How to avoid dysfunction in your early-stage business

Developing natural medicines for their startup business.
Developing natural medicines for their startup business.

How to avoid dysfunction in your early-stage business

Have you developed a natural medicine but haven’t been able to commercialise your business to its full potential? You’re not alone. We know innovators and suppliers of quality ingredients focus on their product as a top priority – and rightly so. Getting your product to market often takes an entirely different set of skills, and that’s where Netura can help.

Great ideas, passion and… dysfunction?

Most entrepreneurs, regardless of industry or product, experience similar blockages to success. They focus on the product they’re developing and not on building a business. Without the product, there is no business, right?

For many startups, the business grows organically, usually on the back of work overload. One person, with a great idea, starts a business. As they get busier, they need support and hire their first employee. It’s “all hands on deck” and the two perform all the tasks between them.

The business takes on a partner to increase turnover. Now the founder has a partner – or co-founder – and the first employee becomes overwhelmed with all the work the two partners produce. A second employee is hired to help and takes direction from the first. Both partners give work to both employees. Complexity sets in; everyone is busy so a third employee is hired.

Complexity gives way to dysfunction as the partners drive product development and staff try to keep up. Stress and frustration are common. The result is:

  • Duplication of effort and responsibility for tasks
  • Excessive management time taken to make decisions
  • Staff frustration about not being able to work efficiently
  • Management selected for tasks which do not match their skills
  • No clearly defined communication lines.

Sound familiar?

Moving from a dysfunctional startup to a fully commercialised business

Most entrepreneurs want a business that generates profit and provides a good lifestyle. It requires a framework that ensures staff are empowered to make appropriate decisions and avoid unnecessary reliance on management. Functionality makes sure the business is not dependent on any one person, in any area. This results in an entirely different work environment for both founders/owners and staff.

  • The right people are in the right job, with clear direction.
  • All employees are empowered and responsible.
  • No duplication of functions or activities occurs in the business.
  • Every business function is assigned to someone in the operational staff to action. 
  • Management focuses on strategic activity.
  • Founders, partners, and employees experience a healthy work-life balance.
  • Productivity is enhanced through multiple efficiencies.
  • Communication improves.

How does Netura support entrepreneurs and innovators?

Netura uses a simple methodology to support entrepreneurs, innovators and founders to develop fully functional businesses by following a “Red Blue Black” (RBB) system originally developed by Shirlaws Coaching. RBB categorises business functions and the management of these functions, into three zones.

This simple method uses colours to give everyone in the business a common understanding and vocabulary to use. The language is devoid of “management speak” so employees can easily adopt the principles, whether they’re the cleaner or the chairperson.

The key to unlocking the full potential of your business

Each phase of business requires a different focus of the RBB structure.

  1. In the pre-launch phase, a lot of Black activity related to strategic research of the commercial opportunity takes place.
  2. Once a decision is made to proceed with the venture, a business moves to a Red phase. This involves setting up the operating infrastructure like IT systems, securing premises, banking, etc.
  3. When the business launches, it moves into the Blue phase, where it focuses on generating revenue.

It’s after launch where many businesses come unstuck because they’ve been focused on “doing” and have not planned the necessary strategic activities (Black functions). These include:

  • Clearly defining the product architecture
  • Designing a clear positioning strategy to address a gap in the market
  • Creating an effective go-to-market strategy to get products to end customers.

Instead, entrepreneurs jump directly to sales (a Blue function) and the desired results do not materialise. Morale sinks. Business moves into a cycle of churn, and many great products don’t get into the hands of people who want and need them most.

It is crucial to be aware of when and how to step between each phase as your business develops. It’s not always straightforward and you may need to reallocate your Red/Blue/Black resources as you grow your business. Getting help to navigate the commercialisation and growth period of your startup saves entrepreneurs time, money and a lot of heartache. Best of all, it can put you on the path to the lifestyle you want much more quickly.

Why Netura might be the right partner for you

Our goal is for quality traditional and natural medicine to be available to all people. We work with innovators, founders, and startup businesses to help them build healthy businesses for their naturally sourced, evidence-based products. If you’d like more information about how you can partner with Netura to get your natural medicine to market, get in touch.

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