Top 5 Ways to Help Your Start-Up Succeed

Every new company starts with a mission

Every new company starts with a mission

The statistics are shocking. Start-up companies fail much more than they succeed. What can we do to turn the tide? How can we create a win? At ByDesign Technologies we have launched hundreds of start-up companies. We have seen many succeed for the short-term (3 years or less) and some for a longer period (3-6 years). But then there are the special companies. Those that are start-ups with longevity. What makes those companies special? I hope by sharing some of the knowledge we have gleaned over the last 15 years, it might help you if you are considering starting a business.

For your start-up company to be successful you must have the following:

#1 – Competence

Competence does not equal intellect. You and your team can be brilliant and yet not understand what needs to happen for your business to succeed. You and your team (if you have one) must have good planning skills. You must have good financial skills. Some people will get money from their investors and not spend it on the right things. You must have strong accounting and you must not be emotionally attached to the pricing of your wares. You have to understand the market and how to make it work for you. If you want your company to get off the ground and move, you or someone on your team should have an intrinsic understanding of finance. Ultimately the success of a company is dependent on what money comes in vs what money goes out.

#2 – Experience in Business Management

It is important to expand at a rate that you can manage. There is a saying, “Go big or go home.” While this applies to a few businesses, it does not apply to most. The companies that stick around and generate good profits are ones that take time to build the infrastructure needed to support great growth.

#3 – Knowledge of Inventory and Supply Chain Management

An intimate knowledge of your inventory, where it is coming from and how quickly it can be made is vital to your start-up success. If a product is a great hit, will you have the flexibility to produce it without a backlog? People don’t like to wait.  If a product stinks, will you be aware and be nimble enough to make changes without having a garage (or warehouse if you are lucky) full of inventory that won’t sell?

#4 – Good Relational Skills

When a business first starts, relationships are a key to success. Do you understand the needs of those buying your product? Do you listen to their feedback? Do you take it and use it to improve? What about other relationships? If stores are selling for you, it is vital to hear what they say about marketing your product. Businesses that listen well have a very high chance of success.

#5 – Tenacious Entrepreneurs and Understanding Families

Starting a business is not for the faint of heart. It is very hard work. It requires dedication and many long hours. If your family is not supportive of your venture, it is likely that you will not be able to invest the number of hours needed for success. You must understand that the business depends on you to run it. Your software is not going to run it, your employees are not going to run it, your inventory manager is not going to run it. It lives and dies with you. Tenacity is required for the business builder and an understanding family is a key to success. It is a sacrifice. You must decide if it is worth taking.

Every business starts with a dream. At ByDesign Technologies, we want to see our client’s dreams come true. We want every business that uses our products to become a company that soars.

 

ByDesign Technologies provides mission critical software to the direct sales industry. They have had the opportunity of working with many start-up clients and helping them grow into industry leaders.

20 Things Your Software Company Wishes You Knew

163745682Within the MLM and Party Plan business, your software plays an integral part.  It keeps track of almost everything you need to do.  It keeps track of your product, your individual business owners, your commissions and your reports plus a lot more.  With so much of your business tied to your software, it is understandable why you can get frustrated.  Here are some tips that can help your business and relationship grow.

  1. Treat your software vendor like an extension of your business, not a necessary evil
  2. Embrace us as Subject Matter Experts.  If we tell you something you are doing goes against conventional wisdom, understand we have seen a lot of companies fail and succeed and we want you to be in the latter category.
  3. Be aware of terminology conflicts and technical jargon.  If your software company uses “sponsor” or “placement” or “enroller” ask what they are referring too.
  4. Know your compensation plan inside and out.  You need to communicate it well with your reps and your software company.
  5. Share your company successes with your software vendor, too often we only get failing company calls.  We want to celebrate with you!
  6. Plan, Plan, Plan!  It costs a lot to NOT plan and our industry is notorious for announcing something on stage before even telling your own staff, let alone your software provider.
  7. Don’t make assumptions.
  8. Ensure expectations are agreed to and understood
  9. During the software selection process or while doing custom programming ask tough questions.  Make sure you fully understand what you’re getting.
  10. If you are buying off the shelf software understand that no package does EVERYTHING you think should be a part of the system
  11. Understand we are on your team.  If you succeed, we succeed.
  12. Time=Money
  13. If your business is going down the tubes, don’t blame the software.
  14. Know what you want before you call.  If you are unsure of what you want, state that upfront so that we can plan our schedule appropriately.
  15. Software will not run your business, you have to do that.
  16. Send gifts!  We are always excited to see and touch our client’s products. Gifts are a great motivator.
  17. Don’t call everything a bug.
  18. Don’t let your internal software people say, “That is easy, it is only two hours.”  While that may be the expected time, sometimes one little change can be connected to a lot of moving parts.
  19. Encouragement goes a long way before you need something.
  20. Expect a timeline.  Understand it probably will not be as fast as you want.

ByDesign Technologies is headquartered in Tampa, Florida with offices in Utah and Singapore.  ByDesign’s mission is to empower direct sellers worldwide through industry expertise, innovative technology and unrivaled customer support. Their website is www.bydesign.com

Maintenance for Technology???

Have you ever gone to your favorite website and a screen splashes in front of you telling you that it is down for maintenance?  “Maintenance”, you scream, “I needed something right now!!”  It is frustrating to say the least.  But maintenance is very important for technology.  It is the hidden gem that can make a company successful or a failure.

As an illustration, let’s look at cars.  I drive my car a LOT.  I am a busy Mom with several kids and a job.  I am not unlike a lot of other women I know.  Unfortunately, I forgot to change the oil in my car.  It led to me actually having to replace the whole engine.  It was extremely costly, very time consuming and utterly my fault.  If I had just taken the 30 minutes required for an oil change, I could have saved myself a lot of money, time and heartache.

Technology is the same way.  There has to be time given to maintenance, checking switches, routers, connections, and cables.  There has to be time given to rolling out the newest upgrade.  The good news is that IT people, unlike mechanics, work late at night and early in the morning to try to limit disruption.  If well planned, outage times are minimal and inconsequential to business.

So, the next time you see a splash page saying the site is down for maintenance, cross your fingers and check back in a little while.  Hopefully, your company will be up and running better than ever!!