Running a start up is as easy as P.I.E!

Please excuse the fairly desperate attempt at a play on words in the title, but trying to make finance a tasty (ah, there I go again) subject is easier said than done.

But honestly, overcoming the obstacles of such a fast-growing business can really be as easy as P.I.E.

Let me explain…

PIE is the acronym I use when advising people on the creation and execution of a business model; Product, Income and Execution.You need all three in order to succeed as a business, though, in my opinion, some are more important than others (hint: it’s Execution).

When working in a rapidly growing business, which is exactly what UNILAD are right now, there are certain obstacles you have to overcome in order to maintain that pace. By mastering the nuances of each of these elements, you’ll be in a healthy position to do just that.

The easiest way to plan is to take a pen and paper and draw a flow-chart of the lifeline of your service or product and detail who will be involved at which stage and how. Let’s use selling trainers as an example (I love trainers).

 

 

“Trust the process”

 

What are you selling?

First and foremost, ask yourself, what are you selling? Hone in on your sales factor. For example, is it custom trainers or discount outlet trainers? Without really defining both the product and your unique selling point you’ll be hard pressed to find success down the line (or at the very least you’ll make life harder for yourself). This is why our unique selling point is so important to us. Without it, well, we wouldn’t very unique now would we…

In this current day and age, people are willing to pay for convenience. If you’re able to think of a product or service that helps shave even just a few minutes off someone’s day then that’s the product you want to create. For example, before UBER came along, you would need to call a taxi company to book, and in order to call a taxi company you would need to find one in your local area and book well in advance over the phone. Then UBER comes in and completely redefines that entire process and puts control right in the palm of your hand.  

 

Money talks

One of the most important factors to consider is how your product is going to bring revenue to your business. Going back to my example of trainers, if you’re selling customised trainers, the selling point isn’t the tangible item itself but rather the idea that your consumers can create something unique, something they can identify with. Generally, custom-made products tend to go for low volume – high cost.  However if you’re selling discounted trainers, then your selling point is beating market prices by using economies of scale. You could class this as high volume – low cost.

 

Execution (the most important!)

Ultimately, it really doesn’t matter how great or profitable your product may be, execution is king. Execution is essentially how you structure your business internally.

It’s important simply because it’s what decides whether or not your business will succeed or fail. You can have an amazing product but without the fuel to drive the engine you won’t get very far. Vice versa, you can have an average product but as long as the execution is implemented correctly and efficiently (which takes trial and error) it can go further than you may have initially thought.

The most common departments found in businesses are  Sales, Marketing, Finance (Yay), Human Resources, Business Development and Production. Execution is what dictates your level of costs. You’ll find that businesses who are efficient in the way they manage their processes tend to have lower costs. Don’t think of costs as just a monetary value, as the old saying goes, time is money! (#RealTalk). Time spent fixing things that have gone wrong is time away from developing your brand.

 

Oh yeah, one more

Stability

I know, I know, my acronym only has three letters but there’s a reason for that (it made for a great headline). There is, however, one final piece of the puzzle missing – stability. Now when I say stability, I mean in both your work and personal life. It can be both physically and mentally draining running a business so I always recommend to people to pay equal amount of attention to their personal life. Work hard, play hard. Be more active(!), see more friends(!) and spend time with loved ones(!) – having a healthy work-life balance will ensure longevity in anything and everything you do.

 

Okay, phew. I’m out.

Kwame Agyei