As I’ve remarked in previous posts, an increasing number of my friends and colleagues are leaving their employment to start their own businesses and we have quite a few discussions on the trials and tribulations of doing this in the current climate.
Whilst there is obviously no set prescription, suggestions can sometimes prompt a rethink or re-evaluation which can be worth it’s weight in gold.
In this context, the small business themes recently highlighted by Fast Company are (more details in the original post – below I’ve added a few of my own comments and slightly reordered the list):
- Take A Risk – but just assess the market first – I’m constantly surprised at the number of people who do no market research at all. I agree it’s rare that the info you need is quickly or easily available but making smart guesses can help overcome this as well as provide new and valuable viewpoints.
- Is Your Idea Good Enough? – quite a few people forget that they are prototype users too. It’s usually very easy to see if an approach has a good ‘user experience’, just imagine yourself as a non-partisan customer for your planned service. Whilst it doesn’t need to be perfect right from the start, it’s helpful to do a sanity check to make sure there are no obvious annoyances (or worse, howlers).
- And If It Isn’t, Can You Pivot It – in a way this is a frame of mind. If things aren’t working, just accept this quickly and move on. This should be thought of as a great learning experience rather than a confirmation of failure and consequent dented self-belief.
- Ditch The Strategic Plan – no need to plan too much – often this is only procrastination anyway – but keep the strategic thinking aspect always in mind. People often get bogged down in details and miss wider insights.
- Focus On What Matters – of course, it’s not always totally clear what are the most important factors! Hindsight is a wonderful thing. However it’s better to make a decision, go with it and then learn rather than try and do everything at the same time.
- Tap The Wisdom (and Funds) Of The Crowd – I’ve no real experience of this but it’s obviously handy to at least be aware of the emerging new approaches.
- Good Things Come To Those That Wait – determination and doggedness are often invaluable and anyway everything always take longer than you ever think!
- Stick To Your Principles
- Don’t Be Afraid To Fail
- Think You Don’t Need A Website? Think Again
- Keep On Truckin’
It’s not all pontification though – I’m in the early stages of a candidate new business, so all this applies to me too! The aspect that’s most helpful at the moment is strategic thinking and, with it, the determination to say ‘no’ to interesting business diversions.
I’ve written a few posts on this general topic before – here’s a couple that you might find interesting: