Many entrepreneurs, especially founders, have grown their businesses into successful ventures, employing many people and contributing to their communities. They did it the hard way, leading from the front, and busting through and around brick walls. They used brute force, momentum and persistence – and they have the bruises to show for it.
After observing the bruising process, and getting a few myself, I suggest that there may be an easier and more effective way.
Instead of going from the entrepreneurial Dream stage of your big idea directly to the Do It stage of selling something to your customers, try following the path of my construction clients and add in the Design-Build phases.
All buildings, and engines, and computers, and anything else that works well and lasts a long time (hopefully), has been through the Design-Build process.
Design is where you test the feasibility of your idea, assess price sensitivity, decide if you can make money at something, develop plans and blueprints, and design the processes and job descriptions and sales scripts for others to follow. This isn’t about leading from the front, hammer in hand, sweat on the brow. This is about thinking – the hardest work – on paper, on whiteboards, and in discussions with prospects, competitors and customers.
Build is where you hire the people, purchase and install the equipment, refine your production and delivery processes, create systems to measure and monitor performance, create the prototypes, have inspections, and get ready for opening night so that everything works like it’s supposed to.
In contrast, just doing it, and designing and building on the fly, will typically yield results, eventually, from the magic of trial and error. It will also yield bruises. If those bruises are with existing customers or prospects, they may take a while to heal if you’ve damaged your trust and credibility.
Take a lesson from my construction clients and formalize the Design-Build phases into your new products and services. And, always wear your hard hat – it keeps the bruises to a minimum.
Copyright 2011. All Rights Reserved. Phil Symchych