Your fund raising efforts were successful. You have the funds and you understand your field of expertise. But you’re not a “business person”.
How do you get from zero to successful without a background in incubating businesses?
Here are 6 steps to help get you going:
The following tasks should already be complete as they were likely necessary in obtaining funding:
– Market Research – validating your business concept and market demand through a professional market research firm
– Business Plan – detailed record of every aspect of your planning for business success
1. Trusted Advisors – There is no question your first move should be developing your team of trusted advisors. This carefully chosen team will prove invaluable in deciphering the complexities of the business world and getting your business moving successfully.
They may become all or part of your advisory board, a logical progression. If you have funding, you likely have both an attorney and accountant – hopefully very carefully chosen.
The other critical component of your team of trusted advisors is your coach.
I’ve been this essential team member many times and understand the role.
These three advisors are the first tool needed for your journey.
The most important attribute of this team is honesty. You need each advisor to be extremely candid with each other and you. There can be no compromise… no conversations where someone is left out… no politics. You must be able to count on hearing the straight facts each no every conversation, even if you don’t like the message.
2. Key Position Hiring – Assuming your market research and business plan are completed and current, it’s time to do some more critical planning including setting up your business structure and identifying your key early hires, likely starting with a human resources (please don’t call it H/R!) leader.
Your early hires will likely be members of your team and you will likely need and desire to be in the middle of this process.
Your Boardroom Metrics Coach can help you with the headhunting particulars.
3. Business Structure – While all of this is going on, your attorney and accountant – along with several of your new key leaders – should be putting the finishing touches on your business particulars including incorporation, registering your corporation with the federal and state/provincial governments, selecting an ERP system, setting up your government filings and many other key tasks.
This is high risk territory as any failure in these critical areas could lead to fines or worse.
4. Vision Framework – Your coach should moderate a one or two-day off-site session to establish your Vision Framework.
Building a visual representation of who you are, what you do, what you stand for and many other important aspects of your framework is an art.
Your coach should prioritize this early in your building process and nothing you do will be as important as this session.
5. Strategic Planning – Of course, your senior leaders will need to spend time alone, with their peers and with you organizing their components of the strategic plan.
This starts with your business development strategy consisting of sales, marketing and product line management. An Internet domain, web site and social media profiles & content are immediate needs.
Operations will need to master their system for delivery and ongoing customer delight (satisfaction is never good enough).
Your financial system will quickly need to include your ERP system including payroll as well as setting up a supply chain team and system.
Don’t forget your bank accounts including checking, payroll and a sweep account.
6. Information Technology – I.T. is another key consideration. Consider the name. It is your information which is comparable to blood – essential.
Your CRM system must be obtained and customized. Will it be traditional or become the actual workflow system for your whole company – easily done with some major CRM platforms such as Salesforce.
Everyone will need computers with connectivity. Windows or Apple? Mobility is essential for many people in most companies.
These are critical considerations!
While you’re considering this daunting to-do list, this is just the beginning.
There is much more to do. The good news is that your Boardroom Metrics Business Coach is here to help you through this process.
Our experience in incubating and growing businesses is a perfect complement to your specialized knowledge in your field.
Together, we’ll make the startup process successful and enjoyable!
I hope this lesson on business incubation with funding in-place has you thinking.
“When you’re green, you’re growing; when you’re ripe, you’re rotten”