The definitive to-do list for startups
You may not realize it, but your early stage company has a lot in common with many thriving, internationally recognized brands. Right now, you’re travelling along the same journey that virtually every leading company has travelled: a journey that begins with a simple idea, but now requires careful execution as you navigate your way to success.
The individual twists and turns you encounter may be different, but the fundamental challenges you’ll face are the same ones that the most accomplished businesses have faced. In fact, you’ve probably run into one of the biggest, most common challenges already: the unknown.
“It’s difficult for startup founders to see what’s coming because they’ve never been down that road before,” says David Stevens, a senior advisor with Deloitte Private Consulting. “So they end up running into unanticipated roadblocks and intimidating demands in the early stages of their evolution. It’s a frustrating situation that inhibits growth.”
Many founders, for example, don’t take advantage of government incentives—simply because they don’t know such incentives exist. That’s money left on the table that could be used to fuel growth. Similarly, early stage companies that don’t optimally structure their organizations now can miss out on favourable tax opportunities later. Even preparing for a successful raise can catch early stage companies by surprise. The sheer volume of information required for investor scrutiny is often overwhelming.
Not knowing what’s ahead can be a daunting challenge. After all, it’s hard to trust random websites or information sources when you don’t know what’s reliable or appropriate.
To support the early stage community, we’ve created a checklist of the key factors for you to think about at each stage of your journey as a business, from ideation through maturity and even to sale or IPO. You might be surprised at how many items there are. But each one is important. After all, says Stevens, “We’re shining a light down a road that has so many twists and turns it’s difficult to navigate. A little illumination can make it much easier to stay on course.”
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