Skip to main content

An Idea, a Plan, a Spirit: Your Start-Up Ticks Like You Do

Legally, your organization and you are recognized as separate individuals. But beyond legality, the lines are more often than not very blurred. This is especially true for start-ups and the entrepreneurs with big dreams and ideas.

How often have you, as an entrepreneur, found yourself funding that one marketing expense out of your own pocket? That land your factory needs can be your own asset - then the money is all with you right? Wrong – in reality, if a business has to be run like a business it has to be separate from you – so if your business owes you something, it owes you – you cannot write it off saying it’s all mine. Again - that’s the legal stand point.

Reality: You are one with your business, so embrace the concept in spirit. The idea for the venture usually is a big dream. And a dream has a fundamental premise. You, as the dreamer, have a certain ideology backing up that dream. The details of the implementation plan will include how you want to fundamentally do business. What kind of an organization do you want to build? What sort of customers do you want to attract? What values will your venture stand for? What is the core reason for your setting up the venture?

“I want to make money” is rarely the only aspect that drives anyone to set up a complete business. If that is the purpose, then your business will and has to be focused on that end only.  So business volumes at the cost of quality could be one way to go. The core thing to keep in mind here is that if you have “money” as your core purpose, you should be alienated from your business and essentially work on building it and packaging it for a good exit X years down the line. Because a sell-out is the best way to actually get the best returns – assuming you have set up a successful business.

That is just one scenario. More often, it’s a case of a dream too big to sell so easily. Ideals that want to leave a legacy and pride in ownership is what drives most entrepreneurs. But when the business reaches a growth stage, the lines get blurred - because the business needs seem to take over. This is what I like to call a sort of inflection point. Most often, letting go of core ideals and beliefs and pandering to the “generally executed” norms, often leads to a confused organization and an even more confused strategy which may not be in sync from start to finish. Also, remember, when you decided that this was a winning business, it was based on a package of what makes you (and therefore your organization) tick. Take that package away, and the foundation is gone.


Your organization will be a reflection of you. A plan needs to be flexible but not at every level. Unless there is an earthquake, more often than not, a sturdy foundation is what holds a building together. Same goes for your venture. Keep certain non-negotiable ideals and strategies which are close to your core – it will keep you in sync with your set-up. And if you are in sync with your set-up, you know you can steer the course. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Big pictures, Small details, – The Nuts And Bolts Of Valuing A New Set Up

When you study accounts, you are taught to pay attention to every tiny detail. Every bit of finished goods needs to be derived from raw materials, work in progress and the reach its current state. Every invoice and value has to tally up. All the small things somehow have a multiplier effect on the balance sheet and errors show up if things are missed. Unlearning this habit when developing a valuation assessment for a set-up, is not an easy process – but a necessary one. I am not saying in any way that misrepresentation is required, simply that generic assumptions, and missing some tiny details when creating a financial model for valuation/investment purposes is perhaps more prudent and quick. Because really, for valuation, the multiplier effects of the smaller things are really minimal. The question to ask when dwelling on a small issue is – is this going to materially impact the value of the company. This is especially true for newer set ups where all the smaller elements are not

Lets’ Start the Conversation - Planning Your Future

  A while ago, I was pulled into a discussion on women’s equality and how to bridge the gap. To me it begins with changing the way we interact in an often evidently patriarchal world. These were my main questions: how many women (working or not) consider the male member of the house as the primary provider? How many women ask the kids to not disturb dad because he has had a long day at work? And how many women leave all the financial decisions of life to their partner to make? In my various discussions, it seems like a lot of women seem to be surprisingly willing to take a back seat in the financial planning. There are various reasons ranging from “its not my area of expertise”, to “its not me who is earning” and some who just “have not got down to it”. Of course, most of these women do think about financial planning but in an environment like Bahrain, avenues and information on options is limited, often individual income of women is limited and, let’s face it, retirement seems to