So many Entrepreneurs do not take the time to plan success. We go with our gut instincts and though we can be very successful that way, to truly grow your beloved startup to the next phase, you do need some of the structure of the larger firms processes to ensure that you stay the course.
Think of it as your compass. That is what our project/product initiation process does for us. It keeps us going in the right direction.
So last Thursday, we covered strategic readiness. Here is a quick link back if you need to review. If not continue below as we talk about market ready – which is the second milestone.
We discussed how we as entrepreneurs need to ensure alignment our values, business strategy and corporate social responsibility with every new business opportunity. So the project passed and we assigned a team to create the plan. Here are the questions that we expect to have answered before we make any more investment. In other words, these are the questions that need to be adequately researched before we fund a project:
- Is there a market?
- Can we capture dominance (#1 or#2) in this market? – list how.
- Does it align with our brand? How?
- Have we done anything similar before to speed time to market?
- Do we have partners/suppliers/first customer so that we can hit the ground running?
- Are we passionate about the project/product?
Once we have the answers and research from focus groups, existing partners, suppliers and we are both confident and passionate, we are ready to say, on your mark let’s go! If the answers to these questions are …not really – then we say no.
Let’s go means:
- You have answered all the critical research questions and we are confident and passionate.
- We will assign a team leader to create the detailed plan and budget. We also expect a detailed outline or prototype to be created and accepted by your first customer before you come back for more.
Let’s say no means:
1.The product/project is shelved for the time being as we do not have a customer or we do not have the ability to make this #1 or #2 in market share.
2. It is not aligned with our brand, our values or our Corporate Social Responsibility.
Entrepreneurs – you can make difference and make money!
yours in Corporate Social Responsibility,
Cara MacMillan MBA