Do you realize you are the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of YOU Limited? As CEO you have the responsibility to drive the business of You with respect to strategy, finance, operations, branding, communication and so much more. You will need help from various areas, but ultimately the call is yours.
As you’re looking to reintroduce yourself, the first step is to imagine you’ve called yourself into your own strategy meeting and set the agenda for the session. It won’t be optimal to try and address everything in one block session, so we’ll break it down into weekly chunks.
This week’s session will focus on your vision for you or your business. Let’s look at a few areas you’ll need to deliberate on.
- How big is your vision – Are you content with building a small business or do you want an empire? Why’s this important? What you’re building will determine the building blocks you use. If you’re focused on building a one-person business, then very likely you’re going to centre the activities around yourself. If you’re building a conglomerate, you already know that a key aspect of your role is to build a rock-solid foundation and identify others who will help you build.
- Who will you collaborate with – No matter what you’re trying to build you need help, you can’t do it all by yourself. You need to identify where you need help and who potentially can help you. The people I’m referring to may not necessarily be investors or full-time employees. Nowadays, it’s actually better to keep your team as lean as possible. Why not explore those you can collaborate/partner with for a win-win outcome?
- What type of access do you need – You need money, there’s no getting away from that. But money isn’t the be-all of setting up your dream business. You should find partnerships that will provide support in kind which will reduce the need for you to spend money on certain things (equipment, workspace, etc.). You need advice from those who have done what you’re trying to do before. The right type of advice can significantly help you reduce your building journey and keep you on the correct path. You need people who will provide access to their network who will be your customers or provide referrals.
- Funding – Yes you need money to fund your vision. How do you get the money you need? The Bank isn’t the first place to go. Start with friends, family, your immediate network, the people who will give you patient capital so you’re not immediately under pressure to repay loans. You should also think about having other people/companies have a share of your business in exchange for funding, but make sure the terms are right so you maintain some level of control.
- Branding – You brand essentially is what people say about you when you’re not around. What do you want people to say about your business? Those are the things to start imbibing in your small team and yourself from day one. It’s clear that in the early days you may not have that much money available for professional branding expertise so people will be your major referral points. This means your priority should be ensuring there’s consistency between the image you’re projecting and the reality of the experience.
Once you’re able to think through these pointers for yourself first, then you can start discussing with others to get a balance in viewpoints. At next week’s CEO session we’ll look at your digital strategy.