Welcome to a new series of articles aimed at helping entrepreneurs and founders to start and scale a business. In this series we will be going back to basics and examining some of the questions and areas of concern that many founders or would be founders have. Whilst ‘basic’, nevertheless these topics can be fundamental to setting an early-stage business on the right track for success.
Back to Basics
Having decided whether to start your entrepreneurial journey as a sole founder or as a co-founder you will then be able to properly develop your idea and your business. Whatever your business plans and structure, and whatever your ultimate aims are with regard to scaling your business, there will always be many different tasks to be attended to and the smaller the business and the fewer the resources the harder this can be.
In any aspect of life, each of us will have different dreams and aspirations, and what we wish to achieve. This is no different for entrepreneurs and business founders. And why should it be? It can often be wrongly assumed that all founders are looking to scale their business as quickly as possible and to grow it to be as large as possible.
Pitch decks and business plans. Every early-stage business with any thought of expansion, even if only modest expansion, should have them. And every founder of a start-up should prepare them. A very common mistake made by many entrepreneurs is that these two documents are seen as only being necessary if you are intending to raise finance; but that is simply not true.
Of all the areas of starting and scaling a business that most founders are unsure of it is raising finance. For some, the questions are more basic, whilst for others the questions can be more detailed. Perhaps two of the reasons why there are always so many questions about raising finance is that it is so important for the future growth of the business and indeed that it is such a complex area.
Sometimes in business, and indeed in life itself, it is very easy to miss the obvious or, put another way, not to realise that some very basic truths or something that should be expected is not always immediately realised. These points are easy to see with more experience or with the benefit of hindsight, but for those starting out in business that is not always easy.
Anyone that has started their own business, and even those that have thought about it but not made the jump as yet, or indeed decided not to do so in the end, all recognise that it is a big decision. A very big decision. And as such, it is a decision that is often deliberated over for a long time before it is acted upon. Certainly, a lot of research and clear thinking needs to be done before committing.
So far in this ‘Back to Basics’ series we have looked at nine fundamental areas that entrepreneurs and would-be founders either consider or should be considering, both before and during their startup journey. These have covered: Should I Find a Co-founder?; Working with Advisors; To Scale or Not to Scale?; Pitch Decks and Business Plans; Think Green!; Raising Finance; Basic Truths; Cash Flow is Everything; and Second Thoughts.