5 things you can do today to bring your idea to life
October 21, 2014
By Matthew Tukaki
In order to be a success there are some pretty simple truisms in life with the chief among them “knowing where you’re going and how you intend on getting there”. In fact, it doesn’t matter if you’re planning to start-up a business, have already got a business going or simply looking at furthering your career that chi8ef truism needs to be a mantra.
The challenge for everyone is how you construct that plan into something meaningful. Here are five things you need to do to get your plan under way:
#1 Set the goal: Don’t just get up in the morning and hope the day goes your way start by setting goals that enable you to get to where you want to go. A goal is something that is both realistic and aspirational. For example if you want to start a technology business then that makes sense but on the other hand if you say you’re going to be on the moon by the end of the year then obviously that is probably not going to fly. In terms of aspirational starting a technology business and then selling it for a profit within two years of start-up makes sense – in other words, you combine the realistic goal with the aspirational.
#2 Set the timeline: Goals often fail because they are not supported by a dedicated timeline. To make things easier and more manageable set goals that are short, medium and longer term but define what time span those three points mean. Short term in a small business should be a period of up to 12 months because it does take time to get things up and running from marshalling resources right through to exiting your current role or work. Medium term should be between 12 months and two years while the longer term should be three years and longer. Of course, once you set your goals and define your timelines you can set objectives within those three timelines to achieve and they can also have time spans attached to them (such as an objective of securing your first investor, customer or employee etc.)
#3 Set the resource plan: Goals, timelines and objectives need to be supported by resources or the ways and means that will enable you to meet your plan. At the outset you should always map out way resources you currently have to meet your first goals and timelines which will also enable you to figure out those things that you don’t have. By identifying what resources you need you will be able to then develop a plan of how and when you need to acquire them by. Some of the resources may be financial while others will be material in nature (and often easier to find). The resources you need, will change over the timeline of your plans and goals and that’s okay because it shows that whatever it is you are doing is working – we call that resourcing growth.
#4 Identify people to help: I hate the word human resources because it basically puts people into the same category as either a financial and material resource and in the life of the start-up that’s just not going to roll. Never kid yourself that you can be all things to all roles within a business because the truth is we are limited in our capacity to do things. In other words focus on what you do well and identify people who have the skills you don’t have and partner with them. Take Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Mike Markkula. Steve Jobs was the sales visionary, Wozniak was the technical genius and Markkula was the guy who knew how to get the business structures right and finance it. Apple is the result of that partnership working effectively at the beginning because each complimented the others skills set.
#5 Put the plan into writing: Once you have set your goals, timelines, identified resources and potential partners to compliment your skill set put the whole thing into writing. You can call it an initial business plan but the real method in the madness is that the document is more intended to allow you to bring all of your thinking and post it notes into a structure that begins to make more sense. Review it, play with it and then mould it into something that will ultimately work. Plans always change if for no other reasons than time and circumstances – therefore, never be afraid to refine or change the plan as time and circumstances dictate.
Do those five simple things and your ability to bring an idea to life will improve dramatically.
About the Author: Matthew Tukaki is the Editor of EntreHub and a serial entrepreneur
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