Over the last few years, I’ve been involved with different start-ups, from business, to club, and even a non-profit. In almost all cases, I’ve been in a meeting with others, feeling just a tad lost. As I was sitting in a planning meeting yesterday, I thought about the struggles we were facing. It seemed like we were on a deserted island. We didn’t know quite where we were. Not quite where to turn.
Kind of like this…
My question came down to this… What would the Skipper do?
When you find yourself on the deserted island of a business start-up, you need to do six things. You need to take the Gilligan’s Island Approach…
1. Take Inventory
- Who’s On-board? You need to find out who is truly on-board with the plan and who isn’t. Once you have a solid list you can move forward.
- What Supplies Do We Have? Make an honest inventory list of your resources. Including Money on hand, products, and needed supplies.
- What Talents Do We Have? After you know who is on board, make a list of your team’s talents and strengths.
2. Figure Out Who’s In Charge
- Delegate Jobs: Once your inventory is complete, delegate needed job opportunities depending on individual strengths.
- Get Commitments: Get individual commitments of job duties and time deadlines. Write them down and have the leader(s) sign off on them.
- Plan the Week/Days: As you get started, plan your week and individual days and follow up as milestones and deadlines come up.
3. Create Shelter
- What Do We Have To Work With? Just like on a deserted island, your basic shelter needs to be put up quickly. On the island it might be Palm Frons, Wood, Brick, Mud. In business it might be a brick and mortar location, a website, or a phone bank.
- Things That Worked in the Past May Not Work Now. Just because you have had results in the past, doesn’t mean they will work in this current business climate. Make sure your structure will withstand the current weather conditions. Palm frons in a hurricane are not a good idea.
- Construct a Basic Infrastructure. Start with the basics. Build a basic shelter, and expand as needs allow. Starting with the right type of shelter insures that you can expand later.
4. Establish Communications
- How Do You Communicate With Rescuers? When you find yourself on a deserted island like Gilligan, you want to have a Ham Radio, not a Transistor Radio. You need two-way communications.
- Find the Right Communication Medium. Just like Gilligan, you need to contact the people that will actually come and rescue you. Communicating with people that aren’t looking for you is just a waste of time.
- Experiment with Different Mediums. In business, if one communication avenue isn’t profitable, try another. Direct mail may not work, while Facebook and Twitter may make the phone ring. Track your results and use what works.
5. Help Them Find You
- Create a Path to Your Doorstep. Now that you have communications open, you have to let them know where you are. This necessitates that you know where YOU are. The Gilligan Island crew could never have anyone locate them, because they didn’t know for sure where they were. Map out your location and provide clear directions.
- Give Them a Map. Brick and Mortar; Provide a map in your documentation. On the web; Provide clear links and maps. Map it and they will come…
- Once They Have Found You, Give Them a Way Back. One of the problems with Gilligan, is people who found them never came back. Give customers a reason to return. Don’t be a one and done.
6. Turn Your Adventure Into a Profitable Enterprise
- Upgrade Facilities: Once people have found you, turn your location into a destination. Build facilities and infrastructure to handle your customers needs. Your little personal hut won’t work for overnight guests. Upgrade as necessary.
- Expand: Grow with your business. Once people have found you you need to keep the quality of service up. So many startups find that they can’t keep up once the crowds have found them. Expand before you can’t handle it
- Enhance Tourism: Get the word out about your location. Invite people from out of your area to travel with you. Just like in the travel industry, create a desirable location and people will come… from all over the world. Think about expanding to multiple locations.
Overall: Learn from the mistakes the Gilligan’s Island Crew made. Don’t wait to get found. Get the word out and rescue your startup, business, or non-profit today! Feel confident starting a business!
Question: How Could Gilligan Help Your Business?