: “Do you know your customers?”
- Competitive Environment: “Do you know your competition?”
- Risks & Challenges: “What are your greatest risks, vulnerabilities and challenges?”
- Planning & Preparation: “What formal strategic planning have you completed?”
- Critical Needs: “What do you need to survive and succeed?”
This isn’t just for a business plan. It’s for business planning. It’s not just about a written document called a business plan that is usually created to raise money; it’s about thinking and acting on these issues every day. Why? Because every day, these issues are evolving outside of your ability to completely control them. If we ignore these preparatory issues even for a small period of time, we are unnecessarily vulnerable.
A widely researched and discussed topic is the connection between entrepreneurs and risk. We’ll weigh in frequently as well. Fundamentally, I believe entrpreneurs don’t just have a greater appetite for risk over non-entrepreneurs; I believe entrepreneurs have a greater ability to manage risk. How we manage business risk better than others is largely due to how well we incorporate a preparatory mantra into our management and leadership processes.
For our inaugural post here, we’re just scratching the surface on a number of topics that merit lots more writing from all of us, and I hope you’ll contribute along with me.