It's an exciting time. New company, great prospects, money invested, lawyers signed off the paperwork. Money transferred. What now? Start adding value to the company. It's fun meeting people, promoting the product/service. More customers. More income. Break even. Sell the company, lots of money for everyone. That's the picture Business Angels buy into. But is it the reality? What's the impact if you are not focusing on the exit from day zero?
Every day of every year you have the chance to change something. If you don’t change something then everything will stay the same and 2015 could be a repeat of 2014. Just look back at all those missed opportunities…
Our year now starts on the 1st of January which is named after the Roman god Janus; the god of beginnings and transitions. Some might say the god who looks both ways: reflecting on the past and with excitement about the future. But our year didn’t always start on the 1st January. In fact the year used to start on the 25th March under the Julian calendar which was in use England, Wales, and all British dominions until 1752. It was only in 1752 that the British changed to the Gregorian calendar that is now in use worldwide – beaten by the Swedish, French, Russians and Scottish as well as others.
Back to the purpose of this post… to alert you (as if you didn’t already know) that now is the time to take some courageous discussions about the future and make 2015 even more exciting and fun than all the previous years put together!
Do you remember that idea you had for making money you came up with?
Now it’s time to do something with it. Write it down. Speak to your friends and relatives (while they are still around). What do they think? Would they use your product or service? How could it be improved? What would make it more interesting? Who do they think would use this product or service?
Now put together your thumbnail financial plan. Imagine running a company providing your service or product. What are the costs? What is the income? What income do you need to cover your costs? Remember to include your own salary after all the company could not work without a leader.
Does it make sense so far?
Next I highly recommend that you get quality, independent advice about how realistic your plan is. There are very few people with the wide breadth of experience required to do this but seek them out and pay for their time to review your plan dispassionately.
Find out whether you can commercialise the idea and how you can test whether you really have a saleable idea for as little outlay as possible. Lean Commercialisation is a methodology designed to help you achieve exactly this. There’s more on the Meteorical website about how you can do it yourself or contact me and I’ll provide you with some hints.
Here’s wishing you a productive 2015.