A good entrepreneur must be able to react when fires come up.
Any successful entrepreneur has had to make a decision that, if dealt with incorrectly, could leave their company in a very bad position. It’s a very fine line. How you react can be the difference between success and failure in a given situation. You may think I’m over exaggerating but it’s true. Anyone who has started their own company will know exactly what I’m talking about.
Now, it’s typically not one single moment that makes or break something, but rather a culmination of moments. And along those moments, some are more vital than others. The decisions you make along the course of those moments, especially the larger ones, is what can and will really make the difference between success and failure. Great entrepreneurs are the best at reacting. You have to be able to flip a switch when a problem comes up and deal with it when no one else can.
As the head of a company, you are the last person in the line of defense.
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At the beginning of January Mike (COO) and I laid out a high-level growth plan for Jakt in 2017. We split the plan into 3 segments: community, business development and content. There are some other items that will contribute to growth, but we felt these 3 areas were the big buckets that would push us furthest forward this year.
In this January recap I’m going to cover community and content. Business development objectives will take longer than a one-month timeline to see results, so I’ll recap that on a quarterly basis. One thing I’ll add to this post, as well, is revenue targets + results.
Revenue is a lagging indicator that is a byproduct of taking action and executing.
So, we didn’t include revenue goals in our original plan. That said, it’s important as a scorecard as a proxy for how well we are executing our growth plan. And while the actions we took in January are, for the most part, not reflected in January revenue (because revenue is a lagging indicator of growth actions taken), I figure it would be good to list it as a benchmark for future posts.
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Whether you’re a freelance writer, hair stylist, doctor, small business owner, or run a fast growing tech company, there’s one thing that unites everyone: the importance of the user journey.
If you don’t think about the user journey, you will fail.
The “user” is defined differently depending on what you do. For a freelance writer, it’s your client. For a doctor, it’s your patient. For a software company, it’s your customer.
For the purposes of illustration in this article moving forward, we’ll use the term “user”.
I’ve worked with a decent number of companies over the last four years running Jakt. Over time I’ve learned the companies who keep in mind the entire user journey when building their business succeed more than those who don’t. I’m not suggesting this is the only thing which makes a company successful, but without it, life can be rough.
There are three main components to the user journey I’d like to highlight. The companies and individuals I’ve seen succeed think about all three holistically.
Ignore one and there becomes a noticeable imbalance and deficit.
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TL;DR If you really want to make an impact, achieve a mission and a vision, and ultimately make even more money, you must build a company, not just a business. I’m convinced of it. So that’s what I’m going to do.
Just because you’re good at building a business that makes money doesn’t mean you’re good at building a company.
Building a business that makes money is one thing . . . Building a company is an entirely different ball game – and I’m not great at it (not yet, anyway). I’m good at the former. I’m not so good at the latter. Now let me explain.
I’ve always been good at finding ways to make money. In high school my parents told me to get a job. I didn’t want to work hourly at an ice cream shop or something similar so I tried to find ways around having a job and still make money.
I stumbled upon eBay.
I began selling things around the house my family no longer wanted. Eventually that had to stop because I ran out of things to sell. But by that point I was hooked.
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Originally written in October 2015 on the Jakt blog.
Starting a business is hard. Then you realize that getting started was easy, compared to step two: scaling.
My company, Jakt, is a service business. This makes scaling even harder; scaling a service business is much different than a company that sells physical products. Rather than revenue being tied directly to product sales, a service business has it’s revenue tied to the services you provide. These services are then connected to the people on your team providing the service. It seems like a simple equation: the more people you have = the more revenue your company can generate. Unfortunately, that simplicity is also where the challenge arises. This creates a cyclical chicken before the egg situation.
- More People = More Overhead
- More Overhead = More Work Needed
- More Work = More $
At this stage, if there is a slower month with less work, we have potentially large losses. It’s a high risk, high reward type business. Service businesses do not typically have the high reward that a product company can have with an IPO (unless you are Shake Shack,
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