What is the Top Skill Needed in Launching a Business?
In Corporate America, there are so many ways that Management slices, dices and categorizes employees. This can be based on an employee's business contribution; personality test results; business impact; tenure; etc.
One framework is a matrix that ranks an employee's strength to strategize and/or execute. Both characteristics are absolutely critical to the success of a business and there are consequences if you Think too much and don't Do, and vice versa. But, it has been often noted that in entrepreneurship, Execution take precedence over Strategy.
The Queen Of Go! and the Master of Do are a few badges I wear proudly. Entrepreneurship is about speed, especially in the start up phase. We have time factors and sensitivities that can not be ignored. The quicker we figure it out and work through the kinks, the quicker we get to the growth stage.
We Need to Get Things Done, and Done is Better than Perfect!
The start up stage is fragile and you see this in the 80% failure rate for new businesses within the first 18 months.
Many business owners are advised to write a traditional Business Plan before launching. OK, that is an approach... possibly. The exercise of going through a Business Plan process is not what I am challenging, it is more so the process of using the traditional model. More than likely, you will not get the return on time invested. And when you finally launch and your feet actually hit the street, about 70% of what you planned is no longer applicable.
Strategy is important, but there is model that is better at balancing time and effectiveness. The Business Model Canvass is a tool I often use with new Entrepreneurs and with my Retail Consulting clients. It allows you to be collaborative and flexible in business strategy and planning- which is important in the early stages. It is designed to be iterative, and therefore not perfect, so, you can Think quick and Do quickly.
A great compliment to this is The Lean Start Up!! Let's take a moment to thank Eric Ries, the amazing author that changed my life, and hopefully will yours.
God bless anyone that is an advocate for moving fast and prototyping. I have witnessed this framework help entrepreneurs not get stuck on perfection and guide them in letting the market provide the answers, objectively.
Both Strategy and Execution are critical in the success of a business. But make sure that you put parameter on the amount of time allocated for Strategy as you don't want to sacrifice speed and execution for it. Let the market direct your strategy. Can't hurt, they are the ones paying for it.