You’ve made your decision, the dream will become a business, and that business will be a grand success, hopefully beyond your wildest dreams. Before signing a rental agreement and pondering the ergonomics of decorative furniture, consider the realities implicit to start-ups such as yours – Do you need space?
A furnished warehouse and kitschy feature wall hangings or will that come later, after you’ve tested the waters of your chosen industry and considered them ripe for fishing? For now, it’s best to clear out a room at home (or a convenient corner, if you’re not blessed with a spare study nook) and settle in for the fast and fearless first few months of bringing your brain child to life.
What do I need? You ask, sitting at a bare desk and staring at your keyboard, beyond the essentials (think computer, phone, internet etc), what quirky pieces of equipment will help you on your road to tactical victory? Strap yourself in and ready your wallet, these surprising staples will change the way you perceive your initial steps. And no, you don’t need another leather-bound planner!
Starting a business can be a disillusioning experience, particularly when untested ideas can be undone or debunked in a matter of weeks by an increasingly critical field of experts. Keeping track of your short term (3 months), medium term (six months) and long term (one year) goals in an easily accessible format will not only keep your eyes planted on the prize, but remind you about the importance of out-of-the-box thinking.
Charting your progress, needs and business wants will arm you with both determination and foresight, plotting the path you’d like to follow, unswayed by rootless criticism. If you find their perspective valuable however, it would useful to document why, how it applies to your current model and the implications of not taking the actions they suggest going forward.
Formulating the base mechanics of your business now will save you from filling in holes and putting out fires far into the future – Think long term.
Track Investments, Invoices and Progress
Capital is at the front and centre of your mind right now, as new businesses demand a substantial influx of money to get off the ground. Before you rush in, make a list of points requiring your direct attention and divide each month’s targets by folder, placing the current week on your desk – A stacked series of in-trays and out-trays will allow you to manage your financial goals across a five day cycle, transferring completed tasks to the folders of success to your right.
While many of us use websites and spreadsheets for such things (and again, we highly recommend backing everything up), the physical representation of achievement will maintain your motivation, complementing the tracking mechanisms provided by software like Excel and specialist applications. It may sound a little kooky, but the visual representation of completeness will reap surprising benefits long before you noticed their effects, from confidence to increased organisation.
Walk With Confidence
Those of us who base our operations out of the family home may be confronted with the troubling questions of when and where much sooner than expected. Meetings are part and parcel of professional communication, and while you may pride yourself on the prominence and cutting edge personality of your small business (after all, who doesn’t respond to an edge of attitude?), inviting Mr or Ms Blue Chip into your lounge room may feel too intimate to stomach.
Indeed, professionals of yesteryear opted for the liquid lunch and shared airtime with tens of other diners, preferring a socially neutral ground over a personal haven; your options have since been expanded with the advent of hireable boardrooms, offices, and meeting cells – some companies do it better than others, providing flourishes of service and technology, and while clicking here might solve your meeting muddle for now, just think – Soon your idea will mature and an office of your own might just be on the cards, if you seal this deal, the next or a few more down the track.
There are accessories and technologies available to everyone with the right budget, and while a trove of stuff may help you make heads and tails of some of the finer details, real value comes from within and the best office extra you can invest in is the head mounted on your shoulders. Small moments make for big things, will you make the most of every day?