Yes, the ‘back to school’ season is upon us and whilst we remember those butterflies in the stomach, this is also a good time for many of us to seek to reconnect with our career change / startup or scaleup.
So, let’s ask it…what’s next for you? What’s next for your startup / scaleup / social enterprise?
Okay, asking is the easy bit – how do you go about answering it?
To start with, take a look at the Decision Graphic (above) that we’ve built to help guide your answer…
On one side, you have a series of key questions, on the other, a series of potential answers.
Then of course, you can move through and around the Decision Graphic.
Perhaps the place to start is with the series of questions – and whilst the graphic represents those as Yes / No binary answers, it is likely that they are a work in progress and you can improve your answers, so let’s take a look:
‘Are you receiving an income…‘ – what can you do to secure an income either from freelancing, renting out your home or early sales from your startup? The more you can do to build your cashflow now, the freer you’ll be to make the most of your startup.
‘Are you working solo…‘ – what can you do to build your team / increase the resources you can tap into? Remember, some people will help and other hinder your progress – largely because of where you are on your journey, so add resources wisely.
‘What stage is your product…‘ – can you release something quickly and gain valuable customer insight that will help you develop faster? A (historic) big danger was hanging onto a great piece of software for too long; sometimes, these days, we release too early (because customers have higher expectations and might not take a half-baked product seriously).
‘Partner disputes / fallouts…‘ – one of the biggest killers of great businesses and social enterprises is a fallout among the founders. The best advice I can give you is this – get help, get it fast! Being a co-founder is like being in a marriage – you have to find a way to make it work or exit well, but professional help will significantly improve the outcome regardless.
‘Do you need industry contacts…‘ – again, what can you do right now to improve this? It probably involves picking up the phone to call someone you’ve been emailing or avoiding calling for a while…
Lastly ‘Do you want finance…‘ – I’ve asked this LAST and also, whether you WANT finance – few businesses need it, if you can answer the early questions, so it really comes down to what you want. And guess what? Investors love a business that doesn’t need them!
Good luck with answering your questions – I hope they inspire you to go further and achieve more!
ps. I’m a startup / scaleup coach working with career changers, entrepreneurs and social enterprise founders. If you want to join one of my free online seminars then please come and join my private founders group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/MediaModo/.