According to Bloomberg, 8 out of 10 entrepreneurs who start businesses fail within the first 18 months. Of course, no entrepreneur wants his or her startup to fail. But, as Chris Dixon once wrote, “the default state of startup is failure.” [Source: CDIXON BLOG]
When you’re running a startup, often you will focus on the external risks and look past your internal organizational risks, as it is easier to justify your failure from the external ones. When looking within your startup to prevent internal failure, you could consider:
- Is everyone working towards one common goal?
- Did operations fail because of miscommunication?
- Was the team aware of the deadlines?
A good start is half the battle won. Keeping this in mind, let’s go through the three simple ways to get off to a good start:
Centralize your information
Embracing the “write once, read many” approach avoids duplicity, versioning and synchronizing problems. The approach brings together entire activities on one platform and offers the following advantages:
- Accelerates timely and accurate decision making, with a single place for quick analysis of issues and information.
- Enables teams to carry out work using standardized processes, leading to consistent systems across the organization.
Data centralization is a necessity, but how do you find the best possible solution for it? Well, the answer depends on the size of your company and your unique requirements. The choice can be any online collaborative tool, a legacy software or simply a shared server. But, if long term security and data redundancy is in consideration, then an online collaborative tool proves to be the right choice. The other two options can surely help you centralize information but comes with a security risk.
Prioritize and stay focused
Startups have many issues to resolve, be it a management problem, customer complaint, software bug, or operations. Moreover, they don’t have the resources or time to resolve them all. In such cases, prioritizing is the key to better time management.
In the age of innumerable communication channels, discussions for prioritization can’t be left at the mercy of conference calls. The entire team needs to be on the same page as to what the current issues are to be worked on and their priority. With an online collaborative issue tracking tool your issue analysis and follow up becomes streamlined, and your team can focus on the resolution rather than the process of resolving them.
In any growing startup, there is a strong need to remain aware of everyone’s progress. In other words, constant follow-up is vital for bringing coordination among team members.
But how can you make this possible? Should you conduct a daily meeting before starting your work? Or, should everyone continue to exchange countless emails on a daily basis? The easiest way to conquer the situation is incorporate a tool in your working culture that can track your daily progress and make task status visible to all. That is, it eliminates the need of conveying the status separately to each team member.
Implement these practices in your startup now and work towards preventing internal failure. Let me suggest an application that not only forms to your business processes, but can be used by your team from mobile devices and a desktop. Check out Issue Tracker by eWorkplace Apps, a free online issue tracking tool.
Know of any other way that can track and solve issues in a new venture? Share your recommendations in the comments section below!