So what have we learned?
Take Risks, But Mitigate Both the Up and the Downside
It’s mildly impressive. 85% of Canadian start-ups make it to one year, so 15% don’t. Better to be in the 85%, but it is the majority. That being said, every year the survival rate drops so that by 5 years out only 50% are left. We must take the longer view. ideaPraxy has had to turn business away this year; that was managing the upside and downside. In Great by Choice Jim Collins talks about “leading above the death line.” He also talks about the practice of “firing bullets, then cannonballs.” Rather than expound I recommend the read. Both of these chapters have helped form the ideaPraxy strategy for growth and survival.
Practice What You Preach
As a capacity building company, we constantly preach the need for consistent sustainable business/fundraising development. Success magazine has been a great resource for idea generation and motivational content. At a regular cadence, sales and marketing must keep occurring in alignment with a focussed strategic plan. This is always a challenge, but especially when you are small and at full capacity.
When you are in a service business, there is always a temptation to expand services as a way to survive or generate more business. Don’t. Stay true to your core offerings and sell those. That’s where you will get the happiest clients and best results…and more business.
Although there is more, these three key concepts are core to our success this year, and we believe are transferrable to many organizations as well.