It’s not business as usual ANYMORE!!!!
Let’s start with Making Your Start-up a Success?
For the most part, Mind Fit as a companyworks with larger organisations that havemany
employees,and work with teams focused on business growth and improving performance.
The process starts (Mind Fit Foundation Programme)with changes that individual players
make and then proceeds towards team performance and business goals.
However, start-ups are no different as it’s all about people beingthe best theycan be.
So this document has a focus on start-up businesses,or as we would hope to encourage the
preparationyou need for consideringa new business start-up.
History of start-ups
New businesses are startingup at an unprecedented rate and yet experience/historytells us
that 80% or 4 out of every 5 start-ups will not succeed.
The excuse for failure when it happens is usuallyput down to a lack of cash – “we ran out of
money” – is the cry.
Of course it’s easy to blame one thingat the end when you ran out of your savings,the
banks wouldn’t lend you anymoney or somethingelse around the same thought.
But the reality is, running out of money was the consequence of a combination of other
things and most of the time it’s the lack of planningand an understanding of what makes
businesses tick and succeed that is the root cause.
So here’s what we would say are the important foundationsthat you need before you start
your new business.
The 3 Keys to Start-up Success
It’s your start-up,however anybusiness,new or old requires a lot of financial thinkingfrom
You may have gone into business, because you had special knowledge in an area that has
little to do with finance, but you must make sure you become adept at dealingwith money.
Even if you don’t start out with well-developed financial acumen,you need to be willingto
learn and grow when it comes to understandingand executingfinancial matters.
When someone is said to havefinancial acumen,experience is the one thingthat comes into
You have to havesome experience at dealingwith data,tracking expenses and income,
understandingsales revenues and KPIs.
Any small business owner,has to gain experience in handlingfinancial calculationsso that
you know howwell your business is doing.It’s the same for a department manager,or
divisionaldirector, you always need to understand the financials.
Neville Gaunt has a saying
“don’t blame running out of cash – businesses and projects fail because the cause is
always something else”
Expertise in financial matters can be expanded to how to invest,buy assets,reduce costs or
expand your payroll.
For anyone, me, you or your competitor, all ofthis knowledge comes with self-studyand
In other words, it must be somethingyou consciouslypursue.
But knowingabout breakeven, cash flow, profit,discounts etcare only useful if you have a
product or service that someone wants.
So the 2nd Key is – Marketing Prowess – . This is somethingthat’s much misunderstood as
many see it as selling.In manyrespects if you master this is can overtake the importance of
the 1st Key (it’s not heresy! Just beingpractical).
Many businesses would havebeen better had they never started.
Because it’s that same 80% of start-ups that fail.If you watch Dragon’s Den you’ll regular
hear a dragon saying,
“You haven’t got a business,I’m out!”
But why is that,when there are so many marketingbooks out there talkingabout the 5Ps
and the 7Ps of marketingand tellingyou exactlyhow to do market research to see if you
have a product or service that will sell.
In other words, whether you have a business or not?
Start-ups are no different from any other business and the simple facts are there are only 3
questions to you haveto answer:
Is there a problem?
Has your solution for it that you can differentiate from others?
Is there a market for your solution?
It may sound surprising – but, just because you’ve a unique alternativeto others alreadyin
the market doesn’t mean there is a market for yours.
Take an example of fixing a laptop or desktop computer – there is certainlya need to have
great technicians fixingPCs, most high streets will have a shop offeringthe service. But
market conditions where PCs are so cheap to replace and other cloud based options
currentlyavailable just maymake your repair offer redundant or worse still in a declining
market, we sayworse still,because you may join a decliningmarket before you realise it!
This TedTalkby Amy Lockwood reinforces the simple point – know your customer
There’s a point when everyone laughs in the video,because it’s funny. But why are they
laughing?It’s a key point so you may just want to thinkon that.
A lot more can be said about marketingbut let’s lookat the next and final key.
But just a note of interest before – none of the abovecan be taken in isolation.You
get Financial Acumen byexperience and doingsomethinguntil you havethat expertise.
Likewise, you get Marketing Prowess by understandingyour market,your customers and
clients and testingand practisinguntil you master it. theywill havean impact on each other.
The one that is always bringingFinancial Accumen and MarketingProwess together is the
third and final key – Your Mindset.
Notice it’s not just Mindset –
It’s Your Mindset
This is where the Henry Ford saying is so apt;
Whether a youngperson,a start-up,an employee, an owner or a director, you will be
successful if you are…
able to thinkflexiblyand appropriately
driven with a real sense of purpose
able to connect meaningfullywith others
havingthe right mindset or being Mind Fit
MindFit will be underpinned bya sense of purpose and a passion that will driveyou to get
the Financial Acumen and MarketingProwess you need to be successful.
And if you need more, you’ll have the drive to go and get what you need.
Now you may be thinking
“I’ve not been trained to do it, where can I get the training?”
Our answer to that is simple – what trainingdo you want? Why not start practising
somethingnowand when you’re readyyou’ll get the trainingyou want. it has been said
‘Business is a marathon not a sprint’
Not because you can’t get quick wins in business,but plan for the longterm – havinga plan
reallyhelps.But the realityis most people are not readyto progress,as they haven’t the
right mindset to start with. But when you haveit, you will eat knowledge for breakfast. This
is a playon Ken Blanchard’s “feedback is the breakfast of champions”.
Lastly – what happens ifyour start-up fails?
Well,if you’vetaken the advice aboveit shouldn’t.however ifit does ask the experts on
this “A practical Guide to what happens when Businesses Fail”download
Now the choice is yours.
So what key do you want to improve?
Financial Acumen,MarketingProwess or Your Mindset
We’re happyto help you find out. It’s always a choice – and you can start today.
How by using tools
What is the meaningof the word ‘tool’?
There are anynumber of definitions,however let us lookat 2
A device that aids in finalisinga task
Something( instrument)used in performingan action, or a pre-requisite in the
practice of a vocation,profession,or your job
Why do we need tools to perform our vocation, profession and or job?
Some responses noted belowas to why we need tools
Tools help us get work ( more) done
Tools help us get to do jobs,quicker,faster, easier, more efficientlyor more
Tools help us to do some tasks,that could not be achieved at all without them
Tools extend our skills in anynumber of ways and for any number of reasons
Tools can be re-used,once you are aware of them such that you can use them again
and again and evolve those tools into newways of usingthem hence makingyour
work load easier and more productive
Consider a few more observationsabout tools that mayhelp you understandthe nature and
First, tools usuallyhavea specific purpose and or function
o They havebeen designed and constructed with a specific task or function in
o An expert treats his or her tools with respect, knows what they are intended
to do and does not try to force them to do a taskthat is not suitable
Secondly,becoming proficient with some tools mayrequire deliberate attention and
effort with some training,practice and support
Thirdly,tools havespecific names and often a certain vocabularyand or terminology
associated with their use
o Knowing the tools names and beingable to use them the vocabularyof the
tools are amongthe indicators that ofproficiencyand or expertise
What are some of the familiar tools for today’s business (no matter a start-up or major
Lap top,Mobile Phone, Brief Case, Cloud Computing,Linked In, Mindfit,Goricos,Skype,
Answerphone, Microwave,blender,mowingmachine. Scissors, dishwasher.
Everyone has learned to use manydifferent tools,some common tools that we as adults use
around the house for instance, answer machine, scissors,blender,microwave, and
Learninghow to use these tools,is not usuallyan end in itself,but as a means to other
important ends,byknowingand using them people can undertake a variety of tasks more
To paraphrase Thomas Friedman
‘If your business aspires to be successful in making and marketingits products and services
and you have not dealt DELIBERTATELY with the challenges of creativity,problems solving,
and innovation, ‘YOUARE NOT PAYING ATTENTION’
This document is about tools that we havecan offer to people in business to make and use
in two main groups
One set of tools ( Mindfit)for generating ideas and uses
One set of tools ( Goricos)for supportingand focussingpeople and companiesto
achieve and ensure conformityboth within the local market place as well as
The two sets of tools ensure the followingattributes and positives outputs with a
small capital outlay
12% increase in customer retention,
25% reduction ofemployee turnover,
Reduction ofHealth and Safety concerns,
16% increased profit,
60% reduction in qualitydefects,
37% ( up to) less absenteeism,
60% reduction in preparationfor ISO costs,
• 50% (up to)reduction in operationalcosts,
• 40% (de minimus)reduction in cost of certification,
• Re-certification costs reduced to minimum,
• Reduction in underperformance,
• Outlines disengagement – passiveor active,
• Reduction in conflict,
• Reduces and or eliminates poor leadership,
• Identifies avoidance and resistance games people play,
Generating Tools (Mindfit)
Attribute Listing(state the task’s that you would like to change, modify,improveor
enhance) such as ‘How might I improveand or enhance my office work station?’
Force Fitting(state the task’s that you would like to change, modify, improveor
enhance) Such as ‘How may we improveemployee loyalty?’
Scamper ( Substitute, Combine, Adapt,Modify,Put to other uses, Eliminate,
Rearrange or Reverse)
Morphological Matrix (tasks that you would like to change, modify,improveor
enhance)such as ‘How might we launch a new low power consumptionChristmas
Focussing Tools (Goricos)
EvaluationMatrix ( state the roles and responsibilities for employee sign off on
process and or payments and or ordering)
Hits and Hot Spots (Focussingon best practice, drawingon values and risks to
companyand its personnel and the impact on revenue, net contribution,growth,
ALoU ( Advantages,Limitations,UniqueFeatures)
Sequencing S-M-L ( Short Term, Medium Term, Long Term)
In summary creativity,problem solvingand innovation thatis the basic tools for which
Mindfit and Goricos represent,are widelyviewed as criticallyimportant in our rapidly
changing and increasinglycomplex world because they enable individuals,teams,and
organisations to attain ;
Long term survival
Strategic Advantage within an international community
Management ( by implication leadership)at the speed of change
Innovation withinthe company’s products, services and marketing
Outlines for Generating Options
Strive for Quantity
This is the most important part ofgeneratingoptions,in that simplyoutlined,that when
attemptingto generate ideas,then the team should deliberatelyrefrain from judgingand or
evaluatingthe ideas that either you or the team havegenerated WHY ?
Judging each idea as they are thought about slows down the thought process,it tends to
lead to dismissal ofpossibilitiesand or inhibition ofyourselfand or the group members
The more ideas generated then the greater the likelihood that at least some of them will be
promisingand or useful,remember there is no such thingas a bad idea, it just may not fit
into the companystructure at that point in time and or has been dismissed as noted above
Encourage team members to give anyand all ideas that come to mind and not hold back
and or censor any ideas no matter how sillythey ( the team member) thinkthe idea is or
maybe. People are frightened to mention ideas as theyare concerned about beinglaughed
at. However these ideas may well be ‘walking on the wild side’, these ideas can point to
other ideas which act as a fount of knowledge, in addition the funnyideas often assist in
helpingthe team to thinkin a creative more positiveaspect,it also engenders communal
respect within the team and its workings,In addition the wild side of thoughts can act as a
catalyst /stimulus for innovation and change
Many times new possibilities result from a combinationoftwo or more ideas,the way that
Mindfit and Goricos works is to enable you to be alert for new opportunities and
Stay on course
Affirmative Judgement; the first and fundamentalcoveringguideline is the importance of a
constructiveapproach to critical thinking,some people confuse criticism and critical thinking
we must note they are not the same. Critical thinkingshould be towards guidingbeliefs and
actions within the business,its clients,its employees,its investors
Be deliberate; This is for the use of specific strategies and to inform and support critical
thinking.Critical analysis or convergingis not just a matter of settlingon an idea or course of
action as a matter of whim or an arbitraryrandom choice, Knowing and usingstrategies
deliberatelyalso helps individuals and ofcourse the business to keep focussed on options
and goals, it helps prevent conflict and interpersonal problems.
ConsiderNovelty; In critical thinkingpeople are concerned about the qualityofthe ideas
and choices which are made. However, in productivethinkingthe business and individuals
are concerned about the ideas which are new and or original,these are possibilities that
provide new and better ways to proceed and for the business to moveforward!
Stay on Course; When focussingon the business /individual thinkingit is always important
to keep to the goals and objectives that are within the business plan.
There is an old saying ‘if you don’t know the where you are going, then any road will take
It is much easier and more productiveifthe business is clear about its goals,aspirations,and
objectives both in a corporate role as well as for all the individuals who are employed within
the business,Goricos assists,supports and reports on this whole ethos within the business
The business and employees can test the progress by asking
‘Are we moving in the right direction?’
Are we moving closer toward where we want to be? ‘
‘Will the ideas and concepts we have created/discussed help the business and
employees move forward in a positive constructive direction?’
Applying the formats and guidelines noted above; Why, When and How
With Mindfit and Goricos remember to applyand the guidelines duringthe whole process of
ensuringthat the business and as important the employees are productiveand settled.
This should include when generatingmanyand varied ideas,or unusual process of thoughts
and objectives,the process of Mindfit and Goricos is focus thinking,and moveforwards in a
clearly effective decision with clarity and thought through
Always use the tools provided when working on and around the business and for the
employees to use for the betterment of both the business as well as themselves
Use the word of and around ‘How might we?’ rather than saying‘we cannot because
off?’ or ‘it cannot be done!’
Within the tools there are prominent reminders ofhowto work together within
Goricos the whole process and outputs are cloud based and easilyamended and
adjusted to suit the current and future business and employee development
Remember; both criticism and praise are judgements,when deferringjudgement,it
is wise and constructiveto hold backon both praise and criticism, the negatives are
obvious however the positives are also as negative in that it can stop the rest of the
team from contributingand participating,finallyemployeesmight well start to give
copycat answers to attain praise!!
Affirm; and encourage the whole employee productivityand creativeefforts (after
all they are the people who will contribute 100% towards the progress of the
Encourage; all employees to monitor and support/comment on the structure and
the procedures after all they are the ones who are in contact with each other,
clients,suppliers,government departments,remember that the Managing
Director/Director/Manager is NOT the police man who is solely responsible for
enforcing the rules. As important do not allowthe abovepersons to dominate and
influence the whole process
Insist; If there are members of the team who will not defer judgement.Ask the
person to write down all their so called objections,(do not be bullied) do not allow
the persons to dominate and influence the whole process
The focussing guidelines; can be very effective in establishing,and maintaininga
climate in which there can be lively debate and discussion without interpersonal
stresses and conflict, this will help the business set and sustain a positive‘tone’ and
climate for productiveand profitable business expansionand success
Finally Generating and Focussing; tools are important for all the employees of the
business to learn and applyno matter what their age and or qualifications