The sweet 16 Rules of Boot-Strapping 07/09 compiled by Peter/CXO Wiz4.biz
8. Determine Partner expectations. Set expectations about your businesses needs, and how they will meet them and be happy to do so. What will be their responsibility? What contribution will they be expected to make? How will they be compensated? Meet regularly to discuss developments, progress & what the next steps are – to keep up the pace.
9. Attract the Best people. Build a close, smart & energetic team by bringing in those “excited” about your idea. Be as careful about selecting them as you would a mate, because you’re going to have a close relationship with them and you want to make sure it’ll be a mutually beneficial one. As the team reviews progress, they’ll feel more comfortable and will be more eager to make a contribution.
Understand everyone’s skills & roles – and be very clear about responsibilities. Having too many people can be distracting and inefficient. The goal with any team is to achieve greatness, collaborate & move quickly. Avoiding headaches, redundancies & wasted time is equally important. Be sure that your partners are invested in the idea and the company – financially & mentally.
10. Get great at Email. This is particularly important for Moonlight entrepreneurs who run their business and communications after hours… Email then becomes your communication medium with the team, your partners & your users. Realize that partners will likely read your Email first thing in the morning (along with dozens of others) – so your message needs to be focused & clear. Email exchanges in normal business operations are often inefficient: lots of back-and-forth exchanges. When moonlighting, you normally have one exchange a day – so you either have to make it worthwhile or waste a day’s progress. Email is also particularly important when the team lives in different locations (or is without a home office).
11. Use a Management system like Google Docs or Trac – which are lifesavers. Find one that works for you and ideally – everyone uses it routinely. Make sure that the team is receiving all system updates and subscribes to the RSS alerts. These products don’t work if not actively used.
12. Encourage your Team to have Smart Phones – if they don’t already them. The efficiency gain of having everyone connected – so they can exchange info immediately (when they have an idea) – will pay off instantly.
13. Drink a lot of Coffee – to keep going on when you have a hot idea to implement or need to go to Starbucks to . . .
14. Meet regularly (ie, weekly) to discuss Progress/ Next Steps ( even if you don’t have much progress to discuss). Get feedback on what’s happening with development or customers and decide what to do next. Take Notes and . . .
15. Create an Action Plan for the next steps – so you clarify your thinking – and send it to your team so they know exactly what everyone has agreed to and what they have to do.
16. Celebrate significant Milestones to lift the spirits of your Team – who are working hard to meet the Goals. Tell them how you appreciate their efforts and how it has contributed to the progress.
Comments: Did I cover it all? Anything to add?