The Keys to a Successful Startup – Maximizing Efficiency and Growing Your Company The Keys to a Successful Startup – Maximizing Efficiency and Growing Your Company

By Kelsy Harms on May 18, 2012

Every successful company started with an idea. Michael Burcham, CEO of the Entrepreneur Center and Professor at Vanderbilt University and Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate School of Management, shared at E|SPACES Cool Springs May 10th how to turn your ideas into reality.


1. Only Use a Legitimate Business Model

Investors want to know up front what business model you’re using and what other companies have succeeded using that model. Think outside the box of your industry and consider successful companies in entirely different industries than yours then figure out how to apply the principles of their model to your startup.


2. Save the Writing of Plans for Later

Eager to write your business plans?  First begin with your financial model.  How is your shiny object going to make money?  What problems are you solving for your customers?  List your assumptions and your facts – once you have 50-60% of the facts nailed down you’ve got a good financial model and are ready to move forward.


3. Frame Your Idea

What is going to drive your revenue?  Who is your customer? How are you going to get the product to your customers and keep your margin in check? How do you cause your customers to fall in love with your product?


4. Build Your Business Model from the Ground Up

Study your competition. Who are your competitors?  What models are they using?  What needs are they failing to meet?  What are the pain points of their customers?  Talk to your potential customers – find out what is actually important to them – usually this is different than you originally thought.  “The pain to switch to your solution has to easier than staying.”


5. Know Your Margin in the Industry


6. Stay Focused on Magnetic North

Know your customers and adjust your product to meet their changing needs and desires.  Maintain a competitive edge in your market.

The best entrepreneurs see ordinary problems, put together a tested business model, and execute it well.  Even a mediocre idea can turn into a profitable business if executed well. For more insights from Michael Burcham and more tips for how to turn your ideas into reality – visit The Entrepreneur Center in Nashville or attend some of their upcoming events.  For those of you with 10 ideas in your head, you may want to purchase The Idea Frame, an entrepreneur’s handbook by Michael Burcham and David Furse to help keep your ideas organized and ready to pitch.

Are you an entrepreneur in Nashville needing a place to meet with clients and colleagues, network, or just get some work done or a large company needing a place for creative off-site meetings? E|SPACES may be just the right place for you to turn your ideas into reality. Learn more about us and how you can join today.

TAGS: Entrepreneurs

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