There are two sides to every business. The product and service side of things and the operational side of things. Not every great business idea is accompanied by a well-run business, and not every great business operation has a worthy product or service.
Striking the balance of both is what is needed to succeed in today’s business world. Interestingly enough, a lot of businesses focus so much on the product or service that they neglect many important aspects of their business operation, waiting until they have more money, clients, and infrastructure.
If you find yourself lacking good business structure, we can help. You can always find another product or service to offer your customers but if your business operation is poorly run, it’ll never matter how great your business products are. Here are some ideas to help strengthen your business.
Human Capital Matters
A lot of business owners are looking for the best people at the lowest prices. While a lot of startups have a great deal of financial capital after getting backed or having an investor come forward, that money doesn’t always make it into the hands of people who can help. We’ve all heard of the startups that have blown their entire budget on cool desks and fancy chairs only to have second-class employees sit in those chairs and use those desks.
Your money is better spent investing in people who can help get your business off the ground. It’s also important to point out that the people who help start your company may not be the people who grow your company. It’s not unusual to get to a point in business development and find that you need to replace your entire staff, or at least, a great deal of it. At different points of growth, you’ll need different things from different people.
Infrastructure and Security
With any amount of infrastructure comes the responsibility to secure it. Whether we’re talking about digital assets, such as computer files or cloud-based client files, or we’re talking about your physical location and asset base, you need to protect your business operation. This is often an area that businesses only consider when advised by legal teams or their insurance policies. Security, while vital to the success of any business, is not the first thing people think of when starting a business.
You’ll hear a lot of “we’ll do this for now and upgrade later.” That scrappy thinking might be great for prototyping your product, but when it comes to protecting that product, selling yourself short is not going to cut it. If you sell a digital product, or if any aspect of your operation is controlled by electronic files, you’ll need to consider ways to protect that information. Multi-factor authentication, or MFA, is an important part of controlling any files or access you have and have to administer to your team. What’s also needed is a way for you to retrieve files from the Cloud or a backup system if your digital enterprise files are lost, corrupted, or stolen.
Many startups are living for the now. They aren’t thinking about 5 or 10 years down the road. That’s just the nature of startups. Many are just working toward an exit strategy but that’s not a long-term plan. Business owners, whether they plan to exit or not, should develop and follow, at least to some degree, a long-term plan so that the infrastructure and foundation of the business is intact.
This is necessary for a number of reasons. First, there’s no guarantee that your company will be acquired or bought out. Second, even if it is, it may take years for that to happen. Third, you’ll run out of money a lot faster than you think you will and you’ll need a game plan for continuing to operate toward your exit. Finally, your business is only as good as its potential and if you’ve not taken the time to plan for what’s around the corner, investors might not see the potential in what you’ve built. It needs to at least look sustainable to those interested in taking it off your hands. Having a future plan is good for business and it’s just good business sense.
If you are thinking about starting a business or you are already in the throws of startup life, consider putting things in place sooner rather than later so that you are prepared for the future and can handle things as they come to you. Paying attention to the business of business is an important part of startup life so don’t neglect the things you think can wait. They are all important to your success now and later.