Four Top Things to Know Before Creating a Start-Up

You looked to be in total control of your life because you have really planned everything and your plans are all just working out just the way you have always imagined and you are now on top of your game. That feeling cannot be traded for anything.

You actually began working and planning hard from undergrad, you knew what you wanted and you have even earned a business degree from a reputable university and you got a plum job with one of the finest firms ever. Life can’t be better than this you thought to yourself, then just five years down the line you are just so not doing it anymore and you are now walking away from that great job, all in a bit to start and create your own brand from the scratch with all the uncertainties involved in starting your own company, you must have gone nuts?! So to say!!!

This is the story of Chris Stamerjohn a graduate from the University of Kansas who had to quit his job in 2016 and formed a partnership with a former colleague, Jonathan Choumas who was a startup and had a Whisha company that specializes in the distribution of coffee. Jonathan then used to buy coffee primarily from the local coffee roasters and distributes the coffee to the local offices and businesses around in northern California. But through the partnership of Chris, they were able to grow the business by partnering with over 25 roasters and Whishaw can now service and distribute coffee for over 200 groceries, cafes, restaurants, and home deliveries.

These are four major tips you must consider before leaving a great job and become a start-up

  1. It all begins with creating vital relationships, both internally and externally.

The first thing to know about partnering with someone else for business deals is that you unconsciously tie your success with theirs. Ask yourself these basic questions: how well you truly know this person? Can you trust their judgment and their integrity? Because going into partnership requires that you be thorough with all the facts that are available and be sure without having any misgivings about the character of the person because whatever that affects your partner invariably affects you and the business you guys are building.

Do your best to go over the business through and through with the person involved, Chris had to go with Jonathan to visit his customers and suppliers and was committed to seeing the whole process of what the business entails before investing which even gave Chris the insight to know what and what to improve on and the need to create a highly specialized distribution network within the coffee supply chain.

  1. The need for a solid business model.

One sure thing that leads to its continued survival and thriving is for that business to be constantly solving and making both your suppliers and customers be happy. Just don’t start a company because you think your product or service is cool or needed.

Even though that thinking is not bad, but it is enough either for startup and also to build a business or company that has sustainability or can thrive in the business world and compete with others and still have its head above the water.

For our business, we saw a gap in the supply chain needed in craft coffee, our roasters offered premium products deliveries because they roasted in small batches having a highly sensitive shelf life and excellent branding requirements.

Our coffee specialists always visit the customers in their respective stores or business places on a weekly basis to merchandise, rotate and organize offerings. The level of attention it needs is something a lot of bigger distribution can cope with or provide.

  1. Versatility keeps you floating

Everyone staff has got to wear multiple hats because they know that they must play different important roles and in so doing, it makes everyone to feel very relevant and would also want to give 100% to the multiple tasks they do.

As the president of the company I am actively involved in almost every department, and can actually take up roles and do excellently well in them all. I manage finances, do create routes for our skilled drivers, very informed on how the sales department works and even make sales calls with potential customers and do keep track on the records of what we have in our store, I know when things are moving and I even more willing to step outside my comfort zone to learn and improve my management skills and even learn new skills.

Being versatile goes beyond personal responsibilities, it involves being pro-actively committed to the different processes, offerings, and professionalism in meeting and exceeding the customer’s expectations.

As soon as we began to expand outside northern California, it became paramount to offer home delivery services which deliver directly to our clients via our website,

  1. Ask yourself, “What am I willing to give up?”

During the early phase of any startup, it compulsory to make personal sacrifices for the sole purpose of getting things running in the right direction which would produce the success you are looking for in the long run.

It’s important and very compulsory to understand that at the beginning of a startup, everything you do must be done following a systematic approach so that you can take the report or record each step you make, the moves you make. These all have an overall effect on the results you will be having and gives you a level ground to leverage on.

Your budget might be tight, but do ensure your expenses do align with your budget and do not be in a hurry to jump the work process that you have set in a bit to climb up the ladder.


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