Virtuity – Plan for Success: Part 1
Plan and Act on Your Plan for Success: Part 1
provided by Susan Mesrobyan
(310) 954-7974 / connect on LinkedIn
Having had successful businesses, and seeing my fellow entrepreneurs succeed (and watching more than a few who have failed), I would like to share some principles and specific steps that can, if applied consistently, help you to achieve success in business.
I have spent untold thousands of dollars and countless hours in fine-tuning my business and want to give you the highlights of what I have learned. Because of the depth of the subject, this post will be divided into three parts. Today – Part 1: Deciding What You Want and Getting Ready to Work Toward It. Tomorrow – Part 2: The Steps to Put Your Plan Into Action. Final – Part 3: What Will My Success Look Like, and How Will I Know I’m Done?
WHAT DO I WANT? HOW DO I GET STARTED?
Find Your Passion
In your life, you’ve seen, heard, and done a lot of things. Some are more exciting than others. Here is not the place to discuss how to “find your passion.” There are many web sites that a Google search will point you to. Make it your business to find it. When you do, continue reading below.
Found your passion? Good. Let’s get started.
A Program-Plan, Schedule, and Budget
Anything serious requires those three things: a program-plan (what do you want to do/achieve?); a schedule (quantifiable milestones of achievements within a time-frame); and a budget (of time and money, as well as other resources necessary to achieve your goals). Then, you need to follow the discipline of putting your program-plan, schedule, and budget in writing. You can study it, refine it, and then implement it—but you first have to know in your mind and heart what it is you want. And there has to be a strong emotional element there, or it’s just going to be a bunch of lifeless doodlings.
Know Your Industry/Business/Market
Once you know what you want to do/achieve, you have to learn what it takes to compete. If you don’t know anything about manufacturing aircraft, you’d better get educated about it, or know a lot of people who do who would like to work with you. Perhaps you’ve chosen a simpler field: distributing children’s and women’s clothing. You’ll still need knowledge and experience to help you figure out what you need to succeed in your chosen business market.
Overcome Your Fears/Uncertainties
Unless you are already wealthy, you’ll probably have to rely on multiple financing sources to help launch your company. Some might be private investors; perhaps some venture capitalists will join you; others might be your own savings or credit lines. Whatever it is, you’ll need money to start most businesses, usually lots of it. (There are some businesses where you literally only have to pay a small administrative fee; don’t have to buy inventory; don’t have a huge outlay for office space, payroll, and the other expenses of running a business, but we won’t talk about them right now; we’ll save that for Part 3 of this series.)
A lot of fear kicks in at this stage, because people are afraid of rejection, of being told “no.” Asking for money often provokes a “no” answer, especially from people you know. Dealing with venture capitalists or private investors is usually emotionally safer. Whoever you talk to should see that you are confident that you have a good idea that (A) solves problems, and (B) has a good chance to make money for them, as well as you. If you can truly say “yes” to both, then you should be able to overcome your fears and uncertainties and make a pitch for your start-up capital.
Put a Good Team Together
The team is vital to the success of your business. It could be as simple as you and your spouse, or as complicated as a group of engineers or technicians, highly educated and experienced in their disciplines. Get the resources you need—nothing more, but nothing less.
You’ve got your money, marketing plan, suppliers/vendors and technical knowledge/expertise assembled; you’ve selected a site (brick-and-mortar or a home office with lots of computers); you’ve got your licenses and complied with government regulations; in short, you’re ready to go.
Make sure that everyone understands his/her accountabilities, the promises of “deliverables” that they made. Make sure that the deliverables are based on reality and not someone pulling numbers out of the air. If they can’t come up with meaningful promises, then perhaps they’re not the right person for the job. This is something that doesn’t always get revealed right away, but it’s important to find out as soon as possible before the business heads towards oblivion because of poor teammate selection.
Okay, you’ve moved in and have started your business.
What’s next? What has to be done to assure success?
See Part 2 for The Steps to Put Your Plan Into Action.
Susan Mesrobyan may be reached at (310) 954-7974