Several weeks ago, I wrote an article entitled, “Starting a Business While Working at Another.” I was pretty surprised to see the type of response I received to this blog. It generated a tremendous number of new Likes on both Facebook and Twitter.
That got me thinking about what people really want to read about. Was it the experience of starting a new business? Was it my personal trials and errors? Who knows, but the interest in both startups andmy own stories was indeed high.
So what was I going to write about next?
I then realized that I had previously written a few blogs about new ventures. About a year ago, I published one entitled, “Eight Things to Consider When You Start a New Venture.” I have reworked it a little and thought that you, the reader, would enjoy this blog…particularly if you are interested in starting something fresh, some new venture…Take a read!
A Little Background
For most of my career, I have been involved in building new businesses. Some have been within large corporations such as Citicorp, L’Oréal and the healthcare unit of the former Lederle Labs. I helped launch the consumer division for L’Oréal and was involved in electronic banking during its infancy. For Lederle Labs, I was in charge of taking products out of the pharmacy and building a true Health and Beauty Aids business, with distribution into mass merchandisers and food stores.
I have also been an entrepreneur (as opposed to an intrepreneur inside a company). 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.
But hold that thought for a minute. 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. Yet, at the end of the day, there is still a certain amount of overlap.
So while I said there is some commonality, I have built this checklist from my own personal experience…from the view of an entrepreneur. Here it is—my list of eight things you might consider before going out on your own with a startup or new venture! If you want greater details, please click on the eight links.
In my blog written a year ago, I went on to say that “Nothing is earth-shattering about any of the issues I raise. However, neither is a pilot’s checklist. Yet without this checklist, there is always a chance the plane might crash and burn…probably during take-off.”
I also stated in the original blog that I Googled “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 will help you think about things from a different prospective.
So with the above as a preamble, here are, in my experience, the keys to a successful new venture:
- Think Big
- Common culture
- It’s all about people
- Motivate smart people
- Be a lateral thinker
- Numbers run the world
- Get a life outside of business
Let me know what you think! I’d love to hear from you.