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Startup Management


STARTUP MANAGEMENT


Startup management services we provide

Let us first provide an overview of our startup management services;
• startup counselling services
• startup management services
• startup operations consulting
• startup support services
• startup legal services (in cooperation)
• startup accounting services (in cooperation)
Below is a brief explanatory description of the activities of these individual services.

startup counselling services
We make expertise available, provide advice, evaluate and draw up plans, establish contacts, and we support in making strategic policy decisions. We monitor to keep oversight and make the priorities known. We advise on an optimal route, will prevent stagnations and disruptions and deliver startup smart action plans. In startup counselling, consider us an advisory service that assumes the role of an added project manager, since we do not make decisions but create insight and overview. We are there to unburden the management team so that they can focus primarily on achieving the short-term objective; growth to a proven profitable business model.
- startup project management
--- thorough analyses and Intelligent decision choices, leading to a scope and a startup action plan, measurable on time, costs and quality, clearly communicated, strengthening decision making and operational effectiveness
- startup feasibility study
--- too often startups are led by feelings and lack of substantiation and this is, in our opinion, necessarily feasibility study phase omitted (excuses are: business is too small, or we do later a SWOT in the business plan), but as always and certainly with a new business venture; accept foreseeable risks, know the possible problems and the success factors, a realistic preliminary study and a concrete assessment can prevent a losing money and a lot of unnecessary energy and frustration.
- startup business planning
--- the need for a complete and extensive business plan will partly depend on the startup stage, business size and required financing, but recommend a professional startup should at least have a
* Business Model Canvas plan
with well-developed sub-plans, such as
* for creating a product prototype and/or a launching customer
* SWOT analysis
* marketing & sales plan including competition analysis
* financial projections
* funding plan including options
- startup advisory board
--- the role can be fairly comprehensive, see our advisory board services for these roles, but in this startup business phase it should mainly serve ‘to grow into a proven profitable business model’, and key aspects of a startup advisory board will be; funding, customers and market knowledge, technology/product knowledge but certainly also prestige/trust of financiers/investors and in alliance formation
- startup mentoring & business coaching
--- as a sounding board and progress monitoring, to discuss the hard results, expectations, relationships and feelings. The focus areas are mental resilience (in a startup performance, within a relatively short time, always gives stress), communication skills, organizational structure/competencies, leadership, strategy and discipline.

startup management services
In addition to startup advice, we also provide temporary directors and managers who can provide guidance to startups through their specific knowledge and experience. Assignments of 3 to 12 months, by over-qualified doers who work task-oriented and systematically to set up the startup organization and to achieve the startup objectives. Proven experience provides certainty for success. Moreover, the competencies required in a startup phase are different from those required for an ongoing enterprise. Interim and temporary management is, therefore, an excellent solution for startups.
- startup interim management
--- c-level positions, outsource CEO/general management, CFO, COO or CBDO (chief business development officer)
- temporary management
--- 2nd and 3rd level managers, professionals in marketing & sales, engineering, manufacturing, procurement, finance etc.

startup operations consulting
Focused on the result, execute certain tasks of a startup business, part-time for a longer period or intensive (almost) full-time over a short period. These unique tasks - advice and/or implementation proceedings - are described in outline and are accompanied by measurable goals. This usually concerns activities that cannot yet be taken up or carried out by appointed managers and staff but are still of great importance. Operations consulting has, to a large extent, the character of deal-making. Consultdustry startup operations consulting activities include;
- business representative
--- lobbyist, stakeholder management and/or contract signing authority (single or joint)
- business development, marketing & sales
--- acquire new customers and develop long-term relationships and value (which may include market entry, marketing and competition analysis)
- business alliances
--- create partnerships which add value to the startup
- supply chain incl. strategic procurement & distribution
---- the overall effective structuring and management of suppliers, outsourced and integrated services, own treatment processes, logistics and sales channels
- human resources procedures
--- the organization of these HRM business processes including recruitment
- financing brokerage
--- supporting and managing debt and equity/investors in financing processes

startup support services
- executive search & recruitment
--- recruitment of management and experts (expatriates and locals), and supervising the workforce recruitment campaigns which are usually done by contingent recruiters
- immigration visas & work permits
--- assisting foreign investors/startup companies and their employees including the employees family members to comply with all immigration, visa and work permit requirements
- corporate housing and business premises
--- finding, contracting and installation of office space and (industrial) work & storage areas and/or serviced offices with the construction of equipment and the required IT infrastructure and additional services such as relocation assistance, (outsourced) facility management.

startup legal services
If desired, nominate and in cooperation of qualified local, legal experts, co-determining the framework, supporting, guiding and coordinating, among other things, the following startup legal aspects, which do include;
- select/define the business structure and identify the impact
- registration of the legal entity
- trademarks and copyrights
- intellectual property and protection
- licenses and permits
- partnership agreement including a buy-sell agreement
- sales contracts and supply conditions
- non-disclosure agreements
- employee contracts
- privacy policies and data protection regulations
- legal disclaimers
- corporate governance

startup accounting services
If desired, nominate and in cooperation of qualified local, financial/accounting experts, co-determining the framework, supporting, guiding and coordinating, among other things, the following startup finance and accounting aspects, including;
- financial planning and budgets
- accounting system implementation
- month-end financial reports  
- financial policies and procedures
- expense tracking    
- tax compliance including export & import tax
- month-end financial statements  
- (outsourced) bookkeeping
- (outsources) payrolling
- month-end financial reports  
- financial forecasts /projections  
- cash flow management
- tax obligations
- financial audits (support or execute)     
- GAAP financial statements (income statement, balance sheet, cash flow statement
- audit support and preparation     
- financial reports
- financing applications
- financing procedures


Business startup definition

A startup is a company in the first phase of its activities and needs to acquire justified existence through the development of new products and services that create value for customers, supported by a sustainable and profitable business model.

A business startup is, therefore, only a temporary organisation, with sufficient resources seeking a proven business model. The phase of timeliness means that business startups, with their knowledge and capital, must be fast, but they will also have to experiment to learn. Being smarter, more agile, more creative and more innovative to create added value for the customer as quickly as possible. There is almost always an enormous time pressure to become profitable fast; the first proof of a successful business model of the startup company. Only then will the business startup phase will be completed, and the company can focus on planned and steady expansion; a new objective with a milestone placed in the near future.


Types of startups

Not every startup is the same, and the following 8 startup types or categories can be distinguished;

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Lifestyle startups - aim to live your passion
These are small-scale enterprises, with limited growth opportunities, usually only the owner/founder with sometimes a few employees, who put a specific business activity on the market from an intense passion. You can mostly identify the business set-up and appearance by enjoying an individual, recognisable lifestyle and the goal of generating sufficient income for this lifestyle. Lifestyle startups are mainly in the sectors; consumer or business services, such as sailing camps, nutrition experts, gyms, but also; creative professions, entertainment & hospitality.

Charitable foundation startups - make the world a better place
Private or public funded non-profit organisation which donate and/or support philanthropic purposes. Those charitable deeds could include aspects of human society and culture, research and development that could lead to business initiatives. As a company, a charitable foundation can grow to organisations with 25 to even more than 500 people in a period of 5 to 10 years.

Small startups - work to feed the family
These small companies, owned/managed by family or associated business partners, make up the most substantial part of the economy and thus for local employment. They are relatively easy to start because only a limited amount of capital is needed. The primary goal of the owners is to be 'own boss' and to acquire sufficient income for the family. The companies often do not invest much, partly because the companies usually do not make a lot of profit. A striking feature is that the employees are often family relatives, good friends or acquaintances of acquaintances.

Buyable startups - generating another ready for sale
The purpose of these startups is to earn a lot of money quickly, such as at M&A, reselling a larger company for $ 5-50M. The money earned will be reinvested in a new activity, in order to develop it again and sell it again with a sure profit to those who can benefit synergy.

High potential startups - everybody wants to be a winner
These are the fast-growing and quickly profitable companies. For these startups, there are many supporting initiatives such as incubator and accelerator programs and are extremely attractive to invest in especially for angel investors. Potentially, such high-potential startups can be estimated on average, in a period of 5 to 10 years, with a turnover of $ 20-50M with approximately 100 to 400 employees. They are therefore essential for the economic development of a particular region.

Foreign investments startups - translocate for profit
Investments for starting a new business activity abroad. This could be penetrating new emerging markets with just a sales office or an entire business organisation. For the motives to produce overseas in another country because it is attractive due to cost advantage or the presence of specific resources.

Corporate startups or large company startups - innovate and develop to remain
Short-term life cycles, the need for innovation and increasing competition are reasons for larger companies to adapt existing business models and to invest in new activities. A strategy to get a sufficient balance in the company portfolio. Efficient development of new structures and skills of the company to be future proof. Sometimes this can mean disruptive innovation or entirely new products or new customers in totally new markets.

Scalable startups - born to be a giant
Powerful business models; high reward returns but with high risk, repeatable business model, innovative, extraordinary high growth, high margin and immense distribution potential, are the characteristics of scalable startups. Potentially, scalable startups could grow to an annual turnover of $ 1 billion or more. Although the general picture is different, the scalable startups represent only a small percentage of all startups. The outsider return expectations and thus the attention of venture capital investors (venture capital & angel investors) and media coverage are the cause of this.


Characteristics of successful startups

As already stated, there is enormous pressure to generate profitable turnover extremely quickly, partly because there is limited capital available. This, with the belief in the company, results in a commitment and working method that could be characterised as unique for a successful startup.

Some of these successful startup characteristics are:
• know the customer needs
- continuously gather information about customer experience and customer wishes, adapt to match current customer needs
• create an inspiring culture
- state clear company values, while at the same time there is substantial mutual diversity
• make big dreams come true
- translate inspirational thoughts into concrete goals that continue to inspire, motivate and invite to take the desired actions
• consciously take small steps
- work following the Pareto principle (80/20 rule), incrementally and iteratively, in short, effectively doing comes first and do not get stuck in thinking and dreaming alone
• experiment for innovation
- failure and free experimentation are allowed because they will lead to improvement and innovation
• continuous development
- stimulate and challenge super-fast learning and growth within structured processes and methodologies
• establish an inspiring environment
- a workspace that promotes cooperation, interaction, creativity and spontaneous contacts
• build a community
- private and business intertwine and merge into one another; there are collective and individual facilities for relaxation and convenient, time-saving services.

Common to these characteristics are that they;
• increase entrepreneurship within the company
• increase reciprocal solidarity and execution capability
• contribute to a higher level of agility.
Based on these proven success factors, it is, therefore, a prerequisite to achieving policy and management leadership with a well-considered method that should lead to the sustainability of the startup.


Startup Development & Startup Stage

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Startup development stages

Resolution
Making the decision, and actually starting is always the hardest one. Risks are high, and partly due to avoiding failures, there should be both a fundamental personal and basic business outline. A consideration of the advantages and disadvantages, determining the feasibility/success rate and knowing the risks. But even in this decision phase, it is crucial to think about different scenarios and strategic solutions. Regrettably, in practice, it appears all too often that startups are primarily driven by vague business ideas and that there is no conscious consideration. Too often starters assume that their business idea is powerful enough to solve problems along the way when they arise in company development. Prevent errors by evaluating a thorough approach and establishing the context of the intentions.
* Personal aspiration
- define the maximum acceptable risk and loss, which can be afforded? (remember most startups fail)
- does the creation of a startup fit in with the lifestyle (time, income), which sacrifices must be made?
- what is the capital to be contributed personally?
- what are the reasons for starting an (own/new) company?
- which sectors are preferred and why?
- what are the personal skills and areas of expertise and how to compensate for weaknesses?
- what is the personal and financial support of family and friends?
- what about the interest and skills to lead a startup?
- what about the benefits and abilities regarding the day-to-day operations of an (ongoing) company?
- what are the personal objectives in the medium and long term?
- what are the thoughts on co-founders, shareholder & partners?
* Business intentions
- which problems of customers will the business idea solve?
- what is the target market/niche? (focus will increases the chance of success, there is only limited time and resources)
- which financial resources are required, when and how can those be acquired?
- which competences and other resources are necessary, when and how to obtain them?
- what is the revenue model and what is the expected profit and when?
- is the business idea scalable or can it be made scalable?
- who are the competitors or alternatives?
- how to beat the competitors?
- how to obtain and maintain a unique market position?
- how early to test early (in an early phase and continuous) the market need for the business idea?
- how to do the promotion?
- how to find customers?
- co-founders, shareholder & partners, are those required or not, and if so; when necessary, how to find them and what is their profile?
- describe the desired company culture and business values
 - type the organizational structure and size (employees, positions) for the different startup phases?
- determine the legal entity of the startup
- prepare a rough/basic budget (per month, income and costs)

Seed Capital

Business Ideation (problem insight)
* Find a business idea
If no clear-cut business idea exists yet, here are some tips for getting inspiration
- use distinctly own expertise and experience to develop a powerful concept
- identify problems and gaps in a market
- find new practical or improved solutions for existing irritations and wishes
- investigate the market potential of unserved niches, the absence of better, unknowingly accepted half solutions
- apply proven solutions and skills in an entirely new sector/niche (with few to no recent innovations)
- research that can be made more attractive, better, cheaper or more efficient
- look for other applications of partially existing solutions
- combine possible solutions into a product/service
- apply proven business models in different product/market combinations
- start from your passion and competences, use these in already known sectors or even better, be innovative in new/other areas
- look at products/services, markets and processes (or activities) from a "what is next" way of thinking
- keep searching by taking action; contacts, reading, visiting fairs/shops, interest groups, internet platforms, surveys, researching markets, niches, processes, and trends give new ideas
* Research and evaluation of the business idea
If one or more business ideas exist, a qualitative assessment will have to be made as to whether the concept can be realized. Such an evaluation would consist of the following aspects
- personal preference and knowledge of the industry (market and product, personal fit)
- the distinctive character and unique selling point
- customer willingness to purchase (which signals are there to prove this)
- target group (customers)
- market size
- competition analysis
- market entry strategy & time span
- cost estimate; development costs, marketing costs, and operational costs)
- profitability
- scalability (increasing total profitability due to relatively lower costs compared to the increased turnover)
- other critical factors
Once the above aspects have been collected, making a comparison to arrive at a motivated choice is relatively easy.

Concept Valuation (problem/solution fit)
Prevent a business idea that does not sell, because without turnover there is no company. Don't make the mistake of knowing what a customer wants. Also remember that in this phase, the business idea is still hypothetical and, despite some positive feedback, there is no hard evidence for sales yet.
* First gather information
Do targeted (market) research by interviewing potential customers and other interested parties
to verify if they
- experience problems that the business idea can solve,
- the needs for the solution
- identify possible additional wishes and areas for improvement
- establish a willingness to pay
To this end, draw up a plan with questionnaires so that there is a total overview of what information is essential and where and how this information can be obtained. Do not limit the sources exclusively to desk research and acquaintances, but also include other sources in the research. At this stage, it does not have to be a significant primary market research but tries to approach the purchasing users as much as possible.
Realize that part of that advice, asked or not, will be good. Investigating and collecting information is a time-consuming process, and therefore, one needs to prepare well. Also, obtaining and processing feedback is a gift. So here are some tips below;
- be always courteous and grateful for the information received
- distance yourself from biased assumptions
- take the time and think about the underlying reasons
- look for the core of the answers, ask why, how and what could be better
- let others talk, keep listening, ask questions to receive interesting information
- most valuable is negative feedback, from which you can learn, improve or limit the loss
- recognize recurring patterns and comments
- encourage everyone to be honest and sincere, let them think along
* Process all data in a feasibility study
Validation of business ideas - proof of concept (POC) - is a substantiated case study that the business idea is feasible and can be successful.
Besides, such a structural study reinforces a Research-Learn-Repeat approach with which one can validate the business concept based on the assumptions from the ideation phase (research and evaluation). Proof should be minimal contain;
- market
- use
- product and / or service
- principles, assumptions, and interpretations (which lie at the foundation of the investigations and decisions)
See also our feasibility study services.

Co-founder Alliance
It is nice to have a partner who shares vision and passion and who also do have complementary expertise. In addition to the early startup merger with one or more partners, there are also considerations to remain a solo entrepreneur for the time being. The following disadvantages may be considered here;
- sharing ownership and revenues
- decision making requires consensus
- a collaboration needs investment time to grow
- the relationship breaks down risk
- creates less added value as previously thought
The potential benefits should be;
- complementary skills
- distribution of responsibilities
- distribution of the work and tasks (after all, there is a high workload)
- better decision making
- each other's strategic sounding board
- increasing the problem-solving capacity
- stimulate, motivate and morally support to each
- sharing the early costs, often out-of-pocket expenses
- more financial resources to invest as equity
- increases the support from investors by limitation of the risk
The critical question is and remains: is a co-founder desired or necessary and if so
 - where and how to find
 - what is the profile of the co-founder
 - strong mutual personal chemistry
 - unity in the method of cooperation
- agreement on the contractual conditions

Prototype Development
The next phase is the development of a prototype, a preliminary sample, a mock-up or simulation of the final product. Choices must be made in the development of the prototype;
* the requirements for the prototype
- design, a simple form or exact display
- functionality, basic functions or all features
- adaptable or not possible (based on progressive insight and development)
* kind of prototype models
- virtual, digital, display (fashion), miniature (3d printing), developable / evolutionary, sketches, scale model (non-functional)
* the purpose of a preliminary model or the actual product, the prototype
- product design (appearance, functionality, cost savings)
- production model
- product testing
- registration of patents and IP intellectual property
- presentation to investors and others

Business Model
Product Design (beta-testing, modification)
Business Plan
Product Validation (product/market fit)
Brand Marketing
Company Formation
Pitch Deck
Funding
Commercialisation
Scale-up


Consultdustry startup management services

Our startup management services consist of
• startup counselling services
- startup project management
- startup feasibility study
- startup business planning
- startup advisory board
- startup mentoring & business coaching
• startup management services
- startup interim management
- temporary management
• startup operations consulting
- business representative
- business development, marketing & sales
- business alliances
- supply chain incl. strategic procurement & distribution
- human resources procedures
- financing brokerage
• startup support services
- executive search & recruitment
- immigration visas & work permits
- corporate housing, business premises facility management
• startup legal services (in cooperation)
• startup accounting services (in cooperation)