Excessive planning does not work in a startup company; instead actions must be allowed to “speak”. Current situation and achievements describe the moment in time which a company is currently going through. Have results been achieved, do the customers believe in the product as much as an entrepreneurial team and is the company moving forward or has it already been marking time for a year?
” The pain you feel today will be the strength you feel tomorrow. For every challenge encountered there is opportunity for growth”
– Ritu Ghatourey
The current situation and achievements of a company can be analysed in terms of marketing, sales, product readiness level, agreements and cash.
The results of marketingare assessed in accordance with the degree of recognition the company has achieved a) generally and b) in the target market in which company operates. The quality and amount of marketing and communication material as well as newspaper articles also serve as an indication of the results achieved in marketing.
The results of future salesare indicated by the company’s a) tender book and b) order book and history, and c) turnover. The value of the tender book and order book as well as the contagion rate are the most important aspects, as they indicate the future prospects of the company. Paying and satisfied customers and growth in customer numbers are the best indication that the business idea and product work. It is for this reasons that sales work must be started at as early a stage as possible (well before the product itself is even ready). The selected´ business ideas only work with the right customers.
The product’s level of readiness predicts the necessary time required and resulting costs: how long will it take before the product is ready to be sold and what it will cost. It is self-evident that a finished product is better than a plan and that a piloted product is better than one that is only finished. If a company has a finished product but lacks sales, thought needs to be devoted to considering where things went wrong. Does the product actually solve the market’s problem and bring added value to customers or is this simply the manufacturers’ imagination. If this is the case, should the team be strengthened?
Contract management is frequently neglected in startups. Well drafted agreement, however, are the best indication that the company has committed partners, employees and customers. So committed that they are ready to put things on paper and sign their name to it. There is no point in trying to persuade investors with oral agreements – it will not work.
The cash situation increases understanding of a company’s condition. Is the company a) on the brink of bankruptcy or b) is investment needed to get over the valley of death/a crisis or c) is investment being sought to expedite more aggressive growth? On the other hand, it also gives an indirect message regarding the condition of the company’s processes and whether the company is able run profitable business operations not only in the plans on paper but in the real world.