It’s often quoted that 80% of start-ups go out of business within the first 18 months. However, it appears to be a myth. Research from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics found that around 50% of businesses make it beyond their fifth year and just over 30% survive beyond 10 years. This should give new businesses a bit of hope, but it’s still a reminder of how difficult it is to succeed.
Squandered resources, wasted time and failed projects can be fatal for start-ups. To avoid these, you need an approach that puts resources front and centre. The best approach is making sure your resource management is working optimally. This post will look at how resource management software like Tempus Resource can save your start-up and help you get past those difficult first five years.
The challenges facing start-ups are vast. Of course, every start-up is unique, but there are several similarities that have come to characterize a ‘start-up culture’.
Breaking into a new market, disrupting an entire industry, launching a new product, building everything from scratch – start-ups face a constant uphill challenge. To achieve this, these companies famously encourage their workers to take long shifts, pull all-nighters, and presumably drink lots of coffee. This can put a lot of stress on individuals’ well-being as well as the relationships between colleagues. Burnout and conflict can be the downfall of any business.
Solution: You need to manage workloads and tasks intelligently.
Most successful start-ups are fueled by great ambition, passion and creativity – with small teams who are deeply passionate about realizing the vision of their company. However, start-ups need to be honest about what they can realistically achieve with the time and resources available. Overly ambitious start-ups can end up making poor decisions and taking on impossible projects. Ambition needs to be channeled into realistic targets.
Solution: You need to have realistic expectations, to see what’s possible with the resources you have (and what isn’t).
For start-ups there are tight margins between success and failure. Success often requires getting to market before your competitors. Many start-ups have adopted an agile approach to working which involves the quick turnover of small projects in weekly, fortnightly or monthly sprints. However, project delays and bottlenecks caused by poor resource management can cost your business a lot of time and bring agile working to a halt.
Solution: You need to prepare for the unexpected, prepare for the worst, and test possible project outcomes.
Whether you’re a start-up working out of a basement or an established enterprise, it’s your people that make your business a success. Therefore, how you manage them, motivate them and take care of their needs is essential. As we have seen, this is particularly true of start-ups – where you are reliant on a small group of dedicated and passionate employees who are working long hours and going the extra mile, to realise the dreams of the company.
Resource management is ideal for start-ups because it puts your people front and centre. Here’s how:
With tight margins and finite resources, resource allocation is key to start-up success. Squandering resources by assigning the wrong tasks to the wrong people or over- or under-allocating resources to a project should be avoided at all costs.
Tempus Resource provides total resource visibility – so that you can monitor how your resources have been assigned to projects and make changes to optimize this. Heatmaps and coolmaps show where you can make changes and improve how your resources are set up. You can also drill down to see individuals’ workloads – this lets you judge whether employees are overburdened with work or in danger of burnout.
You can use timesheets in Tempus Resource to gauge how long it takes to complete tasks and ultimately projects. This can be essential in governing how you allocate resources but also in defining wider company strategy – i.e. what can we afford to do, timewise – and what can we realistically achieve with the resources at hand?
You can also monitor who is putting in extra hours and who is the most efficient. This can help you decide who to allocate tasks to and how to better share work around the team. On the flip side, you can also see if anyone is not pulling their weight.
All project managers know that unforeseen challenges can crop up and derail your plans. Avoid failed projects by implementing tools that help you predict and prepare for the unexpected.
Tempus Resource offers advanced modelling so that you can visualize your resource data, (i.e. who is working on what). This gives you a birds-eye view of the state of play, as well as letting you see the impact of moving resources around in real-time. Going one step further, what-if analysis can help you predict future outcomes by testing an unlimited range of possible scenarios in a risk-free environment.
Start-ups are often presented with important decisions that can seem like a fork in a road. Option A or Option B – which will lead to success and which will sink the company? What-if analysis can help you assess how well your resources will cope with either choice and leave you better informed to make important decisions.
To learn more about how Tempus resource can help your start-up overcome the challenges of startup project management, contact ProSymmetry today.