In this Expert Insight Interview, Zev Siegl discusses what it takes to start a new company and what prospective entrepreneurs should think about. Zev Siegl is a co-founder of the Starbucks Coffee Company and founder of Quartermaine Coffee Roasters and socialbees.com. He is a much-sought-after international keynote speaker.
This Expert Insight Interview discusses:
- What people should think about when starting a new company
- Why every startup needs a financial expert
- How to address the connection with the customer
Starting with the Basics
There are a lot of people interested in starting their own company rather than going back to work for someone else. The first thing that they need to think about is whether they are in the right industry and whether they can make a profit.
The founders of Starbucks started looking into the coffee industry in the fall of 1970 and quickly found out that it was the right industry to be in, that they could make a profit, and do it at several different levels of the industry.
Another thing that people need to think about is whether they can manage the finances of the startup and the operation/company. This is a big deal because so many people have great ideas but don’t have the financial management skills.
If prospective investors figure out that the entrepreneur doesn’t have a CFO or even an accountant, they will not invest. So, make sure you have a financial person on tap — they don’t necessarily have to be an employee or a partner.
What’s in It for the Customer?
Finally, prospective entrepreneurs need to think about what is in it for the customer. This is something that happens a lot with digital entrepreneurs. They get all revved up about a new platform that they can put together or a piece of software that will save money in a particular industry, like, say, solar power installation.
However, the simple fact that a piece of software has the potential to save solar power installers some money doesn’t mean that they’re going to buy it. So, this connection with the customer needs to be addressed. People in the tech industry create dummy apps or minimum viable products that look like apps but have nothing in the backend. The idea is to get a sense of whether you’re on to something or not through informal focus groups.
John is the Amazon bestselling author of Winning the Battle for Sales: Lessons on Closing Every Deal from the World’s Greatest Military Victories and Social Upheaval: How to Win at Social Selling. A globally acknowledged Sales & Marketing thought leader, speaker, and strategist. He is CSMO at Pipeliner CRM. In his spare time, John is an avid Martial Artist.