This my last lesson of the many things I learned from QICSI this 2018 summer, at Queen’s University based in Kingston – Ontario, Canada. The first one was the role of mindset in entrepreneurship. The second one was design thinking in identifying problems and evaluating solutions’ alternatives.
The third thing I learned is that the key to the success of a business is about execution, not about the ideas.
Top Reasons for Start-up Failure
When we look at the top 20 reasons startups fail, the top one reason as we discussed earlier is not lacked markets. Ran out of cash, not the right team, get outcompeted, pricing/cost issues, a product without a business model all result from bad execution. Are you surprised?
Execution involves a lot of things. Some major ones, include, putting together a great team, which you can see from this course: https://www.bizskillsacademy.com/courses/vision-team-building-dynamics
Making sure that you build a product or service that users are ready to enjoy and pay for. These are not enough though! For great products, users should be able to help you reach new market segments through referrals. So, validation of the need for a product in the market and validation of the solution being developed will empower the entrepreneur to build a product that is sought by the market. You can find materials relating to this here: https://www.bizskillsacademy.com/courses/market-research/, https://www.bizskillsacademy.com/courses/customer-discovery/, and here https://www.bizskillsacademy.com/courses/competition-mapping/
Role of Liquidity & Related Strategies
Of course in start-ups, the execution has everything to do with liquidity. Does the entrepreneur have readily available cash to fund the required business activities, if not, what are the strategies put in place to make sure that the start-up phase runs as smoothly as possible? It always sounds easy and doable in theory but can you execute and deliver?
Should I opt to hire people? Should I opt to outsource? Should I opt to spend no money at all but issue equity to potential partners and work with them to develop the product r services without spending any cash but by spending time and our skill sets? As simple as they sound, these are very difficult decisions. Execution is even harder! When do I need an NDA? Do I need a shareholders’ agreement? How about legal fees, do we have other alternatives? Etc.
Liquidity and projections of the financial health of the business have made simple and easy as well at BizSkills Academy Inc. Knowing how to do a financial projection properly can help to avoid the risk of running out of cash or pricing/cost issues.
You don’t need to have accounting skills, or to be a financial management expert or a graduate from a business school. We have developed a system and inbuilt courses to help you to just do that, you can scan through lessons or topics here: https://www.bizskillsacademy.com/courses/startup-costs-modelling/ and https://www.bizskillsacademy.com/courses/startup-finance-modelling/.
What Can Be Learned & What Can’t Be Learned?
Finally, all these business elements can be learned from step by step, but not everyone gets the access to the entrepreneurship education resources.
I am lucky that I got the chance to learn about the market, customer analysis, financial planning and project management from QICSI.
Remember that not every school is like Queen’s University. Queen’s provides the entrepreneurial curriculum. Not everybody can afford to learn or know the importance of this knowledge can help me run their business. So that’s why we made BizSkills Academy, a virtual start up a school that provides accessible and affordable entrepreneur knowledge to every individual who wants to set up their own business.
By Amey Zhang
BizSkills Academy Inc.