For the past 14 years, every year seems to be a start-up year. The profile of Turlon & Associates (www.turlon.com) is simple, a small lean company and consistently delivers value through the people. We are small for a reason, as we want our customer to be engaging with the same people right throughout the period of time we work with them. You don’t actually need a brilliant idea to start a start-up! All a start-up needs is to make money is to offer people a better service or product than they have now. But based on what people may have now is often not that great, so it does not take brilliance to do it better.
At Turlon & Associates, we intend to incorporate customer value into everything we do and given this we try to do three things to create a successful business:
- To start with good people,
- To do something that customers actually want and
- To spend as little money as possible doing this.
In our experience most start-ups that fail, it is because they fail at one of these. Any business that does all three will probably succeed. It is not rocket science what we are saying here, it is really the basics of making any entity work and survive.
Google’s plan, for example, was simply to create a search site that didn’t suck. They had three new ideas:
- index more of the Web,
- use links to rank search results, and
- have clean, simple web pages with intrusive keyword-based ads.
Above all, they were determined to make a site that was good to use. The overall plan was straightforward and look where they are now.
Here are the 3-mantras for any start-up:
- People: – One of the best tricks we learned as we started the business was that it took a lot longer to get rid of somebody not good as it did in hiring somebody good. At Turlon we have a simple rule for deciding who to hire, can they take ownership of what they do like it was there business? It might be hard to translate that into a set of responsibilities, but we value people that see the business as there way of growing and this rubs off on all things we can then do.
- What Customers Want: – It is not just start-ups that have to worry about this. I think most businesses that fail do it because they don’t give customers what they want. There are two tricks to getting this right. Firstly, put yourself in the customer’s shoes and think as if you are the customer and secondly, we have to understand the culture of the customer. Our simple motto is to put the customer first.
- Getting Money: – As a business starting out, there is a simple thing to be aware of, keep the inflows higher than the outflows. Do you need an office, possibly! Do you need a nice logo, maybe! Do you need an IT infrastructure, most likely! But this all comes at a price and the price needs to match what is available. A lot of start-ups that look great and that invest heavily are immediately on the back-foot and this can cause a sense of pressure. We are not saying not to invest, but just simply invest within you means.
Let’s not forget the forgotten #4 … work tirelessly. During this time you’ll do little but work, because when you’re not working, your competitors will be. My constant leisure activities is running, which was my activation button. It is a case of where the job / business can become your hobby and you lose sight of other things. Try to balance this and don’t focus on the other values of life. Best of luck and we all hope that you enjoy Starting up a Start-up.