You’ve got your product or business idea, you’ve started thinking about how you’re going to achieve your goals, and maybe you’ve even written up your business plan. Now comes the hard bit – making it all a reality. This is the most exciting part – everything you’ve been working towards is about to be put into action. But it can also be a tense and nervous time, and the thought of taking action can seem daunting, especially if you’re worried about failing. Here are a few tips to help you stay on track and make sure you achieve everything you have laid out on paper. It’s time to make your dream a reality!
- Be realistic
It’s important that your business plan or strategy is realistic in terms of finances, product development, and other milestones. Think carefully about what you can achieve and in what timeframe. One sure-fire way to burn out or become disheartened is to set yourself unrealistic goals and then fail to achieve them. Consider what goals you can realistically achieve and plan the steps you’re going to take to make them a reality.
- Lay the groundwork
Get the ball rolling as soon as you can in order to drum up interest and excitement about your new venture. If you lay the groundwork before your product release or official business launch, you’ll be spreading your work out into more manageable chunks across a longer timeframe, giving you a little less to do all at once on opening day. Customers will already know who you are, they’ll be excited for your product, and you could have an easier and slightly less stressful lift-off. Win-win!
- Remain objective
It’s natural to become emotionally involved in your business, but don’t let your attachment cloud your judgement. American writer William Faulkner famously said “In writing, you must kill your darlings”, and this quote doesn’t just apply to novelists. It essentially means you should get rid of any ideas that are no good or don’t work, even if you really love them. You may have a marketing idea or product feature you’ve been thinking about from day one that you’re really attached to, but other people have pointed out that it doesn’t quite work or make sense. Put your ego aside, do what you know is the right thing to do deep down, and get rid of it.
- Keep thinking ahead
Like in a game of chess, you should always be thinking one step ahead. What do you want to achieve next, and what do you need to do in order to get there? Do you need to complete one task before you can make a start on the next? Project management can be an important part of business, and if you’re working alone or in a very small team, it can be one of many ‘hats’ you need to wear every day.
- Remember the little details and the big picture
What’s more important – the little decisions you make day-to-day, or your ultimate goal? Well, both. Everything you do should in some way contribute to your bigger business goals. Don’t get so wrapped up in a small task that you have less time to make more important decisions. On the other hand, make sure you don’t overlook the smaller details that could help you to win over customers. Easy enough, right?
- Get help when you need it
Even if you’ve built up your business from scratch so far with no help from anyone else, it doesn’t always have to be that way. If something is outside your area of expertise or you find yourself being spread too thin, don’t be too proud to ask for help. Recruiting outside parties to impart their specialist knowledge is a smart move, whether it’s for marketing, finances or product development. You wouldn’t want pride or stubbornness to get in the way of you fulfilling your business dreams.
- Keep track of your successes
When something goes well, celebrate! Whether you land a new customer, get a great response at your product launch party, or successfully submit your first self-assessment, give yourself a pat on the back and use that great feeling of achievement and productivity to approach the next task with high energy and determination. Staying positive and enthusiastic is key to fulfilling your goals, and we’ll talk more about this in a later blog post.
- Revisit your business plan often
A well-formed business plan lays the foundations upon which you can build your business. Without it, you’ll have less direction and you may not be clear on what your goals are, never mind how you’re going to achieve them. A business plan isn’t something to write and then leave in a drawer, so once you’ve created your plan you should refer to it often – are you on track to complete your goals? Where should you be right now, and if you’re not there yet, how can you get there?
If you need any help writing a business plan to help you get your new venture of the ground, please do get in touch with cbm. We’re happy to be of service, and we wish you well with all your business endeavours – good luck!