Momentum is the hardest thing to keep when starting up a company. It will take all your effort and there will be a monolithic amount of distractions pulling you in opposite directions.
You need to keep the energy high and achieve little wins. Further complicating the endeavor is that, for most people, they are doing all this whilst at work nine to five.
Little wins are what can keep you going and pull you through this challenging time. It can feel like an unobtainable summit to get to if you look at it as one big mountain. But as the old adage says, it’s just one step at a time.
That’s why you need a plan, you need to break up the mountain into stages and then again down into individual steps.
In my two week plan (2WP) these individual goals need to be achievable in no more than three days. This allows you to experience many wins inside a two-week block.
Let me show you how to create your own 2WP.
Plan a strategy day – it should just be you and your cofounder and you need to block out a whole day. You don’t need any special resources or spaces, you garage and some chalk will work fine.
In a perfect world you should grab a whiteboard and draw up all the major goals you need to achieve in order to get your startup to lift off.
Once you’ve drawn up the major goals you need to place them in an order of operations. Logically you can get bank accounts until you incorporate a company and so on.
Below each major goal you need to chunk it up into smaller bite-sized, three-day attainable pieces.
For incorporating a company you should writing things like select a lawyer, have an initial meeting, review documents, organize payment. You’ll need to do this for the first two weeks of major tasks.
It can be very hard, and usually a waste of time to plan too far into the future.
Open a Trello board to manage and visualize your progress through your 2WP. Find them at https://trello.com/ and add each of your bite-sized tasks to cards. Split them into ready, doing, done then set the due dates to the end date of your 2WP.
Keep each other honest by checking in each day personally and by viewing and updating the Trello board. I suggest sharing the Trello board between all team members and assigning cards to individuals. Setting notifications for when cards move can help capture those little wins as well.
Host a stand-up every two days where you have a five-minute call or meeting where you check in with each other. You’ll need to share what you’ve done, what you’re planning on doing and what issues you’re having.
At the end of your 2WP have another strategy day to review and plan the next two weeks. Rinse and repeat.
That’s how you run a 2WP, that’s how you’re going to keep buzzed about your goal and keep the momentum to get to the top of the startup mountain.
Thomas Szmidel is a senior product strategist at Appster.