For those who are in business industry, what do you feel when you starting a new business venture from the bottom? It may feels like jumping out of an airplane and trying to assemble the parachute on the way down. Business is often happens hugely through trial and error and that’s when a road map is really in need so that you won’t stuck in the middle of your business journey.
If your path is like most people’s, this how it will proceed:
- You’ll start with personal road map, and when you find your passion, you’ll develop a business road map.
- Your journey will start at point A, but point B will not be linear; there’s often no straight line between the two.
- You’ll plan seeds to achieve your personal goals and see which one grows and chart a course to follow the growth.
- When the growth become a passion and a business, then you plant more seeds within your business to see which ones work. This is the beginning of your business road map.
Don’t be scared to aim high because not goals can be achieve in a short time. Every departments in business such as marketing, production, sales and others need to be responsible. Budgets will need to be created and adjusted while products and serviced will need to be developed. Sales need to made and orders fulfilled. All these incremental activities are necessary to reach your goal.
However, you know that not all incremental steps will go as planned but it will not be a major failure. Instead, the next thing is where you can refocus your attention within the scheme of larger goal of building. Every new incremental goal will become your next mountain to climb as you travel the road to your final goal.
So start by identify your passions and goals and you’ll already have the makings of definitive plan. And don’t forget to give it 100 percent. Once you have set an intention and a goal, don’t just dream it, work it !
Keeping your road map flexible
Startups have to be nimble and open to change, especially in the first few years. There’s a fine balance between retaining products that fit your market and stubbornly trying to hold on to ideas, products or marketing strategies that are not attracting a significant target market.
Sometimes you can pound on market, but the product will still not work. Consider these stories of well-known pivots i which companies changed in order to grow better:
- Flickr – a role playing gaming site for several years before emerge as the new popular photo sharing social media site.
- Apple – sell computer kits to kids before making its own computer and becoming a $700 billion business.
- Lego – start by making wooden ducks. A few years after a fire burned down its factory, the management switch to plastic toys. The interlocking bricks that spawned a multi-billion dollar business.
- Nokia – start as a paper mill and expanded into rubber goods before moving to electronics and eventually mobile phones.
- Avon – begin with a door to door salesperson who gave away free samples of perfume. The perfume get better reviews than the books so he did a pivot and dumped the book to start the California Perfume Company, a precursor of Avon.
Now, here is the list of step to step of how to get where you’re going in business:
- Plant seeds and constantly observe your garden, looking for growth opportunities and pockets of passion.
- Set an intention and write it down.
- Learn the business thoroughly through classes, internships, seminars, books, networking, etc.
- Work for someone else first, and keep learning.
- Conduct due diligence on product-market fit prior to writing a business plan.
- Find talent, steal talent and keep that talent happy.
- Talk to your customers consistently to capture feedback.
By the way, don’t forget to be flexible. No straight line from point A to point B and success is never linear.
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