Have you ever thought, "I have a brilliant idea" but don't know where to start or frightened by analysis paralysis. With all the ideas going through your head, it would help writing the ideas down in a structured way to easily find the information later?
I call this the business case or business plan and I treasure it like my map to a pot of gold. Creating the traditional business case is a bit like treading water for months and months, and often the best opportunity may well be gone. There is an easier way, my mentors taught me and I would like to share.
JUMPING IN, FEET FIRST
Surely you can't just jump in without thinking, … or could you?
Well yes, with a little bit of structured thinking and here is my quick way to approach it. Do you recall the chant often said at rallies?
What do we want? .... When do we want it? ...NOW!
Now lets add few more of the "W's" and some "H's". How good? Who is involved?, and the big one, HOW MUCH?
LIVING THE DREAM Bring this Brilliant Idea to life by defining the "value it adds" and when it can happen. That is, if you succeed creating this brilliant idea, when can the customer expect to make use of it and you receive the forecast returns of the hard work? I like to abundance mentality, giving away knowledge, but that not always supported in the corporate world.
Grow some vegetables
||Plant seeds and maintain them until maturation
||Vegetables grown in 3 months
Create online personal development business
||Write Blogs to attract customers,
Sell monthly subscription to 20 new customers per month (at $500 each)
Provide Customer Feedback mechanism
Measure Performance to ensure best possible customer experience
||Grow email contact list with 1000 valued subscribers per month
$10,000 revenue per month for services sold
Customers provide feedback / suggestions
Maintain or Continuously identify service improvements for the customers.
One key aspect, like time, money or quality, will have a higher priority than others. At some point in time, these will likely be competing for attention, so let's decide now what the available trade-offs are. For example
-- If an unexpected issue surfaces and it MUST be completed by a specific date, then more funds may be required, or the quality of work maybe altered.
-- If defects are found and a minimum quality MUST be obtained, then Can the delivery be delayed, or offset with scope to keep within budget? It is best if the trade-offs attributes are agreed upfront.
Who are the key decision makers and do they agree with the outcomes and priorities? Are there other people who can stop or influence the outcome? These people need to be consulted? Getting their agreement upfront on these items will increase ease of delivery and the chance of success.
HOUSTON WE HAVE A PROBLEM!
So what else could go wrong, how badly will it hurt and how likely is it to happen? These items are called risks and proactive action is needed to prevent or lessen the pain. I recommend anticipating these as best you can and decide a course of action should they be needed. Examples include;
-- Business idea may not be adopted by the prospective customer, so prototype with sample customers early will confirm interest and value
-- Business idea creation may exceed available funds, so provision 20% contingency for risk planning and unexpected scenarios
-- Delivery may exceed the "must have" time, so up front planning required targeting an earlier, more aggressive, delivery date.
-- Unexpected new or repair work required, so build in regular small units of work, to be validate early in the cycle to minimise impact and allow the problem to be addressed faster.
This "lean" approach has a collateral benefit of providing value faster in smaller increments and observe customer behaviour.
YOU WANT HOW MUCH! -
My mantra is "No surprises".
So prepare your self with as much information early as possible. There will likely be costs to "build" the dream. Equally there will likely be costs and people to "run" the dream. Don't let these surprise you. Think through these upfront.
- Personal / team effort – don't over commit
- New equipment or additional staff to help
- Monthly services or maintenance costs
- Performance issues
- Unexpected security issues
Early actions may prevent them, or will at least have you better prepared you for their reality. Remember keep it simple, don't over think it and enjoy the process.
Call To Action
Get ahead of the game Check out my guide"Growing Your Business Idea" Click here to get the guide right now.