Keys to Success: Points 7 & 8

Andrew-Simon2This blog is the last of five covering how to successfully build an organization out on your own without any support. To date I have covered six critical elements: think big, culture counts, beware of under-capitalization, it’s all about people, how to motivate, and lateral thinking.

Today I am going to cover the last two subjects. And I am going to be brief because I know you have “got it.”

Would you ever take a road trip to some secluded place without a road map? Of course not. So why would you run a business without one. Numbers really do run the world – that is your roadmap. It is akin to taking your pulse.

When you start a new venture, figure out what your dashboard needs to look like.
And figure that out early since building that dashboard as part of your initial system is much easier than retrofitting after the fact. Review your numbers on a regular basis. Make sure that your organization understands the implications of the numbers and implement reviews, holding folks accountable on a regular basis. That way you will not be surprised.

Make sure data collection and review is built into your infrastructure and is ingrained into the culture of your organization. Before I took over my last startup, people never looked at sales, a critical element to any business. One year later people were laser-focused on that one element on our dashboard. And guess what, sales were then increasing at a steady pace.

So pay attention to the numbers. This is an early warning system and also helps focus your organization.

Finally and perhaps as important as anything else: Remember that business can be a grind so your other life shouldn’t be!
This is a very personal observation and it works for me. Maybe it isn’t important to you but…make sure your partner is supportive. Life and business are filled with anxiety. It is helpful to have someone on the home front that is supportive of all your ventures. It is also especially helpful to have a partner who understands business, is smarter than you and is capable of challenging you to become better and more successful.

So there you are. Eight key points that have helped me build businesses. Think about them and good luck to you. If you would like to know more about anything I’ve written about, please contact me.