As we come to the end of the year, taking stock of the year gone by holds well for everyone - startups included. So rather than jotting down random resolutions, wouldn’t it be better to spare some time to make a concrete plan for the way ahead in the coming year. This holds so much true for business entities as well. So as an entrepreneur, you need to introspect on the goals achieved and missed in the previous year. Missed out on a major client? Fix a plan to ensure they get on board this year. The marketing plan needs fixing? Gather data on practices which worked for startups world over. Workplace diversity on your mind? Identify ways by which you can ensure your organisation is all in for inclusivity.
There could be a number of resolutions you should have in mind but ensure that you work on these three fixes first.
While the birth of an idea may happen in individual minds, the life of the idea depends on the co-operation of a collection of minds, that believe in that idea. So rather than being a one-person army, involve others in the discussion and work together.
In the words of an American entrepreneur, Sam Walton- “We’re all working together; that’s the secret.” In the coming year, share some of your power. Make a conscious effort to avoid micromanaging affair. That could very well be the key to your success.
Less rigidity in the hierarchy and more ownership of core ideology can help create more responsible individuals. The sense of belonging helps sync your team to the vision and mission of the company, which in turn will be the impetus to grow and develop as a whole, rather than on an individualistic level. Hence, distributing power is a win-win situation.
The initial stage of getting your startup up and running could come in the way of building a consistent digital presence. But in the year 2018, assessing your digital presence and coming with a plan is critical to staying in touch with the new-age consumer.
Startups need to take up the resolve of making their digital presence more consistent. This can be done by way of participating in social conversations that are relevant to their core beliefs. Efforts also need to be put to invest in the right technology. This can improve many verticals of the organisation, prominently customer engagement.
As Ian Schafer, the Founder of Deep Focus, CEO at the Engine Group said, “Innovation needs to be part of your culture. Consumers are transforming faster than we are, and if we don’t catch up, we’re in trouble.”
The strength of any business is the collective strength of all the people involved. It’s not just enough to invest in the right talent but to also nurture, develop, and retain talent. Hence, a myopic view of allocating budgets for such objectives will ensure that you stand to fail more than win.
By providing a platform for talent development, your business stands to gain in talent retention, leadership pool and a positive image among the business community.
“Confidence comes from discipline and training.” - Robert Kiyosaki, Founder of the Rich Dad Company
“I think it’s very important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better. I think that’s the single best piece of advice: constantly think about how you could be doing things better and questioning yourself.” – Elon Musk, Founder of Tesla and SpaceX
Reflecting on what Musk says, organisations need to put a system in place which collects holistic feedback on their overall performance, including the finer details of success or even failure.
As your business grows and reaches new landmarks, you often tend to miss out on the tiny factors that contributed to the success. Always keep a keen eye on the many unseen patterns emerging as the organisation expands. So rather than chest-thumping on the victories, take time to reflect on the feedback and how you can prepare yourself for another win. Whether it be the addition of employees, or acquiring new tech, or change in process, observing the minute and organic shifts allow you to determine what works and what needs to be worked upon.
A startup may be small but it must dream big. By dreaming big we don’t mean spending outlandishly and running your budget into the ground. It is a good resolution for startups to curb their desire to spend their budgets on superficial things that don’t benefit the business. A fancy office is fine, but if there’s another need that has a greater say on business outcomes, the fancy office idea needs to go on the back burner.
“Don't tell me what you value, show me your budget, and I'll tell you what you value.” ― Joe Biden, American politician.
It’s okay to have missed the train in 2017, but what matters now is how you wish to be the proponent of change for your venture in 2018. Never think it’s too late to reboot the journey, what matters most is the conviction to stay on course with the resolution for the year ahead. So keep these pointers in mind and chart ahead to level up your entrepreneurship game in 2018.