Make no mistake; to manage a vivid startup, it’s like flying a jet. The excitement and the anticipation of the unknown makes you sick the first time, and probably make you sick again through your flying courses. The only thing that helps in taking the edge off is to fly more! You, like a pilot, should have a starting point, a course, a map and numerous instruments helping you achieve your objective, which is to safely land your plane on time and in place. The starting point is your idea, the course is your business plan, the map is your vendor’s guidance along with best practices and finally the instruments are your carefully selected SaaS tools.
You are ready for takeoff, and no matter the hours logged in the “air” with your instructors, now it’s time for your solo, and it’s you with your startup jet and your map. Flying is all about energy management and a pilot knows at all times how to manage fuels and altitude. Similarly, you should know when and how you spend your precious budget to reach your next milestone. Always stick to your charted course. Your startup business plan is your map full of waypoints that have been agreed by your vendors before “flight”. These, are not simply some dots in the middle of nowhere, rather they represent two things:
- Heading: Always evaluate and re-evaluate your current position in relation to the market and your business plan
- Energy (Speed and Angels): Based on the milestone reached you should calculate if you’ve under or overspent. If you’ve overspent, you should be able to know why and take corrective actions immediately. If you’ve underspent then either you are off course and you didn’t realized, or your “pre-flight” calculations were wrong! Check your business plan again and hope is the latter. In any case, don’t panic.
You should always, always rely on your instruments. Flying your startup jet is not about intuition or impressive aerobatics. At your cockpit’s right, there’s your state of the art cloud CRM Project Management software acting as your situational awareness panel. Look at your “fuel” gauges to manage your budget, your “altimeter” to see your position relative to market competition and your “oil pressure” to determine how much you can stretch your limited resources.
At your left, you have your Project/Tasks cloud suite acting as your engine/throttle manager. Apply throttle responsibly to achieve your projects and reach your milestones. Check your budget consumption, your market position and your resources availability at all times and especially before applying more throttle and re-calculate these indices in each waypoint in your business plan.
Far up, you have your collaboration tools to manage the comms between your colleagues, your vendors and your customers. Track all incoming information based on priority (criticality), to make sound decisions on the fly and keep track of productivity measurements, while using Business Intelligence reports.
Lastly, be agile and forward thinking anticipating the unexpected. You might be in positions (more than once) requiring course modifications and adjustments. Rely on your instruments, get your readings, re-calculate and do whatever it takes to get back on course. Your destination is to make your idea a product to be used and enjoyed by many. This is your flight. Enjoy it to the maximum. Speed and angels may always be with you.