How can a startup be successful when all of the founders are also working separate jobs?
I don't want our startup to fail. All of our founders are also working other jobs to continue to get the right training, mitigate risk, and have an income. How can we give our startup a good chance to succeed, but also being realistic about real life needs?
It is a question that I asked myself when I started my business. However, the answer will depend on the situations' of the founders. The first thing to consider is, whether you can maintain all your personal expenses without a full-time position. Secondly, is the capital invested in the business coming from the full-time position? Finally, do you have the time to give to both full-time and start-up equally or will one suffer?
If you plan on putting 100% into your start-up, I suggest you do it for a year and see how it goes. Fortunately, you do have partners so perhaps one work full-time and the other part-time. I have seen successful business owners juggle both, but it all depends on the industry as well as the help you have. Good luck!
It's smart of you and your business partners to keep steady incomes while you formulate your business idea, even while it is frustrating to be splitting your focus between your full-time roles and your startup. Each of your time is more limited than it should be, so make sure you are all making the most of it. As others suggested below, sit down and clearly define each partner's role and responsibility in the business. Set a meeting once a week or every other week for each partner to share what they're working on, what they've completed and what is holding them up. Knowing what each partner is prioritizing ensures no one is working on the same thing and it lengthens the limited time each of you has to spend on your startup. Use this time to craft your business plan and build your network. Eventually, to succeed you and your partners will have to decide when is the right time to leave your current roles to focus on the startup full-time. The Business.com team recently published this guide which can help you to decide if you're ready: Quitting Your Day Job for Your Startup.
Its very difficult and challenging! Unless your business model is unique.
It's difficult if the start up is a mone generating business or juse a hobby. Most important is time management and focus. Dealing with conflict successfully will make or break the situation. By this I am referring to dealing with conflict between your day job and the startup job.
I would think that there is a business plan and it should have a section where it is defined when each person migrates to the startup full time or maybe not. All the partners may determine that hiring a full time person is the way to go short term or long term, but again this all needs to be identified to be sucessful.
Burning the candle at both ends is not healthy over a long period of time.
I started from this question couple of years back.
1. Need to have a good (who will do what) plan with daily (if possibly Hourly split-up)
2. Strong control on expenditure
3. Open discussion on the risk and mitigation plans with stake holders ( periodic followups)
4. Weekly evaluation and plans for improvements
5. Review and rework of item #1
6. Continue 1-5
7. Plan to accommodate one full time stake holder
8. continue 5-7 till all members full time
Note : Please assure that the scope of work is not changed. (Need to give at-most care on intermediate changes in scope of work).
Your question is the answer in itself.
However, should there be contraints in giving full time to the startup, at least founders must earmark some time to mak sure the wheels are set in motion. It may be necessary that in a phased manner, people have to leave their jobs and get involved full time. The effort should be such that this happens sooner than later. During that peiod, others may have to support the person who has taken the first plunge.
Simply get the founders to commit to the amount of time needed to achieve their goals...each to his own skill...they can still be earning elsewhere until the start-up is able to support the whole bunch...or maybe none of the founders will continue...they may hire staff with better skills and take a piece of the profits...
Am sorry to be blunt but you people don't believe your idea. Not even one is working on it full time and how do you expect it to succeed. As Founders you need to be sure about your business plan and need to take the risk. What's the difference between you guys and those who do part time jobs..
Depends a lot in the field you are in. A Plan is key. Have a Plan to lay out what you want to accomplish and by when. If you can lay that out, then things become more solidified. Without that, I think you will end up in a situation where you have everyone in, but no one is really committed. I think my Colleagues have offered up good advice on this front as well.
Ha! from what i've seen around me - it can't. there must be at least one person pulling the ropes and putting in the time. best if everyone does...
To get on the right foot, you need clear vision and well as clear understanding of the roles and commitment each person is willing to provide. If you don't have a business plan and partnership agreement in place -- that should be your first step. Also discuss your "escape plan" - how you are going to handle things if one of the founders backout? Are the other three free to do it without him? Does he still get a percentage of the profits? Is he still responsible for part of the investment. My recommendation is to figure all this out on paper first -- including measurable and SMART goals for your company. If people are not achieving their SMART goals - then continually re-evaluate your core commitment to the start-up.
I started a company with my brother just like you 4 years back where we both working with other companies. We did job for 2 years and till that time found 3-4 committed people to carry on operations on full time basis. Important thing was to sustain and keep building the strong base investing part of our salary and not taking away any profit home but to invest in company. At the end of four years we are at the end of 2nd year business cycle considering industry standards which means that time is most important investment and longer you take to go full time, expect the delay in getting results as per industry business cycle.
In my opinion it is very difficult for a start up to be successful when founders are not 100% committed.
As mentioned in one of the earlier comments, consultancy is a good option. Consultants / Mentors for SME owners who offer practical advice rather than voluminous reports would be the right choice for you. If you let me know your location I could perhaps put you in touch with someone from my network.
You need a mission statement, a vision statement, a business plan, and start to market /sell and see if you have a good idea, are a disciplined group, and your idea resonates well enough to start generating revenue...Always give 100% to your Sales and Marketing effort to start...
You have to set realistic goals and timelines for the startup. I am in a startup which is in the same situation. Get time commitments from everyone- how much time can they spend each week and when. Based on that, try and work with them to figure out who will get what done by when. Keep a close track. As ususal- it won't be easy, but it can be done.
Congrats on creating your start-up! In the midst of everyday life and all partners involved working full time it'll be quite a challenge to just "make it work". Ed has made a great suggest in his #2, which is basically going to be the heart of your operation.
By having each partner focusing on a specific area, it creates accountability and responsibility. This way there is no overlapping and certain action items won't get pushed on the back-burner. In today's era of technology there are no excuses for not completely knowing what the other is doing. Perhaps all of you can set one or two days a week to meet via Skype, especially if one or more partners has kids. Trust me when i tell you it's not easy with that element but if you have later times after work it makes it easier to get everybody's undivided attention.
Create your plan with checklists and goals. Make your goals attainable and remember that small victories set you up for big wins. Because without it, you'll never survive. This will also help everybody see who's serious about this new venture by seeing who is putting in the time and who isn't. With all due respect, don't be surprised if you go from 4 partners to 3. Sometimes people bite off more than then an chew and should that come to light, better to find out now in the beginning than when something of high priority is on the line.
Start to build your professional and industry networks People, such as this group, can provide valuable experience that you won't get anywhere else. If you're business deals in consumer products, walk around a tradeshow and bring a ton of business cards. Some if not all states that you register your business in, provide professional advice (for free) from experts that have been in your shoes and love helping start-ups and watching people succeed. Don't be afraid to ask lots of questions.
Lastly, remember to have fun. Create an atmosphere that keeps you coming back. Every now and again, reward yourselves when you hit a big milestone (a group dinner for example). It'll make it feel real and make you want to get back to work.
From my viewpoint you need to secure one competent PA to serve you all, to act as the pivot to you all. There must be a person at the front line who can feed and supply all partners.
1st off congrats at taking the 1st steps to job freedom, notice I didn't say financial freedom lol. that takes a bit more time :)
this is a lot harder, I don't want to say it's impossible but I will say it's harder and slower. because of the time dedicated
below are a few points I would suggest. Now, Not knowing the type of business it's harder for me to say the below will make sense, but this is a general plan of action.
1. Each partner is provided a job/task that is important to the growth of the business.
2. The team, together must set weekly/monthly goals as to what part of the business they are working on & what goal they have for the week/month.
3. YOU need to hit all short term and long term goals.
4. Set goals in order of importance, importance is simple, Will this task/goal make us money? IE set up a website, add content to website , work social media, all ways to drive traffic and sales.
5. Each partner needs to hold up their end of the bargain and stay at pace with the goals.
6. Set goals so that 5 to 6 hours a week min, they should be achieved (or what ever amount of time each of you agree to work on the business)
7. it will cost you more, but worth it. have professionals do task that you can't to make sure they are done correctly. (website design, social media marketing, taxes ect)
8. Give up one day of the weekend towards a 6 to 8 hour day dedicated to the business. (sorry no pain no gain brother)
9. Plan Plan Plan, oh did I suggest plan. You can't move forward if you don't have the road map set for you. There is no navigation app for business builder :). You will be surprised in business how a company with full time owners waste time, because they are not set with a plan of action with goals that make quick short term profits.
10. Hire a consultant, you will be surprised on how inexpensive one is for an email consultation or skype consulting. They can shed a ton of light and provide shortcuts that will save you a TON of time.
11. Get your products/services making cash ASAP. I know this sounds silly, but you will be surprised as to all the crap people do and think is making sense for their business. Sell Sell Sell.
12. No one takes a dime of profit, until you have enough in the bank to cover the most inexpensive partners salary for 1 full year. Thank one make moves into the business and must make a difference in profits.
13. Even if you do, make sure you have what it takes to cut the safety lines of a paying job and jump into the unknown of your own business.
And remember this very simply ideal, if you try and fail (which you won't) but if you try and fail, you have succeed just for trying. So many others sit and dream of starting a business and make excuses as to why they can't do it.
Look beyond the PT excuse and make it happen. Be there for each other, keep each other in check and at pace, don't leave a man down, your business is only as good as the weakest link.
You got this, time is a theory that Einstein knew more of, we common folk have no clue what time is lol.
make it happen buddy.
Advise us as to how things are going, I would love to know of your progress
All the best to your success Auggie
Senior Consultant @ Ask8
That is a good question. You only get out what you put in. If you want to get your business off to a flying start just like a airplane taking off you need to generate a certain amount of thrust. other wise the plane can not get lift off. This can be looked on as commitment, you will all need to carefully look at what you want to achieve, and the time you want to achieve it by. Hence you need a good plan. But there are other factors to consider, but hopefully those will be picked up by other contributors.