What is at the heart of the scalable business you are developing? A new product or a service? Indeed, that is essential. A logical next step would be to start designing that product, right?
Just hold on for a bit more.
A scalable business is well, a business. And business is much more than the service or the product alone. There’s the customer—without him or her, there is no business. Hmm, so we’ll need the way to reach our customers. And yes, surely, at the end of the day, a business is there to make money. In fact, all of these work together, as fine mechanics of a well oiled machine.
Co-Founding a business is a lot like entering a marriage with children
You don’t have to do all this alone. You can share this exciting road with a smart and committed partner with complementary skills.
A successful partnership can increase your chance of success, make you go faster, and make the whole journey more enjoyable.
But if you turn a blind eye to one of these deadly mistakes, your business can run into a sputtering stop. And leave you with a bitter taste in your mouth and a bunch of hurt feelings.
So here are the most common mistakes entrepreneurs make when co-founding their business (and how to avoid them).
How do you know which idea has the most potential?
Developing a new business is filled with uncertainty and risk.
Sir Richard Branson is probably one of the most prolific business scalers out there. He has started more billion dollar companies than anyone. One of the principles he espouses in his book Like a Virgin is that you always have to protect the downside. It is like wearing a helmet when you go skiing. Knowing that the precious melon on your shoulders will be at least somewhat protected enables you to ski like a hero. At least a hero in your own mind.
Minimizing the risk starts by analyzing ideas, and choosing the right one to focus on. Especially if your goal is to develop a more scalable business. Some ideas simply don’t even have the potential to scale.
But how can you know that up-front? How do you analyze your ideas in practice? This post walks you through 18 questions that will help you evaluate or tweak your ideas so they stand a better chance.
Look around you. Everything man-made you see started as an idea. How will you change this world? Because with a scalable business, you will impact many lives, and will make your dent in the Universe.
Many rightfully say: “ideas are dime a dozen”, and “it’s all in the execution”. But your initial idea will frame and guide much of what’s coming. And even more importantly:
Some ideas are scalable, some are simply not.
Market choice impacts everything. Is it a real market inhabited by buyers, a hype frequented by the-next-big-thing sniffers, or a dead-end infested by freeloaders? Will you drown in a sea of competition or burn out by trying to create a market that simply isn’t there? Does it offer enough room to grow? Will you be able to attract external investment?
Yes, it impacts everything.
Market choice is made early, and determines your likelihood of success. It makes a difference between a hobby and a business. Between having a fun experience and getting stinking rich.
But how do you answer all these questions? How can you make such an important decision so early on? Here are a couple of concrete steps you can take, none of which involves reaching out for your crystal ball.
Today, you work, and then you get paid. With little or no delay. So as long as you want to get paid, you have to work. If you want to get paid more, you have to work more.
You are here because you want to break out of this cycle.
You want to be smart. To work more up front and get a delayed, but bigger reward. That is the key mechanism of a scalable business.
Unfortunately, this upfront work can take some time. So you need time, and still need to eat and pay your rent. So how do you fund this phase before the delayed reward start kicking in?
Make or buy? Commission a bespoke, custom made software application, or buy a refined, standalone product someone else is developing? You are lucky if you can choose. If the requirements fit, the choice should be a no brainer. Here are 5 reasons why a product always beats a bespoke system.