Launch: Startup Tips, Where They Are Now and Books

Startup Tip

“Many people become entrepreneurs because they want to work for themselves or offer a new solution they themselves were seeking. Entrepreneurs create these businesses from nothing, and these businesses rely completely on the work of the founding individual or team. It is important when outlining your strategy to plan for the day when you will no longer be a part of your business.
Being successful in the long run means that someday you can sell it or retire and the business can continue on successfully without you. This means that when you are first starting out, you need to be highly aware of what processes and protocols you need to have in place to facilitate the transfer of each job onto a new person. Make sure you have physical documents that lay out every aspect of your business. Not only will this give you the structure you need to eventually leave, this will also allow for growth in a way that is not possible when you are unable to hire people to help with the integral tasks.”

Rosetta Shaw is a Program Manager at the Sustainable Valley Technology Group business accelerator

Where They Are Now

Works Electric

Founder Brad Baker.

Works Electric Brad

Since we profiled Works Electric in 2014, sales at this electric scooter company have increased threefold; the company is on track for similar growth in 2016. Steering clear of commercial sales, Works Electric is focusing on individual consumers, says president Brad Baker. “We initially figured that individuals would require far more post-sale attention, but it’s turned out to be just the opposite,” he says.

Baker singles out three lessons he’s learned as a startup executive: 1 “My intuition automatically gets seven out of 10 votes in my head. Nobody understands my business and my vision better than me.” 2 “Sometimes you’re going to have to be a jerk. My allegiance is with my customers and my product, and sometimes that means doing things that piss people off to ensure that those two things are well taken care of.” 3 “Time is king, and patience is one hell of a virtue. Growing a profitable business takes energy and time, but growing a business that can sustain profitability takes about 10 times more. Moreover, you need patience to allow certain things that are out of your control to develop at their own pace.”

Books

career courage

Career Courage
By Katie C. Kelley
A “people development director” for the Fuerst Group, the parent company of KEEN footwear, Portland resident Kelley offers a step-by-step program for designing and developing a psychologically and financially rewarding career track. The book is sprinkled with real-world examples and is organized around finding answers to questions 
in 10 key topic areas, including motivation, confidence, fortune and vision.

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