There's no reason to fear failure if you have a business plan in place
Fear is debilitating. It stops action and prevents progress. It paralyzes individuals and organizations. I watch with alarm as fear hits potential entrepreneurs who then cease to pursue their dreams of starting and growing a new business. They fear failure, loss, humiliation, ridicule, diminished esteem and a damaged reputation.
Unfortunately, this malady occurs more often than we think and literally eliminates economic progress for a founder, potential employees and a community.
I often wonder what would have happened if Gutenberg had not built his printing press, or if Alexander Bell and Thomas Edison had stopped moving forward with their ideas on sound and light. Today, where would we be if numerous innovators in medicine, science, and technology had not taken a risk?
My friends, the world needs good ideas, and fearless entrepreneurs who will follow their dreams and build companies and products for current and future customer needs.
Prospective entrepreneurs often ask me, "How do I overcome my feelings of fear?" The answer: If you possess each of the following competencies, fear will be cast aside allowing courage to propel the successful launch of your new business. The key competencies are:
What do you know about the industry and the products that are being sold to customers today? Do you know if there is a need in the marketplace where your new product might be adopted by customers? Do you know if your product or service will be better than what the customer currently uses? Do you know the size of the marketplace? Do you clearly understand the route to the customers? Do you know if your company will enjoy a sufficient gross margin and pre-tax profit? Will you have money to fund the company? Will you be able to find talented people who can be hired to execute a strategy? Have you ever managed a business?
If your answer to these questions is yes, you should feel comfortable and confident and move to the next key competency. If your answers are no, this is not the time to start your business.
Do you have the ability to develop a great plan of attack? I recommend an entrepreneur develop three realistic revenue and expense plans; one that is conservative, one that is expected and one that is optimistic.
This approach provides insight and clarity into the challenges and opportunities that will need to be addressed as the plan meets reality. Each plan should include a product development and inventory plan, a marketing and sales plan, a financial plan including a budget, a funding plan, and a plan to find and hire the best employees.
The goal within the plan is to have answers on why it will be done, what is to be done, when will it be done, where, how and by whom, and how much it will cost in each area of the business plan. As to timing, I prefer the development of an overall plan that looks into the future when the company is profitable.
With this in place, the entrepreneur should create a list of objectives and tasks that need to be completed for the first 90 days of the business. This is repeated every quarter until the final profitable plan is achieved.
Conscientious planning provides clarity to what the controllable risks might be and how they can be overcome. Having a clear road map builds even more courage and confidence to proceed.
Preparation and execution.
Do you have the ability to prepare and execute a business plan with excellence? Often entrepreneurs tell me their idea is worth millions of dollars. My response is an idea is worth nothing until it is nurtured, grown, commercialized and adopted by customers.
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