Following on from our work with your business skills list, we are currently looking at different case studies concerning technical skill around start-up businesses. I have divided them into three categories: low, medium and high risk. Last time we looked at a low risk business start up and today we will move up a level.
Medium risk is where you can apply everything you have learned so far, but you are going to try and apply it in a market that you don’t know and which does not know you.
I met two brothers who had both worked in IT in one investment bank for their entire careers – they were in their early to mid 40’s. They were looking to set up their own company offering virtual IT services support to small and medium sized companies that needed an IT director, but could not justify a full time role either financially or time wise.
I see this as medium risk because they knew their stuff but they were going into a market that they did not know and that did not know them. I had no doubt they could deliver, because they had the technical expertise, but my concern was whether they actually had the mix of personal skills to sell themselves.
We will come back later to the attributes of a sales person, networking and their relative importance to building a business. But first, we will move on to High risk start-ups and what to do if you find yourself in this position.