Starting a new business is seldom easy. If it were, more people would do it and succeed.
At different stages in the business cycle, the Law of Critical Constraints applies; however, it is at the start that not understanding this can cause stagnation or failure.
Most challenges in a new business can be grouped under three headings:
- Time. We haven’t got enough time to do what needs to be done, or we have too much time because we have no customers to serve.
- People. We haven’t hired the right people for the right roles and/or we don’t know how to manage them.
- Money. We have a limited budget and we struggle allocating it to meet competing demands.
Getting clear on what we need to focus on is essential to starting, gaining momentum and creating a sustainable enterprise that will put us on the road to financial independence. There are times when action proceeds clarity. There are also many times when we should not waste energy doing things (e.g. trying to build your own website) when our time could be better spent building a customer base.
Because we are so passionate about getting a new venture up and running, we often can’t see the wood for the trees. When our time and money are limited, one of the best things we can do is hold a strategy session to get clear on what the business will look like in the medium term – say, 1 to 3 years – and, more importantly, what to focus on in the next 90 days. In my experience with my own businesses and working with others, running a session like this for 3 to 4 hours, using an outside experienced facilitator, sets meaningful objectives that clear the runway so you’re ready for take-off.
Building a list of objectives that factor in your critical constraints, with clear deadlines and who is responsible for achieving them, means you do not waste your precious limited resources.
I help small business owners get clarity on the way forward. Email me at email@example.com.