Should I Plan My Trip Or Just Wing It?

The Startup Business Strategy

How often do you set off on a journey without a plan?

I know I often do and it is sort of exciting because it keeps my options open. If I see something along my travels I then make a detour and often at the end of my trip there are always some great experiences and stories to tell.

But if I am to be honest, I actually did have some sort of overarching plan in my mind and certainly I managed my risk in respect to contingencies of money, health and insurances. But that’s me though. What about you? What about your business?

You see when I read stories about many successful entrepreneurs there is something in common in all of them that contributed to their success apart from their tenacity and work effort. Whether it is the story of a local franchisee owner or the Richard Branson’s and equivalents, to me this “ingredient” if I call it that, is a critical success factor. When you have this, or do this when kicking off your startup or starting a business, then the likelihood of moving forward is more greatly assured.

Furthermore, when you do this, it will give you the visibility or certainty of your business in how it should operate both now and into the future. When you do this, this will ensure you are set up for today, while laying the foundation in how your business is set up for growth.

However, when you do not do this, you will find it difficult to run at your best, or most optimum. In essence, you will find yourself working for your business, rather your business working for you and the uncertainty that can bring. The classic syndrome of budding entrepreneurs that Michael Gerber called out in his book The E-Myth (if you have not read it, it should be on your list – it’s timeless).

What I am talking about is the need to design your business from the beginning. See it as a business, not something that is a hobby or part time job, even if the business at the moment is just you. In essence, what you need to do is to “structure” your business from day one. By doing this, it helps you be more commercial and more focused as to where you place your efforts as your time is one of the most valuable assets you have in the early stages.

What this also does is identify all the components that make up your business – the functions, the activities and the required capabilities, so by doing this, it lets you identify where there may be short comings, possibly short comings of those you know quite intimately… like yourself!

You see while I admire some of my clients for their sense of responsibility to do everything, I remind them that there are no awards in this category. I think one of the greatest lessons a new business owner or entrepreneur can learn is to how to move to the next base rapidly. Yes by all means, be hands on at the start, but eventually you have to let go of some of the activities and delegate and empower others to do them. This of course is achieved by having the structure of your business very clear and then by building a team around you. Possibly the most important role you need to take on, is the role of the talent scout.

In my business, I have identified people which I would like to work with, not as clients but as partners. They do not know that yet and I am not ready to have those conversations either, but my eyes are open and I am progressively building this team. I can do this because I have a clear view of the structure of my business, and clarity around the role I wish to fulfil and where I need to reach out for capability which I just do not have.

If you are serious about following your passions into some sort of startup or business, well go for it. However also have a vision on how your business could be structured both for today while you are bootstrapping it, and as it grows and scales up. It will pay back tenfold in the long run – after all, don’t you want to create a legacy as well?

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