Adapt to ExperienceBusiness Start-ups

Build from your asset base.

Have you got a business idea?

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If you've got a strong business idea, there are many questions that can't be answered yet. These include, will you find a market niche, will it be profitable, will it last? What you can do is reduce the risk of unfortunate results.

There is huge redundancy of business ideas. Most ideas never get off the ground. Of those that do, 50%+ don't last more than a year. Within five years 90%+ have closed or become something else.

So how strong is your idea? Do you have a passion for it? Are you willing to demonstrate leadership by taking on this challenge? No job gets done until someone begins to do it. As with all things, once you start the next few steps become clearer.

One of the keys to success in start-ups is how much can you do under the radar. How much preparation can you do before you announce that the business exists? How much can you test your idea before you have to commit a significant amount of money to it? It's not unusual at this stage for businesses to be technically illegal. Operating a workshop from home? Employing child labour? Not paying the people who help you? Using domestic services for commercial purposes? Paying yourself nothing at all.

If you fail: don't deny the fact. If you accept that what you tried to do didn't work out the way you intended, there are lessons to learn from that. What are those lessons? Did you write down what happened? Don't let the lesson pass unlearned.

There are five things required for success

A leader or champion of the project.

Every project needs a champion, someone in whom the genesis of the idea resides. Be the good seed and set the direction and the example that others may follow. Be visible, and ask lots of questions when you talk to people. Listen well, don't miss the hidden message in what they say to you.

Iterations: try things. If it works do more.

Carry a small notebook to collect ideas and people contacts.

Actively collect people for your network. Take their names and email addresses, record the comment they made. Write to them repeating what they said to you. Acknowledge that they were helpful to you.

Learn from the past but focus on what you can control, the present.

Good intentions don't count, it's what happens that matters.

Learn to praise people so that they may flourish.

Form a team, don't try to do it all yourself. Try to do mostly what you are really good at, and get your team members to do the rest.

A full set of ideas, a business system.

Do you have a system, or do you need to build one? There are many parts to a system that works. All of the parts need to be in place, or the system will malfunction.

Every new business idea has what economists call a "hiding hand", the unexpected surprise that threatens the whole venture. Very often, the root of that is in an assumption you've made, that's not correct. The thing you KNOW, that's false.

The right people to help you.

Friends live in your community and they know you. Friends have your best interests at heart, but they do not expect to be involved in your business. If you use your friends, be quite clear about what you are asking them to do.

You need to form a team. You want the team members to be proud to say they are helping with your project. What are the VALUES behind what you are doing? Take good care of your people.

Create small flexible teams, who communicate intensively and encourage each other to turn activity into income.

The wider community.

No business is an island. The community is the good soil in which your business needs to flourish.

Innovation happens when prior-preparation meets someone with a problem to solve. It favours the connected mind. In acts of collaboration often the unexpected happens.

Be active in trying to help people.

Paying customers.

Your customers are co-creators of your business. If you have an input that makes a real difference to people's lives, that should be something you can sell.

No company has control of the market in which sales are made. The rate of progress in the world outside the firm is always faster than the rate of change inside the firm. Focus on delivering outcomes that DELIGHT the customer.

Talk to people who could be major clients. Your objective with them is to establish a formal agreement.

Keep business and social relationships apart. Your customers decide the terms on which they deal with you.

Rules for the Future Economy

Work happens everywhere, and homes are increasingly becoming work-places. Even the employees of large companies are working more and more from home or from their vehicles and less and less in a central office.

Businesses have always clustered geographically, but today they can cluster virtually too.

Today's market is global.

In sports, the greatest players are able to read the game and learn how to run to where the ball is going, creating space for themselves. This is what you need to do in business too.

Examples of Successful Startups

Virtual Secretary Services :
A Clayton's Secretary is an Australian Virtual Assistant business that's been running for many years. "'A Clayton's Secretary' is the oldest Australian Virtual Assistant Network and the second oldest VA network in the world. Founded by Kathie M. Thomas in 1994, the network spans 7 countries with Virtual Assistants providing all manner of administrative and secretarial support services and beyond."

Training People in Social Networking:
There are lots of people trying to do this. Some of them are very knowledgeable. Other are pretenders.

Personal Coaching :
It takes a good deal of courage to set yourself up as a mentor and guide to others. Some people do this based on life experience. Others train at a university or similar institution and have "qualifications" that may or may not be useful in a real world.

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