So you’ve had this great idea for a business, starting with a product that you just know the world needs. You get all excited about turning your idea into a reality and becoming the head of your own successful business. Flash forward six or eight months and you find yourself running in place. So what went wrong? It’s easy to blame the idea, but maybe the real problem is your business planning.
Any truly successful business must deal with three distinct mindsets: the now, next and later. It’s not good enough to simply come up with an idea, no matter how great that idea may be, you need to follow that idea along its natural progression into the next level and further on into the future. It sounds obvious, but it’s a part of business that most people tend to overlook or undersell.
It’s easy to get sucked into the excitement of the now, the immediacy of your great idea and the eagerness of the business kickoff. But having a business is like making a kite. It’s not enough to simply create the kite, even if you use the prettiest materials and the most aerodynamic design. Once you launch it you are still responsible for what comes next.
That kite is your original idea. You can develop it, hire people to help produce it, put together a marketing plan to sell it, but then what? Now your kite is up in the sky and it is vulnerable, open to a slew of variables such as weather and other kites flying in the same sky. No matter how great it may be on its own, any of these variables can affect its performance.
The next is how you handle these eventualities. You have to have a business plan that keeps its focus on your product, yet remains flexible so that you can remain shoulder to shoulder with the competition. This could mean being open to deviating from your original idea if that’s what it takes to keep your business thriving.
But even if you manage to successfully navigate the immediate challenges, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re in the clear. Your kite is still up there, still being buffeted by those strong winds of business, so you need to be prepared for whatever may come later. It might be sustaining damage and it may need redesigning in order to keep it viable.
So how can you ensure that your business supports every level of development? Having a strong business plan is a good start, but no plan should be set in stone because no market ever is. In order to keep up with the competition you have to be prepared to do whatever it takes, even if that means taking risks. Nothing was ever gained without some risk.
Of course, you don’t have to face those risks alone. The advice of a good business coach can be your best asset. The key to a good leader is always being willing to listen to the input of others. By remaining open to the advice of professionals, you can not only put your business on stronger footing but also set a great example for your employees. And together, you’ll be sure to keep your business flying high for years to come!
Awhimai is a business coach and consultant passionate about women in business and leadership. Find out more at www.awhimai.nz andwww.iwahine.nz
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