I teach at the MBA of the European University of the Canary Islands, so I usually interact with young students who are restless and eager to start their own business. They have ambition, desire to undertake and be masters of their own destiny. They receive well-founded academic training and I know that they are closely anchored with reality. For them and for all the entrepreneurs who are going to set up a business, these recommendations go.
TO SET UP A BUSINESS
These are some mistakes that should be avoided when starting a business or starting a business.
Do not focus on looking for shortcuts.
Many entrepreneurs, especially those from new technology companies, tend to adopt the hacking mentality and look for shortcuts and easy, quick alternatives. The shortcuts to set up a business are fast but they prevent us from knowing the path by which the goal is reached .
Avoid unnatural growth.
The sudden increase in business can be a source of problems because it generates structural decompensation and produces a distortion of the reality of the company’s turnover. It is better to grow naturally, progressively and controlled.
Plan the growth by leaps.
The planning for the gradual growth is necessary. You have to be clear about how to act in all kinds of scenarios, whether favorable or unfavorable. It is necessary to foresee even unforeseen events. And still when setting up a business there will be scares but they will be more bearable.
Never enter what is not necessary.
This approach is a definite problem. Think of building a company like creating an ecosystem: you can not introduce higher level organisms until you have an adequate environment to feed them. When setting up a business, you do not need an office of 200 m2 if you are only two people. There will be time to expand the premises.
Spending more time talking about philosophy.
Talking about the thinking behind a process helps people and informs about the process instead of getting stuck in it. When you set up a business you have to be clear about what you solve or what unmet need you can solve. This implies thinking before acting and being clear about the mission of each process and project. Think before acting leading in the style of Socrates .
Do not see employee turnover as a bad sign.
As your company grows and evolves so will certain roles. Some people can evolve to adapt and others can not. The CEO that I would hire to manage a giant corporation is different from the CEO I would hire to start a start-up. The skills are completely different.
Focus on the creation of a company based on culture and not on processes.
The best companies are based on their culture and not on processes. Why? Successful companies foster innovation and creativity . Apple does not sell computers, it sells a computer with personality that serves to perform certain functions. It is culture that determines success and not processes.
Focus on the product and not on the customers
I often meet entrepreneurs who are very techies; they are all day giving the key or creating very innovative products but … They do not think about the people who will buy these products / services. We create something for someone to buy it for us . We provide value and generate innovation to customers who are people with face and eyes.
Design the commercial strategy at the same time as the product
The team must contemplate different profiles: those that develop and those that sell. If one of these areas fails, the problems will come alone. A product without a sales strategy is useless and a good commercial with nothing to sell either . We must seek the convergence between both necessary worlds.