When I started out with a new venture or, rather partnered with a friend for a new venture, there were few things that we realized about startups and how they function differently. Having worked in the corporate sector for the longest while possible, it was difficult for us (my partner and me) to understand what we were doing wrong. We were late with our projects, our hires won’t stay for long, and so on and so forth; the list of problems just got stronger with each passing day.
So, what did we do? We started with understanding where we went wrong. For starters, what we were doing that was taking us so long?
Once we started examining the issues, we realized, unlike the corporates, our startup was not organized at all. Now, you may ask me which startup is organized? Well, that’s the sad part! We always believe that startups are meant to be disorganized, and we never fail to point that out. However, that’s not true! Startups should be treated as any other corporate and we should work on organizing them.
Here are a few tips that should help you organize your startups right from the beginning so that you don’t face massive failures in projects.
Manage your product development
If you are a product-based startup, the development of the product is crucial to the success of your startup. However, you may not be entirely dependent on your in-house team to complete the tasks. For instance, there are various aspects of the product that you might get developed from another team, placed outside.
If you don’t have a process, milestones and deadlines in place for the product development, you may feel that your product won’t get developed in the scheduled time period. That will eventually mean spending more time and money and resources on getting the product done.
What can you do in this situation? You need to time your resources, use project management tools and even sit down with the team to understand where they are stuck. Just like corporates or any other established business, you should invest in time-trackers and project trackers. Make sure you have realistic project deadlines in mind, and you have set the milestones properly before handing over the job to the team.
Managing remote teams
When you have teams that are based out of office as well as within the office, there is always a communication issue that you might face. Tracking the different teams, and the work they have done can be difficult, while you are sitting in the office.
There is always a solution. You simply need to organize a 15-minute meeting every morning. This meeting needs to be attended by one and all. You can set it up virtually, in case you have a remote team working on the project too. Get the reports from everyone, and ask them the status and the deadlines they would like to propose for the project.
Once you have communicated the issues and also talked about the status and got off the phone, you will be relieved. You know what the people are working on, and it would be easy for you to offer the end results on time to the client.
You can even use the tools that help assign tasks, track the overdue dates and other things that need to be tracked with the teams you have on-board.
Set real objectives
When you are dealing with multiple teams for a single project, there are times when you should ideally set and track objectives. The most difficult aspect for startups is task completion. You are never on time with the completion of the scheduled tasks for the day. For instance, there are days when most of the tasks on the task list are lying there, waiting for someone to pick it up.
However, that is not needed anymore. Give the team members tasks, and make them accountable for the completion of the tasks. If the tasks are not done by the evening, make them sit and get it done. It is much like the homework that we used to do as kids. If we never finished the homework on time, because there was just too much to do like playing and talking, then our parents used to make us sit till late to finish that homework.
However, if there is a valid point, like the task list is too long or, the task list is unreal, then you should allow for the tasks on the list to be done on the next day. Make sure the people who are completing the tasks get an achievable task list.
Well-defined business strategy
How often have you been asked what is the end goal of your startup? If you have no goal or, you don’t find yourself chalking out a vision, all your efforts will produce no results. Without a goal, all your efforts seem to be directionless.
You need to have a fitting business strategy, and defined roadmap to achieve your goals as well if you want to accomplish the goals that you have defined.
What happens as a result? You are able to define the priorities, and tasks for the project you have planned. You are able to focus on things that you need to get done immediately, and you know what things can wait for a while. Distractions can easily be removed as a result because you know what needs to be done and what things can be avoided.
When planning a new venture, make sure you don’t rule out the basics of business. It is the basics that will help you get organized, and work towards achieving the goals. The delays in the projects and the failed delivery attempts can all be stopped if you have a defined path, goals, vision and even project tracking capabilities.
If you still feel that there are things that are falling apart in your startup, connect with me. I will help you define the exact issues, and solutions, which will help customize the organization roadmap for your startup.