Running a start-up is challenging. It takes grit and determination to make it work. As well as time. The one thing that most entrepreneurs have not got much of. Many are still working their day jobs and taking care of their families while trying to get their business off the ground.
Fortunately, there are ways to make things easier. At the top of the list is using the right tools. Particularly tools that provide direction and keep you on track. Meaning that what little time you have is spent doing the tasks that will drive your business forwards.
A clear mission
From the start, you need to be very clear about your mission. Often, for startups, the mission is as simple as filling the gap in the market that you have spotted. For example, setting up a food cart at a busy station with the aim of making sure that 95% of your rush hour customers can complete their purchase in 5 minutes or less.
Your mission is your why, your guiding light, the reason you are setting up your business. Constantly referring to it will help to inform the critical decisions you are making when establishing yourself. For example, for the new food kart owner, how fast the machines they are going to use can make the drinks would be a critical consideration, when deciding which one to buy. They would also make finding a decent pre-ordering app they can use a priority.
This mission statement generator makes the process of creating yours a lot easier. You soon get to understand how to structure and phrase things and the examples they use will spark ideas for your own mission statement.
Create a business plan
It is also wise to have a business plan, from the start. It makes you sit down and work out the steps you are going to need to go through to make your dream of running a successful business come true. Creating one pushes you to think about things in a more organized and detailed way.
There are lots of apps and software programs out there that can help you with this process. But for startups, GoSmallBiz is a particularly good option. Their award-winning business plan builder has been around for nearly two decades. During that time, it has evolved to become a highly focused tool that many startups have benefited from using. They offer a range of other services that can help too including things like LLC incorporation, setting up tax IDs, etc., which for a USA startup are all essential.
Also, read – How Startups Can Save On Website Design Costs
Use OKRs to laser focus your day-to-day efforts
Once you have a business plan in place, you will naturally start to identify specific tasks and landmarks you will have to reach. In theory, you could make a list of them and tick them off one by one. That is OK, but without a structured and focused approach to each task, you will inevitably waste time and make mistakes.
A better approach is to use the Objective Key Results (OKR) framework to set measurable objectives for each step. It is the framework that Google adopted during its first year. The OKR process enabled them to grow from nothing into the huge corporation that you see today. For them, the framework proved so effective that they are still using it 22 years after they first started doing so. A compelling reason for any entrepreneur to find out more and consider using this approach themselves.
If you are looking for an OKR platform that adapts to the needs of your business as you grow, ZOKRI is a particularly good option. It enables you to have Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and Objective Key Results (OKR) sitting together and being managed under one system. As well as being very intuitive. Importantly, they also offer training and coaching, which enables you to use the platform effectively right from the start. Or you could give one of the other platforms a try. Clickup and Ally are two interesting alternatives. As is Kazoo, which has an open API policy, providing you with the chance to exchange data between more than one OKR system. Although, for most startups, the best approach is to stick with one platform. Typically, the simpler you keep things the easier it is to get things done.
All the above tools enable you to focus on what matters for your business. Those start-ups that use them daily and review progress every week grow fast and do so in a way that does not waste time or money.