Setup the Company. Stabilize the Business
It is the natural continuation of business idea definition and planning, putting the decision taken into practice: you assemble the vehicle, pour the fuel, start the engine and follow the defined roadmap
At this stage, you most likely faced the following dilemmas:
How should my company work?
The business plan defines many aspects in a high level. Now, it is the time to set the details.
If not investing enough effort in careful company setup, you might be hit later by the need of changing it, to adapt to the new situation. Company transformation is more difficult, costly and may fail.
Most of the resources are allocated for business growth. Still, in a pragmatic way, you should consider all the aspects that support your business function and that enables it to grow, for example a scalable and secure IT infrastructure.
What kind of culture I would liketo have in my organization?
A healthy company culture keeps people engaged, and attracts talents. Especially in people intensive business, building the right culture and then making sure it remains sustainable is one of the biggest challenges.
The core team you start with (see Define your idea. Plan your business. Find an investor) is the biggest influencer of the culture. And the culture can attract and keep people, or can push them away.
What kind of people do I need? With what kind of skills?
The business plan should already provide a rough idea on the number of people and their qualification. You should now get into more details, including decision on what to services keep internalized, what to externalize, etc.
What should be my organization structure?
Think of how to group the people, what kind of responsibilities and teams you need, how can they work together. Although the business have just started, and the number of people small, think ahead on making the organization prepared for scaling.
Do you see portfolio based structure (business units based on key services/products offered)? Do you need a shared sales team or a specialized one? These are kind of questions to be asked while setting up the structure.
How should organization function? What are the key processes I need?
If defining the organization structure shows a static picture, defining the interactions in the form of processes complements the image with the dynamic view. Defining processes requires a lot of pragmatism. If not paying attention, processes can either become a burden (if too heavy) or create chaos (if too light or inexistent). It is a matter of balancing the gained clarity and control on one head, and the introduced overhead on the other.
No matter what industry the business will be active into, the go-to-market (sales included) process will decide if the company will survive the first part of the road and how fast the business growth will be. If you have several products or services in the portfolio, each of them may require different approach.
What kind of infrastructure do I need?
All the companies are talking about digitization. You have a big advantage to design the infrastructure without having any historical constraint. In parallel with the processes, you can also pick the right tools (especially supporting the sales and marketing, but also the the ones needed for delivering the services and/or products) and build the infrastructure that will make you processes efficient without bothering with migration from old systems. Keep in mind that the right infrastructure should support your business growth without frequent significant changes and adaptations.
How can I make sure I am on track?
The business plan has an important component of presenting facts (financial numbers, other metrics and assumptions). Once the Journey starts, you need to understand your current situation, how far you are from the planned track, what are the reasons for diverging and, if necessary, what to do to be back on track or adjust the route.
This requires a pragmatic way to measure the business (analytics, financial data) and compare with the plans. A simple but effective reporting system, supported by monitoring processes and fact-based business steering should do the work.
How to put all of these into practice?
So far, we talked more about planning. And all that was planned needs to be executed. The company set up is not done over night, so you might consider put a setup program in place, with clear milestones, monitoring and decision points.
Through our guidance, coaching and direct involvement, in this stage of your Company Journey you can achieve the following results:
Clear vision, mid-term and long-term goals
Well defined, realistic strategy to achieve the envisioned goals
Contact with the right investors interested in financing and supporting your business idea
Well defined portfolio elements, with specific go-to-market approaches
The defined people aspects (e.g. skills, teams, etc.) that will be necessary to start the business and implement the envisioned strategy
The list of core and support processes required for setting up the business, defined in a pragmatic way (especially the go-to-market related ones)
A well documented business plan (investment memorandum), backed up by financial numbers and documented assumptions, to be used as baseline for business monitoring and steering