#42: Delivery, monitoring and launching your business

We really covered this in my pervious articles under “Characteristics of a Successful Business” in the Reflection Phase. The key, if you recall, is to follow a process that enables you to have satisfied clients, who either buy from you again or refer other people to you.

Just remember, every time you are in contact with a client, your aim should be to ensure that it is a positive experience.


We now need to keep the business on track!

To use a medical drama analogy, what happens in a medical soap is that a nurse comes around to the patient’s bed, checks temperature, pulse, blood pressure etc., scribbles something on a chart, adds the time and her initials, and moves on. If she is worried she takes immediate action and calls for reinforcements.

You need the same for your business; you need to know if your business has lapsed into a coma without you noticing. KPIs – Key Performance Indicators – will help you to do that.

Now we can do the KPIs for your business. These tally with the numbers in the Profit and Loss Forecast and Cash Flow Forecast we created earlier in the blog series (if you missed these let me know!)

We have five KPIs:

  • Billable days
  • Corresponding revenue run rates
  • Cost control
  • Pipeline value
  • Liquidity ratio (this is what we have in the bank, plus what we are owed, against what we owe).

Let’s imagine for a moment we do a check at six months. This is what’s known as a ‘Flash Report’. Remember we wanted to be on a run rate by this stage of eight billable days a month at £250 per day. The bad news is we are only getting £200 per day but we are doing 12 days. So we are ahead of our first two KPIs.

Further good news – we have kept our costs to less than 20% of turnover; our pipeline is fractionally ahead of the next quarter, which is also good news.

And finally our liquidity ratio is very healthy. Remember what this means is that you look at what you have in the bank, add to that what you are owed, take off what you owe and hope that the ratio is better than 1:1, i.e. if the business stopped on that day you would be in a good position to pay all your liabilities as they fell due.

If it was the other way round, you would only be surviving with the goodwill of the bank and your creditors. We have checked, and you are not in a coma, so we can press ahead. If the KPIs and the Flash Report had shown something worrying, we could have taken immediate action.

Remember to keep these in mind and make sure you do a Flash Report every six months to make sure you are still on track. You don’t want to wake up one day only to find that your business is about to go under, no amount of coffee will make that day any better!

Flash Reports:

If you have followed all the steps, you should now be ready to take a deep breath and launch. As a last check before you “blast off” you may want to complete the self-diagnostic below, just in case you have inadvertently skipped something along the way.



Score (out of 10)


Have you chosen your preferred vehicle and sorted your bank account?  


Have you reviewed your infrastructure requirements?   


Have you worked out your pricing policy?  


Are you clear how many routes to market you have?  


Have you a networking plan?  


Have you established your marketing mix  


Have you explored early adopter possibilities?  


Have you created an operating plan for year 1?  


Have you established your Key Performance Indicators?   


Are you happy you can fund the business through year 1?




Score < 30 You may want to delay launch

Score < 60 You may want to opt for a soft launch while you complete your hard launch plans

Score > 60 You probably have enough momentum to proceed with a hard launch.

If your score is at the lower end of the range it’s worth getting things right now rather than trying to get then right later. If however your score gives you the confidence to start, then strap yourself in and prepare for the ride!

Good luck, and don’t hesitate to contact me for further advice or to ask any questions you have. I’m always happy to help so if something is playing on your mind, just ask!

Posted in: Start-ups

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