Don’t launch a startup, start a business

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Information about Don’t launch a startup, start a business
Business & Mgmt

Published on March 9, 2014

Author: shermanmohr



This short presentation was provided to an audience on March 12th in Hopkinsville KY for the Regional Entrepreneur Conference. Six Steps in Taking Your Business from Idea to Revenue


WHY I’M SO EXCITED TO BE HERE WITH YOU! Your sponsors are committed to entrepreneurship and what small startups and business means to job growth. You’re interested enough to be here. That makes me interested enough to help. You’re in a business, want to start one, have some problems to solve, or want to grow. I take NOTHING for granted. The most providential of meetings may take place today in this conference.

WHY ME? WHAT WE’LL COVER I am living and doing each step of today’s six steps. We’re going to “Shermanize” the material. shermanize To pour hot water over used coffee grounds to squeeze an extra cup of coffee out of them. From We are going to pour our energy, time, and thoughts over the material and squeeze what YOU need out of the presentation.

STEP ONE: MAKE SURE THE BUSINESS IS A FIT FOR YOUR LIFE When you think about your business, imagine who you have to become in order to run the business you dream of and then find the people who have done so. Do you like those people? Shermaphor: “You become the average of the five people with whom you spend the most time”. Jim Rohn Who comprises your personal board of directors? There are times you have to trade up. If you do this, your life will become more similar to the people with whom you are spending your time.

STEP TWO: MAKE IT A REAL BUSINESS The definitive read on this topic for new entrepreneurs is Michael Gerber’s iconic 90’s business best seller “The E Myth”. The premise is this: if you do something 5001 times and the 5001st time isn’t like the first, you don’t have a business, you have a job. Shermaphor: “Stop using the term start up and start using the term small business.” Baby steps mean everything. A) Form your business entity: for questions B) Read Blue Ocean Strategy or Lean Startup. *Udemy App C) Establish a CRM, accounting system, and email list out of the gate. *,,, Google

STEP THREE: BUILD A TEAM OF COLLABORATORS No one can do everything themselves. NO ONE. Facebook was started with a team in a dorm room. Apple was started with two guys in a garage. HP also in a garage. Shermaphor: Success is more fun when shared. Approach partners with humility and confidence and know your business’s downside. Richard Branson attributes all of his success to understanding his downside. The risk and what it would cost to bail at a given time. Team means a lot of things. A) Partners B) Board of Advisors C) Mentors

STEP FOUR: STOP PLAYING. OFFICE. . Yep. Stop Playing Office. Stop asking for tweaks on the website. Don’t wait on your business cards. Don’t suffer from paralysis of analysis. Build the plane while it’s flying by selling what your offering to the audience who may buy it. Shermaphor: Don’t call it a start up, call it a business. The lesson of this step. Sell, tweak, sell again. Eric Reis of Lean Startup calls these feedback loops. Take the pressure off of yourself and your business. There is no failure. It’s just data and research. Marketing is about finding out if people will buy your product or service, not about actually selling it. *Timothy Ferris,

STEP FIVE: CONTINUE THE REFINEMENT “What do the qualifications of the CEO who will run my company, the company that will exist, have to be four to five years from now?” Michael Brody-Waite, CEO Shermaphor: Marry strategic thinking with personal coaching. He answers that question and assesses whether or not he can grow enough to be that CEO. When he determines he can, he establishes the resources and plan for becoming that CEO and then shares with his personal board of advisors what he must do and what the time frames are for doing so. He then holds them accountable for HOLDING HIM ACCOUNTABLE. *CEO Roundtables like or Life Long Leadership Training through HCC and your chamber or incubator involvement

STEP SIX: MERCILESSLY MEASURE EVERYTHING Will Kaydos of states it this way. Developing and implementing effective measurement systems requires leadership, commitment, and hard work. This is what you get! • The ability to determine if sales and profit problems are caused by strategies, operations, or both; • Early identification of problems and opportunities; • Increased productivity, quality, and customer service; • A clear understanding of what drives financial and operational performance so resources can be allocated to the areas of greatest return; and • A cohesive organization working toward common goals. No matter what approach you use to develop performance measures, bear in mind that the objective is to have the measures in place that will enable managers at all levels to answer key questions. Shermaphor: You can’t improve what you don’t measure.

WHAT WE DISCUSSED Make sure the business you’re running is a fit for you so you run it and it doesn’t run you. Make it a real business. Entity it up, open a bank account, put your initial systems in place. Don’t go it alone. Build your team. Stop playing office. Get started with a minimum viable product or service and improve as you go. Continue to improve. When you do so, do so in a better your best kind of way. Measure everything possible.


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