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Applying EIT Environment Goals and Principles to Startups: A Universal Guide

December, 6, 2023

Startups, regardless of industry, are like saplings in the wild forest of business. They are fragile, nimble, and need the right amount of care to grow into robust entities. The goals and principles from the EIT environment, though rooted in IT operations, can provide a generalizable roadmap for startups. Here's how these can be implemented across any startup vertical:

Goals Reimagined for Startups

  1. Inventory Accuracy: Whether it's a product-based startup or service-oriented, understanding and documenting what the company owns (tangible or intangible) and who uses or benefits from these is vital. For instance, a retail startup must keep a precise inventory of its goods and its customer base.
  1. Service Cataloging: Every startup offers some service or product. It's vital to document the full range of these services/products, the target customer segments, and any after-sales support or warranties that are associated with them. For a consultancy startup, this could mean the different advisory services offered and the clientele for each.
  1. Monitoring and Support Procedures: Tracking the progress, understanding feedback loops, and supporting both internal and external stakeholders is a universal requirement. An e-commerce startup, for example, would need to monitor website traffic, customer behavior, and also support vendors and customers alike.
  1. Change Management: Startups, by nature, pivot. They adapt to market feedback, and these changes need to be well-managed to avoid chaos. Whether it's introducing a new feature in a mobile app or tweaking the menu in a food startup, the change process needs a structured approach.

Universal Guiding Principles for Startups

DO ...

  1. Standardize Where Possible: Whether it's the onboarding process for new team members, vendor contracts, or customer service protocols, having standard procedures minimizes confusion. For a manufacturing startup, standardizing production processes can lead to increased efficiency.
  1. Resource Sharing: Bootstrapped startups can especially benefit from this. Shared working spaces, pooling resources for marketing campaigns, or joint product launches are just a few examples.
  1. Backup Plans are Essential: Just as IT environments need backup, startups should always have a Plan B. This could be in the form of emergency funds, backup suppliers, or even alternative marketing strategies.
  1. Scheduled Changes with Approval: Any major decision, like price changes or product launches, should be discussed, approved, and scheduled to minimize disruptions.
  1. Prepare for Incidents: Mishaps are a part of a startup's journey. Being prepared, whether it's a PR crisis or a failed product, ensures quicker recovery.

DO NOT ...

  1. Panic: A calm mind often sees the solution more clearly than a frantic one.
  1. Skip Testing for Quick Fixes: Whether it's a new marketing strategy or a new product feature, testing is crucial. Feedback loops prevent costly mistakes.
  1. Permit Non-standard Approaches Without Deliberation: Startups thrive on innovation, but any unconventional approach should be deliberated upon. If a food startup is trying a unique recipe, it should be tested in smaller groups before a full-scale launch.

While the lexicon of the EIT environment is IT-centric, its essence is universal. The core tenets of understanding what you have, ensuring you can offer it effectively, monitoring its delivery, and being adaptable to change are crucial for any startup, anywhere. And as the startup landscape becomes more dynamic, having such foundational guidelines can be the difference between thriving and merely surviving.

Source material: http://eitbokwiki.org/Operations_and_Support

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