Have you ever gone through the process of doing some extensive work on how you will grow your business, then found that six months later, not much has changed? Have you ever found that despite doing the work, you still tend to veer off in other directions, constantly in the state of developing new products and offerings? Do you find that the offerings you are developing tend to exist in a place of requiring more time than you have available, or are in a constant state of “nearly complete?”
As business leaders, much of our energy seems to ride on getting to the next plateau. What happens to many of us is that we tend to take in lots and lots of information, then become reactionary – needing to implement or grapple on to the next biggest, shiniest thing that comes along. I mean…you’ve got to stay relevant, right?
But at what cost?
While as small business leaders, we have the benefit of being able to adapt quickly to changes in the marketplace, we also run the risk of not completing the work, or doing a poor job at it. Planning tends to be a bit single dimensions and is done in terms of what we would like to happen without exploring how it would happen.
For example, when planning an event, say you want to have 100 people in the room. The questions that might come to mind could include:
- How will you get them there? What will be the “hook” that gets them to take action?
- Once you have their attention, how will you make sure that the trip is worth it for them?
- What are your total costs – including your time?
- If you are using sponsors, how will you ensure that value is created for them?
- If this is the first of a series of events, how will you make sure that you can get them back again?
- How will this be different than other events
- What is the expected décor or feel of the room
- What do you hope to accomplish (get more business? expand your network? expand your brand awareness?) and how, specifically, will you accomplish it?
…to say that how things will be done is as important as what will be done. Your company will only be known for the last experience people have with it.
What does this have to do with hitting the ground running?
Everything. The actions that you took in order to make what are ultimately strategic decisions for your company are those that have probably been thought out. This does not mean that you don’t innovate, while you will want to include innovation and product development, you don’t want innovation and product development to be the only thing, getting in the way of your existing product delivery. What this means is that you follow through.
Otherwise, instead of hitting the ground running, the company will limp along, grasping at straws and trying to stay afloat.
Focus on building an extraordinary company. Put focused effort into building your company based on what you have learned. Make innovation and product development part of the process and follow through to completion.
Rick Meekins is the Managing Consultant at Aepiphanni, the trusted advisor for business leaders who are seeking forward-thinking solutions to help them plan for and navigate through the challenges of business growth. Our entrepreneurial multidisciplinary team works with clients to develop differentiating solutions and provide direction focused on lasting, strategic results. We exist to help our clients CREATE | DESIGN | BUILD extraordinary businesses.
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