We all get business or project ideas from time to time, some of these ideas flit around within our minds like moths seeking the light, others run around like puppies seeking expression, and others still pound insistently upon the walls of our minds, giving us no respite until they find expression through our actions.
However, before you go hell for leather chasing each business idea which comes to mind, we have outlined some steps which may aid you in the successful and sustainable executions of your ideas. These tips will also work for the business manager who needs to implement some strategic or operational business objective, as well as the project or team leader tasked with delivering a stated objective.
- ASSIGN PROJECT LEADERS WHO WILL DRIVE EXECUTION: This especially applies to medium to large businesses, but may be applicable to small businesses as well. Every idea needs to have a key person who is responsible for interacting with stakeholders and driving the execution of the idea and delivering strategic, operational and tactical objectives to project stakeholders in terms with parameters laid down by project stakeholders. That person needs to be empowered to implement strategies required to deliver tasks that will move an idea forward.
- IDENTIFY AND EVALUATE AVAILABLE AND DESIRED RESOURCES: Capital is an indispensable business input, and to many entrepreneurs, it appears to be sole input required to build a business. However, knowledge base, market intelligence, proper product design and the right team are important aspects of the execution process. The business owner/manager/project leader should evaluate which resources are required to execute their strategic, tactical and operational objectives and identify whether they possess those resources in the appropriate quantities required to achieve their stated objectives.
- IDENTIFY AND EVALUATE CHALLENGES: The Business owner/ manager/ project leader should strive to identify and evaluate external obstacles (Macro–economic issues, market dynamics, and government regulations) that may impede the successful implementation of the idea. They should also evaluate their internal resources and capacity (financial, operational, legal) to achieve their objectives and mitigate or obviate any detected weaknesses during the planning and implementation process. That will ensure that the idea gets properly executed in the face of foreseen or unforeseen resistance.
- SET SPECIFIC TIMELINES: The problem with many new ventures is that they have to fit in among team members existing job responsibilities. Consequently, procrastination project delays may arise as more pressing issues and challenges arise within and outside the project environment. To create time pressure for the new venture, the business owner/manager/project leader should define specific deadlines by which actions and tasks have to be executed and supervise the delivery of team objectives in terms of the laid down timelines. In laying down these timelines, the team leader should consider the critical path required to achieve defined objectives at the highest quality, with negative impact on team members or team resources.
- CREATE A MASTERMIND NETWORK AND BRAINSTORM: As you go about your daily life and business activities, identify and cultivate individuals who possess the requisite knowledge base, technical skills, energy, edge, and entrepreneurial experience that you will need to effectively and efficiently deliver your present and future objectives to work with you and have fun while doing it, as the saying goes, no man is an Island.Your mastermind network can as an advisory board to your business or project.
- BELIEVE IN YOURSELF: Informed Self-belief is an essential requirement for any business owner/manager or project leader. This requires gathering information sufficient to understand the key elements of the project, the project drivers, the project environment, your internal resources, strengths and weaknesses and how your available and obtainable resources will enable you successfully achieve your objectives. Provision should also be made for the consequences of your decisions or situations where events that are uncontrollable or unforeseen negatively affect your expected outcomes. Anytime you assume the responsibility to create something that had not existed before an opportunity to become a reality, you become accountable for your actions.
- ALWAYS HAVE A PLAN ‘B‘ AND BE READY TO START ALL OVER: Although we would always want to believe that all will be well, life sometimes happens. Sometimes, despite your best plans and efforts, your expected may not materialise. In such a situation, you may either take a breather, evaluate your mistakes and do it better, or where the cause of the failure was systemic (e.g a regulatory change, irreversible market evolutions, change in consumer tastes) it may be advisable to know when to cut your losses and jump ship or change your product or marketing strategy to fit the changing market.