Keys for a successful startup!
One of the most asked questions I get as a Startup Management Consultant is "What do I need to do to raise funds and to have a successful startup?" The answer to this question is often more complex than the desired hope of a magic wand that can be waved to poof the result. In truth, starting a business is very hard work and not for everyone! But, for those who have the zeal, passion, drive, ideas and fortitude to embark on the journey it can be done and done successfully.
I remember starting my first business in the early 1990's when being a "startup" meant something totally different than what it means today in the marketplace. I worked and labored 18 hour days sometimes for multiple weeks at a time, just to get my business going and thriving. Startup entrepreneurs are a special "breed" of individuals that seem to have not only good ideas but what I call "passion that cannot be denied". They simply refuse to give up and will not allow obstacles, adversity and challenge stop them from learning, growing, adapting and finding solutions. Does this sound like you? Are you willing to put forth the energy, effort and passion to see your project through to being a successful startup? What will you do when others laugh at you for your "crazy ideas"? If you have the entrepreneurial drive to pursue this journey, then you are probably reading the right article to help you prepare for your startup.
Let's start by sharing some statistics from startups launched in 2018 and published to help entrepreneurs gain an understanding about the startup ecosystem in the United States:
One fact is certain for all startup entrepreneurs, they will tell you they did not have success alone but success was the result of family, friends and supporters who rallied behind their ideas and strong team members who came alongside and helped them make it happen. For me it was my aunt Clara who loaned me $7,000 to start my first real estate company. I would have never accomplished my goals without her love, devotion and support!
My personal passion is to help and inspire entrepreneurs within the startup community. That is why I developed the "Smartup Strategy Process" ™ to provide a pathway to success and prepare startups for funding while empowering entrepreneurs to develop their ideas, concepts and insights into business realities. I also keenly realize that not every new business is tech based and some are non-profit organizations. Where do these entrepreneurs go for help in today's startup ecosystem? The"Smartup Strategy Process" ™ program combines common approaches utilized by accelerators and incubators across the country, and is offered in a 5 - 6 month strategy session format including workshops, benchmark assignments, strategic planning sessions, guided facilitation and support by a 1:1 mentor assigned to your startup initiatives. The program focuses on 5 areas of concentration including:
1. The idea - strategic planning and market analysis strategy sessions to help you develop your idea, define your target market, estimate your market size and develop an engagement process for attracting customers.
2. The Team - team building and leadership development training, identifying team members needed for a success startup, recruiting a qualified team to make it happen and providing basic HR platforms, processes and insights for your startup organization.
3. The Plan - financial planning, funding estimates, strategic planning for goals and objectives.
4. The Pitch - creating your elevator pitch, your formal marketing pitch and marketing strategies to connect with your target audience.
5. The Launch - creating a launch plan and preparing for your "Launch Day/Event" placing the focus on you and your startup campaign.
The Greater Cincinnati, Ohio region has several wonderful startup accelerator and incubator programs that all offer different strategies, approaches and areas of focus. Startup Cincy is a great resource for learning more about the startup ecosystem in the Greater Cincinnati, OH region. The common goal of each of these organizations is to support, build and contribute expertise toward a thriving startup ecosystem within the region. Accelerator programs tend to buy or obtain percentage ownership in a new business they assist and help new startups move through planning for the different stages of funding and positioning of their idea in the marketplace. At The Osborn Group, LLC our approach differs somewhat because we believe offering an affordable program at a set cost without requiring a percentage of the new business best positions the entrepreneur as they move through the different stages of funding for maximum benefit. We acknowledge the need and benefit for both approaches and appreciate the many options entrepreneurs have in the startup community.
Another approach utilized in startup communities or by accelerator programs is to facilitate "competitive" launch events where startups compete for grants or seed funding. Many of these events are very well organized and offer a huge benefit to new startup companies desiring to expose their ideas to a broad community of potential future investors and gain recognition for their efforts and business ventures. At The Osborn Group, LLC our approach differs in that we believe the focus of a launch event should be soley and purposefully on you and your new business venture. We encourage entrepreneurs who graduate from our program to pursue other competitive launch events; but, we give your idea its own moment in a "Graduation Launch Event" focused on you, your team, your ideas and your new business venture.
How does The Osborn Group's "Smartup Strategy Process™ " differ from other programs?
* We DO NOT require startups to offer or agree to an equity share in their businesses. Our costs are fully included in the "Smartup Strategy Process"™ engagement agreement.
* We DO NOT require startups to identify Co-Founders if a idea, concept or insight does not need a Co-Founder as part of their organizational structure.
* WE offer 1:1 focus and individual expert mentors assigned to your team by discipline or area of expertise and create bi-monthly networking opportunities to collaborate with other entrepreneurs from the region.
* We offer a structured "start-to-finish" program outlining our process in advance which includes a pre-scheduled list of strategy session focus topics, worksheets for completing benchmark tasks, assistance in writing your business plan, guidance in formulating your pitch and leadership insights for preparing your launch event.
* We offer access to legal experts concerning patents, intellectual property rights and business entity formation
* We are a hybrid program utilizing both accelerator and incubator components to help you prepare your startup campaign.
To inquire about our programs, costs and startup strategies, complete your inquiry here.
C) Copyright 2019 - The Osborn Group, LLC - All rights reserved. Sharing is permitted and appreciated.
About the Author - Timothy G. Osborn is the Senior Management Consultant/Founder - CEO at The Osborn Group, LLC where " We build top talented teams to create next level solutions and practical strategies that inspire, nurture and empower leading companies in their pursuit to deliver exceptional experiences and achieve peak performance while maximizing profitability. We put the wow in business! ™"
"Expect exceptional experiences every time!"