Meadow CreekNews

Launching Your Business Like a Rocket

Filed under Business Management, Small Business, Venture Capital and Start Ups on July 12, 2011

You’re a solopreneur, experienced entrepreneur or a owner/manager of a small business. You want your business to take off like a rocket and not fizzle like a sparkler. There are a couple of key considerations to keep in mind if you want to meet your expectations. Nothing is worse than failure to launch when trying to jump start a new business venture or put an existing business on a aggressive growth trajectory. Here are some considerations that should be part of every countdown.
Strategy, do you have a strategy for your business and is it viable? There is a difference between having a business plan and having a strategy. Your strategic plan validates how you intend to establish and maintain competitive advantage in the marketplace given the environment within which your business operates. It is the litmus test indicating that if you execute as planned, you should succeed. This is the thing that should sustain you during your launch. Having the faith that your business model will work despite any setbacks you might encounter.

Business Plan, once you have established your strategy, how will it be implemented? Operating by the seat of your pants may satisfy your need for independence, but it’s not a good way to launch like a rocket. The average successful entrepreneur works a 70-hour week. If you’re doing that you had better love your job, have the faith that you’re going to succeed and be very productive. To be productive you need a plan. Who, what, why, where and when.

Resources, have you thought it through? This is part of your plan, but deserves emphasis as it is the fuel of your launch. Our tendency is to always over-estimate our bandwidth. Expect too much of ourselves and fail to meet expectations. Setting stretch goals is one thing, setting impossible goals is all together another thing. Success breeds more success and enthusiasm. Failure is also contagious. Fail to meet your goals repeatedly diminishes your enthusiasm and creates a lowered sense of expectations that meeting your goals is not so important.

Entrepreneurship is the process of creating or seizing an opportunity and pursuing it regardless of the resources currently controlled. The implication is that you will acquire the necessary resources to succeed. This is the land, labor and capital from Economics 101. Entrepreneurs are skilled at using their time to develop relationships with people that are vital to the success of their business. These people may be the ones that can help you raise capital, share their industry or business experience with you, introduce you to partners, employees, vendors and potential customers or motivate you.

The point is that you need to think through your resource requirements. You need to scale your plans to the resources you can obtain and put to use. Without the necessary resources, the most elegant strategy and the best laid plans will not succeed.

Measurement, how do you define success? Is your rocket going to achieve orbit or are you shooting for the moon? Either way, you need to measure your success or you might not realize your rocket is falling back into the sea. Not everything is going to go as planned. Your strategy, plan and resource requirements will need to be evaluated every step of the way. Decide what is working and what is not, what needs additional resources to succeed and what efforts should be abandoned and where you are getting the biggest bang for the buck.

Keeping your rocket on-course takes some quiet time each day. Your daily agenda will not be dictated by your business plan. Every day your intentions to focus on the big picture will be hijacked by the immediate needs of your business. Your challenge is to run your business for moment while keeping an eye on the big picture, making sure that your actions are consistent with the overall plan and taking the necessary time to make that plan happen.

Strategy, planning, resourcing and measurement are what will make the difference in your ability to launch like a rocket or fizzle out. If you are looking for some innovative ways to keep your eye on the big picture and launch like a rocket, be sure to watch the Events Page for some programs I will be posting.
Richard Gabel

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