Building a business is like riding a rollercoaster. There are times of anticipation as you climb slowly to the top, and times of thrilling swoops and turns. There are also times of sheer terror, when you’re certain the cars are headed off the track and you are doomed to plummet to earth in a final blaze of glory.
And sometimes businesses do leave the track and take that final plunge. Some fly off in a blaze of glory, and others slowly crawl off the track, unable to muster the resources to continue.
Just as good engineering and maintenance improve the odds of a long and successful ride, good planning and awareness can significantly improve the odds for business growth and success.
So how do you go about building a business? What steps can you take to push the odds in your favor? Consider building your business with FACTS.
Certainly FACTS as opposed to fiction is a good place to start. You can pretend that all is well, but if it is not, lying to yourself is a sure way to send your business into oblivion. You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, and you can even fool yourself for much of the time. But you can’t fool Mother Nature. FACTS win all of the time.
But truth alone is not enough. You need to take the next steps to support your business and set it on track for growth. This is the realm of FACTS, as a process. FACTS can save you time, money and resources, and keep you on track for success.
Building a Business with FACTS
F: Focus. No one has the time, money or other resources to do everything. You can’t serve every person in the world, with every possible product. You can’t solve every problem in business. The first step in building and sustaining business is to focus. Where specifically can you have the greatest impact? What is the pinpoint target you need to hit? Ambient lighting is nice, but a laser light can cut steel. Focus your efforts, resources and energy to a pinpoint focus and create laser-like power.
A: Assess. Once you have identified your target, what are the opportunities? What can you offer to relieve an overwhelming pain or longing within your target customer? What is the competitive market, and how will you position yourself to compete? Assess the customer, competition, environment and trends.
C: Create. Create the product that uniquely fills the need. The world doesn’t need another clone of a current product. Jumping on the bandwagon is too little, too late. By the time you ramp up, the opportunity has past. You need to be the innovator, the leader, with a product that meets tomorrow’s needs today. Brainstorm. Talk to people. Get ideas from everywhere, and create the newest, best solution.
T: Take Action. The best planning is useless until followed by action. There is a fine line between launching without adequate preparation, and waiting too long to act. Sometimes the best course of action is “Ready, Fire, Aim!” or launch a project, see where it is off-target, and use that experience to refine your aim.
S: Succeed. Success is not always what it seems. Your great idea might fly gloriously. Or it might not. You may have launched a project, certain of success, and by all objective standards if fails miserably. The product doesn’t sell, the process remains as broken as ever, or your great marketing initiative produces zero results. Yet even in failure, there is success. You now know what doesn’t work. So take that new knowledge, analyze it, and apply it to your next venture. Win or lose, find success and capitalize on it.
Just Do It!
Structure your efforts with FACTS. Set a framework and process to create and sustain business growth. Be honest with yourself, and take steps to focus, assess, create, take action and succeed. Building a business is an ongoing activity. Take action, stay on track, and enjoy the ride!