Surviving The Shark Tank
Have you ever had the opportunity to watch the show Shark Tank?
It is a show where different entrepreneurs present their ideas to very experienced investors and they either convince them or not to invest on their dream.
When I watched the show for the first time, I realised that I had no idea about how much detail goes into planning and growing a business.
If I was one of the contestants, as soon as they would have asked me what my goal was in the next year when it came to growth percentage, I would have already been lost.
When you want to start a business, you start excited. The idea you came up with is fresh and you think is so brilliant that anyone would be willing to invest in it. You haven’t really encountered any challenges yet, when it comes to how the market will receive or reject the product ,and therefore you are very naive.
I want to mention some of the things that you should be thinking about when starting a business or organisation, these will help you have a greater picture of how you can achieve that audacious dream.
Where are you at?
This section is more like a research, once you have decided what you want your organisation to be about, you need to start thinking about all the factors that will impact the way that you run your business.
These factors include your location, the surrounding population or potential clients (Age, culture, economic status, etc), and the social factors that will definitely impact the way you present and bring the organisation through.
At this point it is also good to look at the competition you might have.
“ What do I have that they don’t?”
Is it the product in itself? Its quality? The way it is presented?
It could be the advantages that our customers enjoy or even the experience they have when they get in contact with our organisation.
If the answer is nothing or doesn’t come to mind that easily, you might want to re-consider the way you do things.
This analysis will help you identify barriers around your organisation and stimulate thinking for potential solutions or improvements.
It can be used for problem solving, decision making and revealing possibilities.
Strengths: internal factors, what in the organisation benefits its performance or growth.
Weaknesses: internal factors , what in the organisation hinders its performance or growth.
These both could include human and material resources, past experiences, finances, methods, etc.
Opportunities: external factors that could be used for the advantage of the organisation.
Threats: external factors that could present a problem to the organisation.
Different external factors researched in relation to where the organisation is placed within the market and society can present a threat or opportunity.
When these factors are found and analysed they can help you see gaps in your structure and find a strategy to overcome challenges.
Where are you heading?
In order to have a successful organisation it is crucial to be thinking ahead of yourself.
Vision Statement: This will be your organisation’s focus, what you breath in and out. It is what you desire to become as an organisation or what you desire to achieve.
It should be written in such a way that any employee is able to understand and repeat it.
This is what you want to become a part of every person that works in the organisation, help the people understand it so they can run with it.
Mission Statement: it is the purpose of the organisation. It explains WHAT the organisation does, WHO it does it for and HOW. It is normally expressed in one or two sentences.
Core Values: Making it clear what are the things we value as an organisation will determine the way we do our job and what people experience when they interact with us.
What do you need to get to where you are heading?
Now that you have thought about where you are at, and where you want to go with your business, it would be good to start thinking what you need in order to get there.
Keep it real
Being practical, you will need appropriate facilities, staff members that will become a part or your organisation, and strategic partnerships that will help you position your business in the right place.
It will depend on what you are trying to achieve the number of personnel needed and their level of experience to cover different areas.
Dreaming is easy, but it is easy to be discouraged or loose sight of the prize if you try to jump the whole staircase instead of going up step by step.
Goals are the smaller steps that you need to take in order to get to the top of the mountain.
Based on your Vision, Mission and Core Values, you can start setting goals on a timeframe of months or years. This will help you monitor the progress in a realistic way and keep you focused on where you want to get.
The rule when it comes to goal setting is making sure they are SMART goals. This meaning specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely goals.
Once you had a look at the practical side, you can start designing a structure that will help you reach your objectives, this will become your organisation model.
It is easy to look at an organisation and desire their success, but there are always a lot of hands that by working hard and smart, make something extraordinary seem easy to reach.
Hopefully after this tips, you will be able to stand in the shark tank and not only be eaten by the competition or rejected because what you have is simply not enough, but actually succeed and get people on board to carry the dream with you.
Do you have any other tips on how to make your business stand tall and strong?
Let us know!