The most crucial part of any startup or new business is the first 100 days of operation. Not only will the first 100 days determine whether or not your business builds momentum and makes an impact, it will also set the tone of your business culture. Creating a plan for the first 100 days is vital for any new business looking to reach profitability and survive long term.
The most important considerations
There are a number of key areas which must be handled well in the first 100 days if a business wants to succeed:
Human resources: putting the right team in place should be the first major goal of any new business. Human resources are the most valuable part of any company and will determine how productive and profitable the business can be both in the short and long term. Without proper management however, even the best staff can lose their direction and fail to deliver. Therefore, it is vital not only to attract and retain top talent but also to lead and manage them effectively.
Budgeting and forecasting: making detailed budgets for every foreseeable expense and all sources of revenue in the first 100 days is vital for creating an effective business plan. Speaking to an experienced business coach or mentor who has founded a startup previously is a good way to ensure that all hidden costs are accounted for.
Cashflow: the second most important financial management consideration is cashflow. It’s essential for startups to remain solvent in their first 100 days or else they may fail before they even begin. Often the capital requirements of startups mean that entrepreneurs have to seek outside funding from banks or investors.
Customer acquisition: in order to generate cashflow and produce sufficient revenues, the 100 day plan must include a marketing and sales strategy detailing how to reach and acquire new customers. Once customers are acquired, it is also important to have a strategy in place to retain those customers and remarket them to create future revenues streams.
Processes: the quality of any business is only as high as the quality of their processes. Creating foolproof business processes is essential to minimise human error and maximise efficiency, thereby ensuring the highest possible profits.
The overall goal of your first 100 days
The end goal of the first 100 days of business is to put the company in a sustainable position, with a clear path in place to reach even greater success. In some cases, such as with complex new products, the development requirements mean that the business cannot begin trading with 100 days, and in these instances the startup should be focusing on iterating the product and securing sufficient funding to ensure that the initial product launch will be a success.
Once you are in a stable and financially healthy business position, you are able to turn your attention towards business development, which includes seeking new opportunities to grow and increase value for your customers, while eliminating waste and minimising expenses.