Launching a new ensemble, organization, or business? Read this, Part IV.

This is step 4 of a series of posts designed to help you launch a new ensemble, organization, or business. Before you read this post, make sure you start with this post, followed by this post, and this post. Here are some steps to help you research and identify the resources necessary to launch your idea.

One of the most important aspects of launching a new venture is to think deeply about the resources you will need to launch your idea. There are three recommended steps to this part of the process:

  1. Research—Seek out online resources, books, and interviews with successful individuals who have experience doing similar work to the new venture you’d like to launch. Tip: When conducting research, focus on the over arching conceptual of what is being said instead of specific venture being covered; you will discover that knowledge, in any form, can be applicable if applied correctly—even from a seemingly unrelated subject matter.

    Recommended Resources:

        1. Pat Flynn
        2. The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses
        3. Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers
  2. Develop a budget—Your initial budget will help you understand the tools or resources will you need to acquire in order to successfully launch your idea. Create a financial assessment of your assets and expenses related to the launching of your idea. Ideas should be valued over money.  Good ideas will bring financial resources. Tip: Look into accounting textbooks, or speak with an accountant or financial advisor who have experience and can offer you some valuable insights. 
  3. Set the personnel necessary to launch your idea—I strongly recommend that you’re incredibly careful about people you bring onto your team when you launch an idea. Here are the challenges I’ve seen founding members face when launching an idea:
    1. Founding members have different ideas of how to develop their new venture. Tip: Make sure you’re on the same page at the very beginning of the process, otherwise you run the risk of having divisive arguments several months down the road. 
    2. Founding members don’t have the expertise to execute the business concept. Tip: Make certain the people on your team are able to deliver on the needs of the business entity. Don’t take on an idea if your team doesn’t have the expertise to bring the idea to life. Think 15 minutes ahead, not 15 years.
    3. Founding members have expectation that they will immediately get paid for their idea. Tip: Come to an agreement that for the first year, all funds earned will be invested back into the organization. 
    4. Founding members try to do everything. This, by far, is the biggest issue that comes up when new ventures are formed. Many founding members are action oriented and driven, often having incredible capacity to develop their ideas. The cost with this type of work style is that when an organization becomes successful, the founder hasn’t thought about how to scale the work so the business can continue to grow. Tip: Plan for expansion from the start.

Recommended Resources: I highly recommend the book The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It, which discusses deeply how a business thinks about scaling an idea from a personnel perspective.

Thanks so much for reading. I hope this was helpful and please share with your friends!

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Nate Zeisler is the Dean for Community Initiatives at the Colburn School in Los Angeles. He envisions a world where students majoring in the arts have a clear path to a sustainable career, where creative minds are empowered and inspired to rule the workforce, and where access to the arts is not just for the privileged few, but for all.

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