Pivot!! Make Your Decisions Quickly

Those of you that know me, or have been following my Business Execution blog, know that I am a big proponent of planning – both strategic and tactical.  So, how can I now be advising you to make your decisions quickly?  Doesn’t that fly-in-the-face of taking the time to think things through and plan?

Let me explain why I don’t think that it does, and why I believe that the speed of your decision making can be an accelerant to the growth of your business.  After all, I am as big a proponent of execution as I am of planning.

Small business – the engine of the US economy?

Politicians and the media like to spout what seems to be conventional wisdom that “small business is the engine of the US economy” and that these businesses create the most jobs.  But is that so?

One of the criteria describing Collaborative Xceleration’s target market niche is “small companies looking for exponential growth”.  So, recently I’ve been doing some research into how many of these companies exist in the U.S., and what their geographic distribution is (this is also input to deciding where we are going live!).  As part of that research, I’ve come across some interesting data that addresses the “engine of the economy” statement which I thought I would share with you.

Building a Better ‘First-Time Entrepreneur’

This week I talked with an entrepreneur (no names; no pack drill!) who isn’t happy with the speed with which their business is progressing (come to think of it I’m not sure I’ve ever met an entrepreneur who was happy with their speed of business progress [superemotions file=”icon_biggrin.gif” title=”Big Grin”]) – and, actually, my conversations were with more than one such entrepreneur.

This got me thinking about weaknesses exhibited in the businesses of first-time entrepreneurs, specifically during the period before they get to revenue.  My conversation with this individual covered most of the topics that I’ve detailed below; they are ones that commonly come up in conversations with first-time entrepreneurs (I’m sure you can come up with others!!).

Business planning, not business plans

I usually cringe when I hear an entrepreneur or small business owner talking about writing (or worse, being told to write) a business plan.  The reason I cringe is that, too often, what people mean by “business plan” is some 30+ page Word document that no-one will ever read and which will end up as a dusty binder on a bookshelf, or some forgotten bytes on a dusty hard drive.

I want my business to grow. What should I do first?

There’s a lot of advice out there for entrepreneurs and small business owners – “make sure you have a strategic plan”; “write a business plan”; “you need a sales & marketing strategy”; “you have to execute”; “you need a great team”; and on and on.  As with most advice there is usually a kernel of truth (and in many cases more than that) in what is written.  The problem, in my opinion, is that too often the writers make their specific subject – “plan”, “team”, “brand”, “execute”, etc. – seem as though it is the most important aspect of building your business.

Why You Need A Written Description of Your Business (Part 5)

Welcome to the final part of how to write your first business summary.

After the introduction (Part 1), we covered Market Opportunity/Problem, Our Solution and Business Model in Part 2; Markets & Channels, Competition, and Our Advantages in Part 3; and Risks, Key Metrics & Financial Projections, and Team Bio’s in Part 4. In wrapping up we’ll discuss Accomplishments to Date, Next Steps and the Intro and Closing sections. Read through to the end for an offer from me to you.

Why You Need a Written Description of Your Business (Part 4)

Welcome to Part 4 of how to write your first business summary.

After the introduction (Part 1), we covered Market Opportunity/Problem, Our Solution and Business Model in Part 2, and Markets & Channels, Competition, and Our Advantages in Part 3. Seven more sections to cover; so today we will look at Risks, Key Metrics & Financial Projections, and Team Bio’s.

Why You Need a Written Description of Your Business (Part 3)

OK, time for part 3 in my description of how to write your first business summary.

In the previous post, I discussed creating your initial sections Market Opportunity/Problem, Our Solution and Business Model. Having described the opportunity you are addressing, with what product/service, and how you intend to make money, its now time to discuss who you are going to sell your product to. In this post we will cover Markets & Channels, Competition, and Our Advantages.

Why You Need a Written Description of Your Business (Part 2)

In my previous posting (Why You Need a Written Description of Your Business (Part 1)) I told why, in my opinion, you need a written description of your business as early as possible in the dream or kick-off stage of the development of your business. I also introduced the outline of a template that you can use to develop your first written business summary.

In this post we will cover some of the details of how to complete three of the thirteen sections outlined in the previous post.

Why You Need a Written Description of Your Business (Part 1)

Are you (or do you know) an entrepreneur that is just beyond the initial idea phase and is now working on fleshing out the concept and attracting the right players (potential partners, suppliers, customers, future employees, investors, etc.)?

If you are and were asked to describe your business concept to one of these potential players, what would you tell them?

Would you spend all the time discussing your product (or service) and how wonderful it is? Would you be able to provide any written description of the business (a business overview/summary)? With many of the entrepreneurs that I meet the answers to these questions are “Yes, I only talk about the product”, and “No, I don’t have any written description of the business”.