Monthly Archives: March 2014

Home »  2014 »  March

Three Key Metrics

There are lots of metrics which you need to track, understand and build on to run a good business. Typically there is too many, which is why I suggest trying to find three key numbers to know if it’s really working. This started when Mike Cannon-Brookes was on the Pollenizer advisory board and pushing us for regular metrics, but keep it simple. “Just give me three numbers which means you’re going forward.” I’ve pushed the companies I’ve worked with on the same point and ended up adding the three metics to my version of the lean canvas. Why 3? The reason three is a good number is because it can’t possible include everything you need to track. You need to pick those that really matter. Even just asking this question is a great way to know if you are tracking a vanity metric or a real number. The other reason why 3 is good, is it makes you find a simple way to communicate progress which is important for team, investors, spouses and yourself. Three is small enough to put in an email subject line to ensure that you can keep everyone up to day, and it’s also simple enough to keep everyone aligned. Which 3? This is the harder […]

Business Plans for Startups

Planning is useful. Plans are most often useless. Especially in startups. A startup is trying to be a small business and the difference is uncertainty. There is so much uncertain that to try and write a business plan, even with ten MBA’s and PHD’s, you’d still be left with a laundry list of assumptions. That being said, the process of planning is important and my suggestion is to scale your planning with your business. Before you start – keep it very simple and do a one page business plan, business canvas or my version of the canvas. Mick’s Focus Canvas Discovery phase – Use your canvas until you have spoken to at least 5 customers and done at least 5 experiments. After that, start a brand new canvas. Don’t edit the old one. Validation phase – Do a pitch deck to present, not to read through. Start with the Universal Pitch Deck and make sure all questions are answered satisfactorily. Make sure it flows as a story and there are no gaps. It is OK to say that an area needs work. Efficiency stage. You can either do a pitch deck to read through, as this will lead to a better flow, or you can do a 5 page business […]