With so many different management tools like the simplified one page strategic plan, quarterly check-ins, and board decks, it’s easy to spend an inordinate amount of time doing management stuff instead of building the business. Only, too often, I’ve seen management tools not commensurate with startup stage.
Here are a few thoughts on management tools related to startup stage:
- Basic management materials should be developed regardless of stage (yes to a business model canvas, no to a business plan)
- Financials should be fairly simple with a focus on cash and burn rate at first and become progressively more sophisticated as the business matures
- Board decks should focus on strategic issues with tactical items and standard data review done in advance on the meeting
- KPIs and goals should always be kept as minimal, measurable, and memorable as possible
Err on the side of simple and let the sophistication of the management tools grow as the startup grows.
What else? What are your thoughts on management tools relative to startup stage?