Startup Checklist

There is a lot information available about how to setup and run a small business. Here are a few resource links that float to the top. These are aimed at setting up shop from an operational perspective.

The following list provides money-saving ideas and resources for operating a small business or website startup. Please feel free to suggest ideas that have worked for you in the comments section.

Free Phone Number: Google Voice
Email: Google Gmail
Hosting:,, too many to list…
Blog: WordPress, Blogger
Productivity: DropBox
Communication: iStockPhoto
Self-ed: W3Schools
Social: LinkedIn
SEO: Google Web Analytics
SEO: Google Webmaster Tools
Productivity: EverNote
Communication: SlideShare
Shameless self-Promotion: SortFolio
Productivity: Dragon Naturally Speaking
Tech: Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Tech: Amazon S3 Cloud Storage
Productivity: Google Docs
PDF Printer: PrimoPDF Continue reading

Promoting Projects to Success

Yea Team!

The first step in a successful project, other than how it supports strategy, is to sell the project throughout your organization – up front and often. Once it’s fully supported and underway you’ll want to continuously promote progress and keep the team inspired.

Here are a few ideas to create awareness of your project and keep momentum.

  1. Get on the agenda of departmental meetings and talk up your project.
  2. Give the project an unfamiliar or catchy name that piques curiosity.
  3. Put a large project chart somewhere visible, near the team, and mark it up to show progress.
  4. Have team offsite meetings where you can focus only on the project (phones off!).
  5. Create a project logo.
  6. Get items printed with the Project Logo – like coffee mugs or tee shirts.
  7. Have a Project Launch! – but not too soon – and only one.
  8. Get logo stickers printed for the team’s laptops.
  9. Make 4 Dummies book covers and use for in-progress team awards.
  10. Celebrate early failures as learning experiences. Don’t be punitive.
  11. Use any excuse for food and beverages – often.
  12. Make progress updates in a company newsletter or blog. Start a project blog.
  13. Speak about the project at a conference (great for recruiting, too).
  14. Promote the fact that team members got some time off after the project crunch. Then – everyone will want to join your next project.

If you promote your project enough and recognize your team’s contributions you will have a line of people wanting to join your team.

Please let me know what ideas have worked for you for promoting projects and getting the best people on your team. Thanks!

“Focus on appreciation as much as achievement.”
~Tim Ferriss

Outsourcing Innovation

Does your workplace encourage innovation? While you might rightly answer yes, you may unknowingly use practices that discourage opportunities for innovation. This post is about common practices that, while effective, may actually remove the best opportunities for new ideas. Continue reading

Reid’s Laws of Project Management

40 Years of Project Learning

Reid’s Law #1 – Never Outsource Strategy.

Law #2 – The Law of Project Persistency: A project will persist as long as there is corporate will for the project.

Law #3 – Innovation is inversely related to outsourcing.

Law #4 – Requirements Documents are DOA.

Law #5 – Just because it’s possible doesn’t mean you should.

Law #6 – Everyone is a designer, especially in a design review meeting.

Law #7 – One good programmer will accomplish more than 10 mediocre programmers.

Law #8 – PM-101: Timeliness, Quality, Cost is all that you can control.

Law #9 – Projects exist for 3 reasons: ROI, Regulatory Compliance, Political Will.

Law #10 – Project Priorities: Strategy First, Client needs second, Solutions third.

Ground Hog’s Day – Again

“Perfect is the enemy of the good.” ~Voltaire
Done is Better than Perfect

If you have an unlimited budget and no deadline to meet you are far worse off than your startup competitor or most other companies competing with you. You probably have time to wait until everything is perfect and all new ideas are vetted before they are added to your website plan. Meanwhile, other companies in your space have updated their website multiple times and have furthered their strategy. If you’re waiting on the latest consultant you’ve engaged to reveal your strategy – you’ve already lost the race. Continue reading

Ask, Don’t Tell

Another interesting “active listening” technique that I’ve learned by observation is: reframing a statement as a question. in other words, Ask, Don’t Tell. For example: if you “ask” someone when something should be completed, instead of “telling” them when it’s due, you will get a much more thoughtful/active response. You also don’t take ownership away from the other person. (You do want them to take ownership and not come to you with every problem or question, right?) Continue reading