Tips for Startups is a series of articles that should help you avoid common misconceptions and get you ready for the questions investors are fond of asking when meeting you for the first time. I approached several consultants and business angels, who provide smart money or mentoring to various businesses, and I’m going to share their views with you through this short blog series.
This episode, I’m talking with Jakub Nosek, a Brno based startup mentor.
Currently, we’re facing the COVID pandemic. It is a strange, but special time. With social gathering being limited; we heavily depend on social media, working from home – we’re staying home for most of our time. We have more free time than we would like to have. We have enough time, but sometimes… we waste it. Time is, actually, the most valuable asset we have.
For every company, time is critical. Time is a competitive advantage – the sooner you can reach the market with your product, the sooner you can start selling. Sometimes people in business try to create the best product possible, not considering the 80/20 rule. Creating the best consumes an incredible amount of time, and it’s expensive.
The longer you develop your products, the more resources (people, money, inputs) the process consumes. But if you’re quick and able to deliver to customers what they need, you can get money from them sooner and to have a higher profit.
You may know something about the time value of money. In finance, it means that the longer you apply compound interest, the higher (and exponential!) yield you get. By the way, there is a nice parallel with the exponential curve of COVID spread. Time value of money means that the value of money ten years ago was not the same as the value of money today. Clear evidence of this is that no one is willing to lend you money for a long time for free. Sometimes people do not take this into account, especially in the Czech Republic, and do not take care of money appropriately. Imagine that you were able to get 7% p.a. – compound interest ensures that you get twice more money in 10 years!
The value of time is, maybe, the most critical in personal life. When we are young, we have plenty of time… and energy, as well. As we grow, we experience that we also need to work, we have responsibilities towards our families, and our free time becomes limited. Time becomes a precious resource. Which stage are you in now? When you currently think of what you want to experience in life: think of what you want to achieve, where you want to go, what you want to experience… And put your thoughts down. Prioritize. Visualize how you reach your goals. Make a plan. And act! Time is precious; there is no time to waste.
We’re now experiencing an exceptional time and condition – it may be an excellent opportunity to pause for a moment and think of how to use the time we have better.
Mgr. Jakub Nosek, MBA is a management consultant and expert, start-up mentor, head of options income strategies at www.101plus.cz
Photo courtesy by Jiří Lubojacký (it pictures the clock on Česká, the famous meeting point in the centre of Brno)