HOW LONG SHOULD ONE BOOTSTRAP? – THESE 6 STEPS FOR BUILDING A SCALE-UP ROADMAP WILL HELP

Bootstrapping your startup means growing your business with little or no venture capital…or outside investment. It means relying on your own savings and revenue to operate and expand. It’s not easy to do, but it’s incredibly rewarding.  Bootstrapping is a choice you can make and I think it requires a special “entrepreneurial” character. You have your own mind, you have many solutions at hand for various challenges, you are a “jack of all trades” and you know how to stay frugal in your spending. You are probably also confident in your ability to “hustle”, that is sell your ideas or early product to stay afloat.  So the question is, why and when do you need external funding? Continue reading “HOW LONG SHOULD ONE BOOTSTRAP? – THESE 6 STEPS FOR BUILDING A SCALE-UP ROADMAP WILL HELP”

FACILITATION – SHOULD FOUNDERS & CEOs POSSESS THIS SKILL?

Facilitating great meetings and workshops is an ever-important skill when managing constant change with teams for best outcome. Most teams tend to focus their energy on reaching goals quickly, not leaving enough room for shared insights and learnings. Consequently, teams often undermine the long-term success of the business. Good facilitation helps solve these difficulties by balancing discussions, focus, and priorities. 

In addition, as sprints are becoming a mainstream agile method for product development, should not management be structured the same way?

Running sprints means team meetings every other week and intense work in between with fast progress checks. Team meetings become CRUCIAL:
💡One great meeting or workshop can lift spirits and push for progress in amazing ways!
💡One really bad meeting can destroy the whole sprint!

Team time in meetings and workshops is the most expensive time spent in a business. Use this time well. Be humble and train, train, train… Remember, Rome was not built in one day… 

Continue reading “FACILITATION – SHOULD FOUNDERS & CEOs POSSESS THIS SKILL?”

NEVER FORGET TO VALIDATE THE MARKET – 5 STEPS FOR CUSTOMER & MARKET VALIDATION

When a business is initiated there is a lot of focus on customers, their needs, and problems. The whole company is built around solving the actual problem and everybody is highly engaged to serve the first clients. However, as the company grows it becomes hard to get employees to stay focused and to stay true to the mission – What is the actual “beef” that attracts new customers and keeps core customers coming back and buying over and over again? Continue reading “NEVER FORGET TO VALIDATE THE MARKET – 5 STEPS FOR CUSTOMER & MARKET VALIDATION”

Do founders feel alone at times? 5-Step guide to finding a speaking partner!

In a conversation with our founder Maria, we discuss the stigma around some of the suppressed parts of the founder role. This is due to the current glorified view of entrepreneurship. The media portrays founders and their lifestyle as glamorous where the entrepreneur is his/her own boss, making the rules, and everything is hunky-dory. Unfortunately, this view is not realistic. Continue reading “Do founders feel alone at times? 5-Step guide to finding a speaking partner!”

Reducing the stress level in a team – use this icebreaker exercise!

One of the key challenges during my career was how to manage a team successfully, without stress, having active discussions, encourage learning and productivity and making work fun. As a young leader I started out by thinking I had all the responsibility for how the team was functioning. Later I understood it is a team effort to get things moving. Here comes one of my first thoughts about productivity by reducing stress in a team. Continue reading “Reducing the stress level in a team – use this icebreaker exercise!”

Going from an operator to a leader – this 6 step team exercise is a good start!

I have a vivid and quite painful memory from my early career when I suddenly realized there was not enough time to be the instant remedy to all matters in my team. I had just returned from parental leave and had the opportunity to lead the Microsoft Internet Explorer market expansion in the Nordics. Up until this point I knew tech, sales, marketing, customer needs etc. sufficiently to dive into all aspects of my assignment. But at that time my daughter Matilda had to be picked up at kindergarten every day and there was suddenly a limit to all the hours I could put in. I had to start trusting others on a new level – and thus learning to lead instead of being the operator myself. Continue reading “Going from an operator to a leader – this 6 step team exercise is a good start!”

A USEFUL business roadmap – 6 steps to keep agile teams focused!

Some decades ago lots of energy was invested in making business plans. Big corporations even made long-range plans trying to determine likely business outcomes 3 to 5 years into the future.

Today we know that this does not work anymore. The fast-moving and fragmented market with unexpected events occurring ever so often, make detailed plans obsolete in no time. With teams that may be spread across continents and subject to constantly shifting customer demands the urgency to adjust their work instantly is overwhelming. This makes planning a challenge.

Continue reading “A USEFUL business roadmap – 6 steps to keep agile teams focused!”

If you want to go fast – go alone. If you want to go far – go together!

Discussion on the African proverb and why it’s applicable and crucial for most entrepreneurs.

Most entrepreneurs did not start their business because they wanted to lead people and teams. They came up with a solution to a problem, created a product. They had a burning desire to change an industry and conquer a market. Resilient entrepreneurs know their business and work relentlessly.
Continue reading “If you want to go fast – go alone. If you want to go far – go together!”

Founders challenge to prioritize – 6 steps for a better balancing act!

Balancing priorities of long, mid, and short term is the main challenge when scaling your business. All businesses have a shortage of time, money, and resources. Funding does not necessarily solve this, as it tends to turn into tougher goals. Raising tens or hundreds of millions means you need to spend that money even more wisely with higher expectations from shareholders.
Continue reading “Founders challenge to prioritize – 6 steps for a better balancing act!”