Just Do It! (It being a strategy)

You’re an entrepreneur, so you must have heard some variation of “Are you crazy? Just get a normal job” or “Just get started on your idea, don’t wait for it to be perfect…”.  For example, see http://bit.ly/5QtOcC.  Besides being diametrically opposed advice, I think the real problem here is acceptance of the advice and then still not doing anything.

If you want to “just do it” and make a decision and move forward, you need a strategy.  And it doesn’t matter what line of work you’re in – any and every startup needs a strategy to go from idea to reality.  The real advice here is to design a strategy that will put a little momentum into your business.

Some of the other posts on this blog discuss that very idea – from thinking about who your customers are, taking a stab at how you’ll market to/educate these customers, and developing the product you want to market.

In order to develop a strategy with a new client, I start by asking where the client is today and where they want to be when all is said and done.  Then I’ll build a rough platform that marks out how to bridge the gap and includes product development, customer definition, lead generation and the sales process, market testing, and customer feedback.  I also build in all the tools the entrepreneur will need to track what’s going on – I tend to rely heavily on Google’s free tools for email, calendar/appointments, and tasks.  A product for customer relationship management such as CRM is also useful.  If there is more than one person in the startup team a collaborative tool such as Google Wave is frequently more useful than email.

After developing this sketch of a long-term strategy, the next step is to break out two week iterations or deliverables.  These are the near-term tasks that the entrepreneur will take to “just do it” and what I will look to follow up on at the next meeting.

Just getting started and not worrying about being perfect is sound advice.  The trick is in figuring out what you need to do to actually get started.  Working with a strategy consultant is one good way of generating momentum in your company.  Any other ideas on how to get the ball rolling?

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