What makes Formula 1 racing like running a startup business

Scratching your head about the state of your startup business? It’s a fair bet that others have been there before you; suffered the same headaches, the same heartbreaks, and the same frustrations. It’s for that reason that they’re likely to be ready to help you through your difficulties in the loosely-linked startup communities. And if you’ve come through the startup route yourself, shouldn’t you be helping others now? We’d say so…

Formula 1 racing cars are very much like startup businesses. They’re the result of years of planning, sourcing finance, finding the right people to have on the team, and they carry dreams alongside their sponsors’ logos.

And then the lights go green, and the rest of the field roars off to battle for glory, but one car is left stranded on the line; victim of the failure of just one tiny fragment of the whole complex equation.

It’s why Formula 1 teams and startup businesses fail, but at the same time it’s at this point that the analogy starts to break down. That’s because although the Formula 1 failure will have been almost instant, leaving no sensible time for recovery, a startup business should have more warning; more time to reach for Plan B and still be in with a fighting chance of taking on the opposition.

But if it’s to have that chance, the startup needs two things. Or, more precisely, it needs many things, amongst which two are paramount. The first thing they need is a sharp awareness of the state of company finances; the second a support network of detached but well-informed people who can look objectively at the state of any particular business, and offer sound advice for keeping it on track –or to return briefly to the F1 analogy, to get it off the start line.

 The finances
Expense Management
The lowly-paid employee faces the same problem a dozen times a year – having too much month left at the end of their money. Startups are no different, though perhaps on a different timescale, and certainly with larger sums of money. With a certain amount of finance in place, they have to be certain they’re getting the absolute maximum traction from every penny; the biggest bang for the buck, to get the business off the line.

But without knowing just how much they’re spending, they have no way of knowing how long the money will last, therefore how long the business can remain viable, and how urgent any remedial action might be.

To do that requires tight expense management, which Solo Expenses has down to a fine art. It’s helpful because to establish a new business requires someone in the organisation to be on top of the money management, even if being a good expense manager is a new skill.

The Solo Expenses expense manager app has been helping businesses and people keep a close eye on expenses sine 2003, and is now used by customers in more than 90 countries.

It was the first expense manager app designed exclusively for sole traders, but has evolved into four discrete offerings. Still remembering its beginnings sole traders and individuals are still catered for, but the most powerful and versatile version can handle expense management for corporate businesses with thousands of employees – which most startups probably aspire to be.

What’s more, (and here’s the real benefit for startups), Solo Expenses is cost-effective, Used diligently, it has the power to save more money than it costs. That’s why individual users can download it free here, where they can also see the benefits of the product when their business grows.

The people
There are startup communities around the world. The concept is strong in America, and the current European hotspot would appear to be Berlin. It looks very much as though within two years, startups that fail to get off the start line have run out of their initial finance before they’ve grown into markets and become self-sustaining. And we’re not talking peanuts here; the sums of money can easily run into seven figures.

Solo Expenses particularly likes Face-Entrepreneurships, which not only offers advice but encourages input from people beginning their entrepreneurial journey. Involvement comes in multiple levels, and there are even opportunities to meet face-to-face at events.

The bottom line is that starting a business is hard, but it doesn’t have to be a lonely journey. With support and mentoring, your idea could take off, and yours could become a household name.

And that’s why startup communities should be encouraged, supported and nurtured. Without the people behind them becoming successful and making a difference in the world there will be fewer jobs, fewer now ideas will blossom, and the world will be a poorer place.  Just keep at it, and develop Plan B, is our advice.