Execution Matters Because Ideas Are a Dime a Dozen.

If strategy is the act of deciding what to do, execution is the follow through.

Every year countless entrepreneurs come up with great ideas. Every year countless hours are spent on creating detailed business plans as well as strategic plans to launch these great ideas. And every year these entrepreneurs waste valuable time and effort by not executing on these ideas. I know this because I used to be one of those entrepreneurs. When it came to coming up with ideas, drafting detailed business and strategic marketing plans, I killed it every time. And that is where I stalled out. No true execution.

Ideas are a dime a dozen; execution is what really matters!

Execution represents a disciplined process that enables one to take a strategy and implement it successfully to obtain desired results. To be successful, one must truly develop a disciplined approach to executing on their ideas. We often focus on the planning aspect, but fail to expend any real time and effort on executing.

There are four basic requirements for a successful execution: Clear goals; a means of measuring progress toward those goals on a regular basis; and an accountability for that process. And then take immediate action.

Set Clear Goals and Priorities

Do not make the mistake of establishing too many goals. Establish one main priority with supporting initiatives. This priority might be launching a new product. Supporting initiatives might be hiring a designer to create the new product, establishing a business relationship with a company to make the product, and initiating a marketing plan for the new product.

Collect and Analyze Data…Are You Measuring Up?

All too often we set measurable goals while drafting our strategic business plans, but fail to hold ourselves accountable once the planning stage is complete. We fail to revisit the strategic plan to gauge where we are in relation to those measurable goals we had set for us.

A key to successful execution is regular evaluation of our efforts and the results we are getting from those efforts. It is critical to recognize when we need to make adjustments in our efforts and to be able to quickly execute on those adjustments.

Accountability Can Be the Deal Breaker

Lack of accountability can tank a great idea and a well-devised strategic plan. There is no shame in having to regroup and rethink your strategy. Successful entrepreneurs refer to this as “growth.” Sometimes an idea outgrows its initial strategy and needs a bit of an adjustment; sometimes it might require a complete overhaul. Set your goals, collect and analyze the results, and hold yourself accountable. Don’t hesitate. Don’t wait for things to work themselves out. Take immediate action. Execution is action.