By now you should be settling in nicely in your new office, enjoying your new routine and watching the revenues start to climb. Our startup journey to date has seen us raise our initial seed capital, learn how and where to spend in investment in addition to what simple steps to make in order to start generating sales. If you have followed all of this advice- you should have a nicely laid out foundation with a solid, talented team in place. Now we will look at what to do as the temperatures start to climb and the GCC holiday season kicks in.
USING THE HEAT TO YOUR ADVANTAGE
Over the next few months, meetings will start to slow down and in turn sales will drop. As an entrepreneur, and especially a new one, these quieter, hotter months are an ideal time to tie up loose ends and prepare. A kind of calm before the storm. For myself and Brndstr, I actually used last summer to raise my investment and establish the company, so anything is possible.
If you focused on implementing all of the operational software tools and processes at the beginning, then now is a good time to revisit these and make sure they are being used effectively. These tools are very powerful- if used correctly can really help improve efficiency and work flow. Didn’t set these up? Yikes! Make sure you spend time researching and implementing the ones that best fit your business. As already mentioned services like Asana, Pivotal Tracker, HipChat and Google Docs are all fantastic.
So, tools, team and operations are all in place- are you on track with your finances? Oh no! One area that ‘treps tend to overlook are the finances and balance sheet of the business. At the early stages of the startup a Finance Director is probably not someone you had considered- fair enough. To employ a person who only looks after three or four people may not make sense. However, these can’t be overlooked and as the Big Cheese of the company you will need to make sure it’s done. My advice would beat the end of each week take a look back at the finances and neatly bring everything back into line. If you find yourself spending more than a day or two on your filing it might be time to get your recruiting gloves out again.
LICENSES AND PERMITS
Depending on when and where you’ve established your empire, you need to make sure that all of your licenses and permits are up to date. Some zones require an annual renewal, others can be up to three years- either way make sure you have a solid grip on this.
While the business and office seem quieter, now is a good time to get on top of the “boring” part of being an entrepreneur. No one likes paperwork, however it needs to be done and you’re the person for the job. One of the tools I personally use the aforementioned Asana. It’s a brilliant to-do list tool and works very well: From project managing your teamto setting your own personal lists, it helps keep everything in one place and puts you on top of your game.
GROWING THE TEAM
How big is your team? Is it big enough? Are they working quick enough? These are all questions that I am sure you will ask yourself frequently. Trying to understand what features to roll out and when to get them to market is always a tough decision. A few articles I read recently say it’s better to get it to market sooner than later, as it will never be ready. This is very true. At Brndstr we released our first Beta two months after launching. Six months later came the second major release and even then we left some features out. One question I always ask the guys at Brndstr HQ is do you think we need anyone else? When they tell me that we would benefit from an extra body I then start my talent search. The summer months are always a good time for this.
If you haven’t yet then set yourself a road map and detail when future releases will take place and what features they will include. It won’t always be possible, but try and stay as close to this map as possible. You will see as things develop you will most defiantly need to recruit and build on your team.
TURN THE AC UP AND GET MOVING
Right then, before we all melt and people start jetting off on holiday, give yourself time and plan your moves over the summer. As always I can only comment from firsthand experience, however an entrepreneur steering their own ship will know time is the most valuable part of the business.
Now you have a little extra make good use of it and chip away at that never ending to-do list. Best of luck fellow ‘treps and stay cool. See you next month!