Eight Things to Consider When You Start a New Venture

Andrew-Simon2For most of my career I have been involved in building new businesses. Some have been within large corporations such as Citicorp, L’Oreal and the healthcare unit of old Lederle Labs. Some as an entrepreneur; some out on my own. And while all my stand-alone start-ups have been in different fields with different market forces affecting the dynamics of the business, there are a number of commonalities.

The dynamics are quite different between start-ups that are part of large corporations and ones that are stand-alone companies. Plenty of people can build businesses within large corporations. There is sufficient cash as well as other resources around that make the probability of success higher. Because of this, the margin for error is infinitely greater. But the even larger challenge is to build something without support, without Mother Earth behind you.

Over the course of the next several weeks I am going to blog about what I believe is important to think about when the margins of error are small and you are hanging over the cliff all by yourself! i.e., when you are in a startup situation and have limited resources to help you grow.

Nothing is earth-shattering about any of the issues I raise. However, neither is a pilot’s checklist. Yet without the pilot’s checklist there is always a chance the plane might crash and burn…probably during take-off.

Incidentally, I Goggled “business checklists” and discovered that all the information under this title is very mechanical. Nowhere did I find information about the pitfalls or practical experiences encountered in the real world. So hopefully, what I write about over the ensuing weeks will help you think about things from a different prospective.

To whet your appetite or perhaps not waste your time, the following are my top eight items that I will be talking about.

  1. Think Big
  2. Common culture
  3. Under-capitalization
  4. It’s all about people
  5. Motivate smart people
  6. Be a lateral thinker
  7. Numbers run the world
  8. Get a life outside of business

See you next time when I start blogging on these items.