With barriers to entry lower than ever, the business world is seeing a precipitous rise in the numbers of entrepreneurs entering its fray. Though these new business owners are often characterized by a laudable commitment to ideas and vision, there are also many mistakes that are commonly found amongst their plans. Many of these entrepreneurs can benefit from a voice of experience that has navigated numerous organizations through the rocky waters that exist between the beginning of a startup and securing its initial round of funding. Glen Wakeman, a seasoned business professional, is just such a guiding voice. Read on for his insights into successfully starting a company and for a look at the guiding methodologies he formulated for his own startup.
Glen’s startup, Launchpad Holdings, is a SaaS firm the provides business planning advice to early-stage entrepreneurs. It began when Wakeman found that many were coming to him for advice rooted in a lifetime of business experience. Those seeking his help ranged from retail startups to babysitting ventures to a company that built roller coasters. Though these ideas may seem disparate, the analytical side of Glen began to see patterns arise from their plans. As he doled out advice, he found that there was a system emerging that he could harness to help a broader group of entrepreneurs if he could reach them.
From that thought, Launchpad was born. By using software to guide clients through a set path of questions, the company helps them take an introspective look at the foundational aspects of how their businesses work. While taking this look, predictable issues tend to arise that can be addressed earlier in the planning process that might otherwise be the case. At the heart of this question-oriented approach to business planning is Glen Wakeman’s five-step methodology.
Five Step Methodology
This approach to analyzing business is rooted in a firm knowledge of what makes commerce function in general. By taking this macroscopic look, the methodology is able to reduce any entrepreneurial idea to five basic sections: marketing, operations, talent, financials, and risk management.
In brief, the marketing component of the methodology focuses on issues of what benefit the product can provide to potential clients or customers. A central question here is to try and answer why a customer would buy the product from the entrepreneur.
The operations component focuses on questions of execution. Here the focus is on how the fledgling company would actually accomplish its goal of creating the product. This section focuses on the actual “doing” of whatever was promised in the marketing component.
The talent step of the methodology challenges entrepreneurs to assess their own capabilities and those of their team. An entrepreneur may know how to sell a product and what steps are necessary to create it, but without the talent in place to act on those plans they are destined for a difficult road ahead.
When examining the financials portion of the planning process, the methodology opts for a cash-centric approach. Since the methodology is often used for those without an extensive background in business, this style of thinking of financials allows one to avoid complex accounting that might typically be found in a business plan. Instead, entrepreneurs are encouraged to think of the actual cash they have on hand, and how much will be required to achieve their goal.
The final component of the methodology, risk management, is meant as a final analysis of all other portions of the plan. In this phase, the focus is on looking for flaws. While Launchpad acknowledges that flaws are an inevitable part of any plan, the key here is avoiding fatal flaws. By reducing the risk from these elements, an entrepreneur can move forward out of the planning process with the highest chance of success.
About the Founder
If the above steps seem rooted in a common sense approach to what works in business, that is because their originator, Glen Wakeman, has a long history of operating in that world. During a twenty-year career with his old job, he filled a number of roles throughout the company that allowed him a first-hand look at how business is conducted at the highest level.
This experience of taking a business idea from conception to fruition afforded Wakeman a wealth of knowledge as to how business incubation can be successfully accomplished. This is the perspective he brings with him to his work as the founder of Launchpad and the creator of his five-step methodology.
As Launchpad is a startup itself, it too has room to grow. When discussing plans for the fledgling company, Glen is optimistic about the directions in which it is planning to expand. As the company helps more clients in the future, the plan is to scale up its operations using its own methodologies. Along with this, its focus will be on setting aside a portion of its revenue to be used as angel investing funds for entrepreneurs in need. In this manner, the company hopes to share the benefits of its experience in a variety of ways.
As entrepreneurial involvement continues to grow in a world where opportunities seem to manifest quickly, many business neophytes are looking for experience to help guide their actions. With the help of professionals like Glen Wakeman, and his strategies for crafting a sound business plan, these early-stage entrepreneurs are finding that they can achieve levels of success commensurate with their lofty ambitions. That these results are being attained alongside a focus on long-term growth and a “pay it forward” mindset serves as a testament to the fact that with experience often comes a desire to help the world at large.
More about Glen Wakeman at http://positivethefacts.com/2018/02/glen-wakeman/