Monday, August 24, 2015

Lean Startups & Bartering Relationships (Part1)

Being self-employed, and a 'free agent' for the last 15 years, I have been asked questions pertaining to start-ups and sustainability. Here are my thoughts distilled over the years for those who are thinking seriously about taking that quantum leap of faith into self-employment. 

To start your own company, and launch it, you can start lean and still be mean. Key considerations are:

A) Have 12 Months of Salary

In case things do not work according to plan, you have a year's worth of savings to tide over your overheads. These include purchase of capital expenses (notebook, work-station, peripherals), operating costs (rental, staff salary, software,licenses, taxes), business expenses (transportation, travel, accommodation) and developmental costs (education, seminars, courses, books, DVDs, EBooks). Do your 'books' according to a simple plan of Input/Output, or Cost/Income. Learn about basic Accounting, if you will, as it is important to be compliant with taxation laws and enjoy prevailing tax reliefs and start-up benefits.

Now, this window of 12 months gives you an 'out', in case things do not pan out for reasons. You still have a sense of relevance and 'recency', as you have not been too long 'out in the cold'.

Leadership Lessons: Plan to succeed. Success comes with planning and working your plan. A 12-month bank of salary gives you an assurance that you can manage your current lifestyle or alter it. What endurance sports can teach us are values of patience, optimism, determination, persistence, and purpose. I used 'The Art of The Start' by Guy Kawasaki as a working manual, and it has useful orientations for business start-ups and entrepreneurial approaches. 

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