10 Strategies Every Start Up Should Know

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“Baby you can drive my car…”

As the Head Koi of a start up, it seems I’m constantly having a conversation with myself. If you are a founder or business owner, you catch my drift. You’re always talking about what’s going on or not going on in your business. Although I’m a big Marvin Gaye fan and love soul music, I recognize the need for positive focus. Watching your thoughts swim through your mind can be like a Mexican hat dance. Are you conscious about your thought process? Well you should be.

Recognize the importance of test driving your ideas. Talk to colleagues. This will stop you from falling down the proverbial rabbit hole. Otherwise, you will just get lost during the day and wind up hanging loose with the Cheshire Cat.

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“Because every cat has nine lives…”

Want to make your start-up or business more successful?

Here’s a list of 10 strategies to run your start up with more pizazz.

1) Don’t Let Mistakes Discourage You.
Let’s establish a classic start up ground rule: You are going to make many mistakes in your business life. Don’t let challenges and obstacles paralyze you. Gaining effectiveness takes time and methodology. Even the so called experts make mistakes. The key is break to open ground. Run for the gold by flying on the back of audaciousness. Don’t second guess yourself. Remember Edith Piaf’s classic, Regret nothing.

Gather information and collect great tactics by studying horizontally. Cross discipline planning will open your mind and change your strategic approach. Then, when you are ready, you will be comfortable with your decisions. Playing 21 like at a casino is a recipe in lunacy, unless you have a head for counting the numbers. Now you’re ready for step two.

2) Be Assertive.
No point in waiting for Godot. This chap just never shows up. I know. I once waited for someone for 6 months. What a bloody waist of time. Once I got going again, I worked like gangbusters. Brought on board other loonies. We worked like mad and laughed like hyenas. My wife says I am a hyena.

Some pundits say, you should also be conservative with your business. Broad-minded yes. Calculating, definitely. But cautious? Forget conservatism. By the time you make your strategy, the train will have already left the station and you’ll be stuck with a ticket to Palookaville. Having said that make sure your business strategy is on stable ground. Calculated risks win the derby.

3) Never Dis The Competition.
As one colleague says, “What goes around, comes a round”. What’s the point? Generating bad news is bad politics. Leave the snake pit to the reptiles. You can however, differentiate yourself. Why not try a few pages out of No Brainers: The Handbook To Content Marketing. Start a blog or a Facebook page. Give your fans and would be brand ambassadors a reason to cheer you on. In the words of an old Coca-Cola jingle, “It’s a small world after all”.

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“Because the world loves silly love songs…”

4) Heed Your Brand.
Jeff Bezos once stipulated that “Brand is what people say when you are not in the room“. That’s deep. Now go to the next level. Show procrastination to the dust bin. Relegate constantly thinking about the future to the basement. We’ve all met business people who say, “I’ll get back to you on this“. Or better still, “Let’s do lunch sometime“. What they’re really saying is, I’m not interested.

We advocate decisiveness. If you are not decisive then other business people are not going to take you seriously. Being the leader of your company necessitates taking the bull by horns. It shows genuine authority without aggressive tendencies.

5) Get a hearing aid.
What I am advocating is to listen. Most people simply don’t consider the ideas of others. Nobody has a monopoly on wisdom or good ideas. Every notice how certain business people just like talking about themselves? Of course, you have. At a party, they are the party bore. Put a martini in their hands and they can warble for hours. In business, they are worse because they own the show.

You owe it to yourself to listen to others. It’s worthwhile to the success of your venture. Think Carlos Ghosn when he took over Nissan. Sure he had to make some tough decisions, but he listened to everyone and I mean everyone on the shop floor. Not only did he get a buy in from his employees, he built a group synergy where everyone on the team excelled.

Remember: People need to feel valued. One of the ways you can really make others feel appreciated is by lending them your ear and responding accordingly. If you don’t listen, you’re guaranteed to generate dissent. When the ship goes down, it’s too late to say, I’m sorry that I was tone deaf.

6) Implement Revolution No.9
Are you familiar with this Beatles masterpiece? It’s on the White Album. It’s a mix of recorded tape loops woven together under the influence of a plant favored by shamans. It’s possibly the most experimental pop song of all time. Many musicians have been influenced by the Beatles insatiable curiosity to try new things. Do the same thing in your business. I’m not recommending to get as high as a kite as they did before a studio session. I am recommending to stop being complacent. First, it’s dull as scratching sand paper on glass. Secondly, the competition will be only too glad you did nothing. Senseless routines are for deadbeats. Genius requires the bold stroke. Think of the way Alan Ginsberg wrote poetry. Your customers will love your innovative way to keep things fresh.

7) Overcoming Rejection.
Being in business is similar to playing baseball. Nobody has a 1.000 batting average. That includes all star greats like Reggie Jackson. Rejection happens. It’s part of life. Deal with it. Think of this as sculpting your name into the history books. Perhaps if you’ve never been rejected, you’re not trying hard enough to succeed.

8) Hire Only The Best.
In the corporate world and its never ending politics, they say they hire only the best. Sometimes they do. However, many times they only hire people who are competent. Never hire out of desperation. Remember, since this is your business, you not only get to make the coffee but also to select the talent and energy to drive your business to the moon should you wish to go there. That’s what Richard Branson did. Not a bad recipe to follow. Your team will respect your leadership style because its positive and you are on fire to take the whole team to the same destination.

9) Manners Matter.
Be Polite. Never be rude. In today’s world, there are people who just let their hair down once too often. Being polite is not about style. It’s substance. Show the authentic you. Best of all, everyone enjoys positive energy.

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“If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen…”

10) Be Descartes.
I think, therefore I am.” We can still learn a few things from this wise Cartesian. Keep abreast of your industry. That means reading. Yeah, I know, everyone has only so many hours in the day. You know what? The day just got longer. That’s right. Reprogram how you spend your time on and off the field. Why do you think a business tycoon invented PMP? To let us better manage our projects.

Lastly, remember that a business is not a machine. It is an organization of the people by the people. Empower your people. Show you care about them as real human beings. Ask about their families, companions, kids… Attitudinal shifts start at home.

Now go out there. Live long and prosper.

Article Title: 10 Strategies Every Start Up Should Know
Photographs: ES

About The Author
Andrew Scharf shares enchanting stuff on the topics of marketing, innovation, talent development, coaching, enchantment, and craftsmanship. He is also the head Koi at CAREO, a career management consultancy under the WCW Group brand.

For further inspiration
Visit CAREO: Building One Success Story At A Time