At CEBit in May I was fortunate to listen to Rod Bishop of Jayride (see the blog on Jayride’s expansion questions) and heard his 6.5 steps to success. It is very simple and straight forward. So here is my version of the 6.5 steps loosely based on his presentation:
1. Give up your job. To make it all work you need to spend 12 or more hours per day on your baby. Working for someone else at the same time is just a distraction.
2. Find a co-founder. Make life easier by sharing the work load with someone else who is enthusiastic and complements your skill set. Check out Pitching for Management for ideas on how to do this.
3. Get someone else on board. Two is a partnership. Three a team. With your third person on board you have an “employee” who takes some of your load while you are doing everything else.
4.Get advisors. Find some good advisors who know about different business areas. Legal and tax are obvious candidates but what about Social Media; Project Management; Process Development; Fulfilment; etc. Find people who have experience and can short-cut your development cycle to a successful solution.
5. Get traction. Sell one. Sell another. Sell more. Prove that the customers (people who pay you money) are out there and that they want your product.
6. Get partners. Find other companies who complement your product and work with them to help them sell your product. If you have to, cross promote!
6.5 Get capital. Once you’ve proven the market exists and shown there are people out there who want your product then raise some capital to develop and expand your market presence and profit. Why is this 6.5? Well, if you’ve done 1-6 really well, you may never need to raise capital since the income from the customers pays for everything.
And finally a simple rule: “Don’t pay anyone (or give them anything) unless you really have to.” Many people will help you succeed in return for acknowledgement, references, and the association with a successful entrepreneur.
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