So you have big plans for a new product or service and you’re taking the steps to form an LLC, S Corporation or some other designation that means one exciting truth: It’s happening. You’re in business. Before you finalize your business plan, how sure are you that your business is ready for the big time?
Reid Huffman, founder of Linkedin, recently gave a speech where he outlined a series of characteristics that business startups should have. Take a look and see how your business measures up.
Don’t bring a startup in to the marketplace that does things the same way as all of the others. The world is filled with businesses that blend in. Make a big entrance. Make it a game changer. If your business is in a mature industry, figure out how to do it better for less money. Find a problem that the world has and solve it, no matter how big or small the problem might be.
A business, regardless of it’s scope, will take all of your time so you might as well set yourself up to reach a large market. A specialized business that only has only so much reach doesn’t keep the workload small and it has a larger probability of failure.
Plan for Good Luck
Don’t be caught off guard when your business takes off. If your product or service has “disruptive” value to your potential customers, you will grow fast. Are you ready for growth? Make sure you have a plan for that or you may see your business fail just when things are going well. You don’t want a reputation for less than ideal customer service.
If your product doesn’t feel ready, it may be time to launch. There’s always a new feature to put out there but you don’t need them all for the 1.0 version of your product or service. Put a well crafted, polished basic service in place and see what the customer thinks. Then add based on their feedback.
Finding the perfect blend of persistence and flexibility is tough but vital. If you believe in an idea, stay with it but if somebody you trust is telling you to make a change, listen and evaluate. Many, if not most of the best products have gone through an evolutionary process before really hitting a home run. (Even Apple…the Apple TV)
How many of these apply to your business? If you’re feeling a little beat up, there’s good news. Reid’s final point was that you shouldn’t feel bad about breaking the rules. Entrepreneurs chart new territory so even if you don’t fit his mold, your LLC may still be ready. Jump in and enjoy the ride!