We’ve heard it before, think before you jump, fall before you fly. Starting a business takes guts and grit and lots of businesses fail. However; if done correctly your business has the potential to be wildly successful. Like anything in life, when starting a business, there are certain precautions you take to minimize risk. These include scoping out your target market, finding out whether or not there is a market, looking at competition, financial projections, and cash flow run rate to name a few. We break down startup 101 “search and rescue” in terms our readers are likely to relate to.
Singletrack Bookkeeping has roots in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, which is known for their “champagne powder.” We get an average of 300 inches of snow per year. While this is a mecca for blasty blast powder skiing, the risk of going out of the ski resort and into the backcountry becomes a calculated risk. We prepare by taking avalanche classes, buying rescue gear, picking our ski partners wisely, and checking the avalanche forecast before heading out. The same concept applies to starting a business. Education before execution. Piss poor planning equals piss poor performance.
Alex Honnold, a professional climber, recently free soled El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. No small feat as this was the most dangerous free solo ascent ever. Although free soloing is an individual sport which involves rock climbing without any ropes, he had many smart people around him while climbing and preparing for El Capitan. Before heading out to climb he had carefully scoped his route, talked with many climbers in the industry, and had confidence he had the skills to get himself out of a potentially sticky situation. The same concept goes into starting your business. You scope out your plan (line), talk with other founders (climbers) who have done it before, surround yourself with smart people, and prepare yourself with the skills needed to execute. Talking with founders who have climbed the same line will save you from potential future mistakes they have already made and give you insider knowledge on successes. Most former founders also enjoy giving back and helping out their fellow entrepreneurs.
There are few things greater than flying down singletrack on a mountain bike, still in control, but right on the edge of losing control. The wind in your hair, the sensation of going fast, the bike controllably shaking until the moment you go ass over tea kettle. If you have been mountain biking long enough, you know what we’re talking about. You’re in control and suddenly you’re on the ground. In running a business, the same concept applies. Growing too quickly can be as problematic as growing too slow. You can get yourself into a dilemma where you lose track of finances, hire the wrong people in order to keep up with demand, overvalue sales, lose customer service points, and more. If you find yourself in this situation touch the brakes, have patience, take it one step at a time, and always keep good track of your finances.
Fill your boat with the right people. While whitewater rafting 90% of the time is typically on flat water, the other 10% is on rapids, sometimes mellow class 2 rapids and sometimes intense class 5 rapids. While riding a class 5 rapid, all hands on deck becomes crucial. The guide needs to be steering and paddling at the same time while the rest of the crew needs to be paddling hard to keep the boat pointing downstream to avoid the dreaded “flip” or “dump truck.” Equilibrium has never been so important. If one side is paddling hard while the other side is hardly paddling, the boat will go horizontal and all the team members will be taking a swim. Communication, trust, and everyone contributing gets you through tough business challenges as well as down river. This is where choosing your team wisely becomes important.
Starting a business involves calculated risk, planning, making key financial decisions, surrounding yourself with smart people and not getting over your skis. You don’t want to travel to the trail, only to realize you forgot your bike. It is a lot faster and more efficient if you get the steps right. Whether you are in the beginning stages of your business or are well established, Singletrack can help! We offer new business setup, bookkeeping, tax planning, and business tax returns services. We are simple, affordable, and individual.
At Singletrack Bookkeeping, we take adventure as seriously as we do our accounting. Reach out!