OK, so my first post was on jumping in and getting started. You are probably saying, “Thanks Jaime, I’ve started, now what?”
What, no executing a marketing plan? No putting up a web site? Not finding my first customer?
I’m not saying don’t do that, but to get from starting with a good concept and becoming known for a great business, you have to “do” it. That may mean:
1. Giving away something to friends, family, or close colleagues/people you know to get feedback on what you “do”.
2. Hold a free seminar, overview, or provide samples to a target audience.
3. Deliver it to yourself.
4. Deliver it to an organization that caters to your target audience (for example a Junior Chamber if you are targeting young professionals, Women in X if you are targeting a female audience, etc.)
5. Start small.
You will learn early on that you have to balance the time you spend planning vs. executing. You will find that planning is needed to save time in the long run, but you don’t want to over do it. There will be peaks and valleys on when you will have more bandwidth to plan versus when you have so much business coming at you that you have to focus on executing.
For example, at SunGard Higher Education I apply agile software development methodologies in leading the priorities of a blossoming business (software development methodologies have a lot of great frameworks that can be applied to any business). At the beginning of every week my leaders and I gather to go through our “punch list” of what’s on our plate that we either have to tackle this week (execution) or would like to tackle to help in building the practice (planning and marketing activities).
Some weeks we have so much coming at us that we are just executing on the opportunities on our plates. Sometimes we have a bit of down time where we can do more planning and strategic work around packaging and marketing our services. Or, in our down time we focus on practicing – such as learning new skills to help in providing best practices and recommendations to our client or building a new piece of technology to gain that skill while having a new asset to offer a client.
I talk more about practicing what you do, and why, to get and stay ahead at my HubPages blog “Learn to Lead Early and Get Ahead!!” (yup, there is more of me out there!)
As Nike says, “Just Do It”. Shouldn’t you?