Having seen – and helped – more than a few start-ups, I have found that a majority of the issues can be put into three categories:
Firstly, there are a lot of misconceptions around starting your own business:
- Being an entrepreneur is for others – you have to have a gift!
- It is just like doing what I did at work, but doing it for myself!
- I don’t understand why the bank are reluctant to finance my project?
Then there is the overwhelm:
- I’ve got this idea – now what do I do?
- So much info – VAT, Website, Payroll – where do I start?
- What about legal, IP, Contracts – its so daunting so can I miss that bit?
- What about Marketing, what is the secret?
- Where are my customers, how do I find them?
But most devastating of all, the fear:
- I hear most start-ups go bust – how can I not be a statistic?
- How do I protect the business from rivals?
- It was easy in a big office but hard to stay motivated in my box room?
- Frankly, it is lonely!
The last thing you want – and I want – is for your great idea to flounder, to fail to take off. Don’t fail to take that step. Don’t fail to grab the opportunity to get rich or live your dream. The truth is that there has never been a better time to be an entrepreneur. All of these issues can be addressed and overcome.
What I don’t recommend is the DIY approach. I can tell you that the lowest cost route is invariably the high risk, high stress route. Don’t rely on luck. Too many start-ups fail very early on. Don’t be one of those statistics
The advice given to me, which I’m passing on to you, is get professional help and guidance for your new venture.
But what kind of advisor?
A recent report by Coutts the Bank said that finance advisers are the most in demand. The other banks have responded by creating a mentoring (dad’s) army of retired bank managers – but are these the right people to turn to?
I would suggest that what you need is an accountant who is also a start-up specialist. Someone who is an expert in cash management but also has a commercial mindset. Someone who can motivate, coach and mentor you to success.
You need a structured program to clarify the misconceptions, prioritise the overwhelm and overcome the fear. A program that helps by addressing the issues in three easy chunks – the ‘Three Cs’of business:
- Calling – The ‘What’ and the ‘Why’ of your business, about external orientation.
- Culture – The ‘How’ and the ‘Who’ of your business, about internal orientation.
- Cash – The financial viability, or money side, of your business, the cash-flow and margins.
All of which are delivered using a systematic methodology known as CIGAR.
By using a simple to understand, but very effective, modular structure, you get a start-up program that encourages understanding and participation. The vital benefits being:
- You know where you are
- You know where you are going
- You know what results to expect
There isn’t room in this brief introduction to tell you all about the Five Questions, describe the Three Cs in detail, or explain how CIGAR works. So, if you want to know more then simply complete the form, top right, and I’ll get right back to you with the answers.