Whiteboard

A written-up version of the “mugshot” scribbled on the whiteboard

  1. 10 minutes of questions to encourage feedback and deal with queries.
Step 4 - Get down to work!

Following the briefing we split into three teams initially:

  • Branding
  • Market research
  • Technology
As the day progressed, we rearranged and reassigned people and teams to different tasks as required.

* Tip - I tried to give myself as few tasks as possible so I could act as the link between teams and make decisions rapidly.

What needs doing

The nature of your business will dictate what you need to work on but here’s our task list. These can be applied to most businesses:

  • Come up with a brand name - 1 hr
  • Secure domain names - 15 mins
  • Secure names on social sites - 30 mins
  • Logo design - 1 hr
  • Brand look and feel - 1hr
  • Call suppliers/mystery shop - 4 hrs
  • Call potential customers (we probably spoke to 50 people over the day largely by asking “who else do you know in a similar situation”) - 4hrs
  • Website copy - 2 hrs
  • Website layout - 2 hrs
  • Website build - all day
  • Set-up Google apps (email) - ask IT company
  • Standard email copy - 3 hrs
  • Set-up phone number - ask IT company
  • Set-up email newsletter (Mailchimp)
  • Create and launch Google AdWords account
  • Create outline digital marketing plan - 3hrs
  • Populate “database” (spreadsheet) - 3hrs
  • Week one plan and write-up processes for “employee/s” - 3hrs
“Focus efforts on the customer "interface", not the back office....and keep it simple”

You might have noticed I didn't include “incorporate company” or “set-up bank account” in the above list. That's because our focus was on the customer “interface”, not the back office.

Getting customers was a higher priority than being able to process a payment (indeed we processed our first payment manually through a third party bank account). That meant focusing on getting a website up and running, and keeping things simple.

The “price comparison site” we launched was little more than a form, some persuasive wording and an about us page.

The back office system? As soon as a form was filled, we literally picked up the phone to suppliers and emailed the collated information back to the customer. Very high tech!

Beyond the day

By only giving ourselves a day, we were forced to adopt an “agile” or “lean” mindset and how refreshing that has been!

One month in we are beginning to automate processes after discovering what is important to customers, some of which were unexpected. If we’d launched the company more traditionally, we would have wasted all that development budget automating things that the customer didn’t want.

If a day is all you can spare for a new business, then delegation is your only option. It’s also pretty refreshing for an entrepreneur like me who doesn’t like letting go.

I’m thriving on having another business, yet I’m still working full time at Attacat. That’s only been possible by finding a partner who shares my vision. This has certainly been a different way of setting up a business, but for time poor entrepreneurs, I highly recommend it.

By Tim Barlow, co-founder TheWoodpicker.com