I hate fixed costs and overheads – its all about cash preservation – so I have learned a valuable lesson over the years – make your staff , colleagues and connections your long term friends as you will then be able to contact them later to help you grow your next idea.
I saw this work for an old mentor of mine, again and again he would start a company and take his best staff along with him. This gave him immense continuity, speed and ability to execute safe in the knowledge that core people where there to underpin his vision. It let him get on with his core job and not have to try and do everything or find people again and again…of course he had to bring different people to bare as the businesses grew and the ideas morphed.
However, in every case he could leverage his “connection bank” to improve his ability to launch fast, reduce risk and often reduce costs. He not only did this for staff, he re-used his channels worldwide over 15 years and often investors and suppliers!
I have advanced his technique further as I have developed my businesses without lots of VC funds and therefore had to get the same work done but without the same staff base. I learned all the skills needed to get a business moving and then looked to outsource as much as possible to old connections each time.
Right now for example old colleagues handle much of my accounting, bookkeeping, marketing and PR.
So the lesson here is you need to focus an early stage business on opposing factors, a low burn rate and but fast execution.
The best way to do this is to outsource much of what you do but you need to do this to “known and trusted” sources unless you want to spend even more time managing these resources.
So make sure you build a strong network and base of people from your old job, friends, school and family connections – whatever – and always be on the look out for talent you may need now or in the future. Make sure you connect and keep in touch with these people and nurture them to help you when the time comes.
In this way you can build a business fast but still keep your overheads low!
Of course as you grow you can recruit these people full time or roll from outsourced to in-house, as needs be, growing overheads only as cash flows improve.
Of course you will keep everyone that helped along the way happy and prepared for your next venture…
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