Growing A Business Isn’t About Great Ideas, It’s About Great Execution
I’m sure you have countless ideas for new products or services. That’s the problem. You don’t need to come up with countless ideas. You need to act on one.
To actually make some progress, you need to break out of your idea paralysis. Stop trying to find the perfect idea that will make you the next Steve Jobs. I’m not a visionary like Steve Jobs and you probably aren’t either. Settle for a decent idea that you can execute incredibly well.
The good news, you don’t have to come up with the next iPhone to have a thriving business.
Most successful businesses aren’t original, flashy or even exciting. The majority of successful entrepreneurs are just great operators who are determined. Successful businesses find a decent idea and then execute like crazy. If anything, these businesses find a way to innovate with their delivery method, marketing or some slight twist.
Growing a business isn’t about great ideas, it’s about great execution.
Spend less time dreaming about the big idea and more time doing the little things that make a pretty good idea work. That’s the recipe that works for those of us that aren’t geniuses. Who knows, a great idea may grow from the relentless execution of your mediocre one.
Here are three steps I use to vet ideas and get moving. I’m applying these as we speak for my new venture.
1. Change Someone’s World, Not The Entire World
When you “go small” everything comes into focus. You focus on one customer, one niche, one differentiator and one clear direction for your business. You can do all the little things that will help you progress.
I have plenty of good ideas. These ideas may not change the world, but they can change someone’s world.
That’s the key. Figure out who my someone is and focus obsessively on helping her.
Rather than waiting on the world-changing idea, I’m executing like crazy on a really good idea that’s for that one specific person. If I can build something that improves her life/business, I have a business with legs.
Figure out whose world you’re going to change and focus on that single person. It’s amazing how much easier it is to build a product or service with a specific person in mind. You don’t need to please everyone. You just need to please that one person. If you have something that will make that one person’s life better, you have a business.
Whose world does your product or service change?
2. Solve A Problem, Not Every Problem
Your ideal customer will have more than one problem. You don’t have to solve all of them. Find the one big pain in their ass you can help cure.
Don’t water down your offering by doing it all. Be focused and specific. The small business customer we’re going after has a lot of problems, but we only solve one of them. That’s ok. I don’t want to be the general practitioner who deals with every sickness in the book. I want to be the brain surgeon who gets paid well to do one thing.
Solving one problem is achievable. Promising a cure for a host of issues is a nightmare waiting to happen. Nobody is good at everything. Find the one area where you can make a difference and plant your flag. Starting small keeps you from getting overwhelmed and quitting. You can always expand later.
What problem do you solve?
If you don’t solve a problem, you have a problem. Stop now and find a problem to solve.
3. Have A Plan To Get Customers
One of the most important aspects of launching a product or service is knowing how you’ll get customers. Even great products must be marketed well. This is one lesson we can learn from Steve Jobs. Have a solid product and a great marketing plan.
What good is a great product if nobody knows it exists?
Explaining how to build a marketing plan is too deep to cover here. I’ll cover that in a future article (thinking my next article may be dedicated to this subject). We’ll go through the full process in that article.
In the meantime, go check out the 1 Page Marketing Plan. This is a beautifully simple overview of building a marketing plan. I don’t have an affiliate relationship or any connection to Allan Dib. This is just one of the best quick references for creating an effective marketing plan I’ve found. After you’ve read the book, come back and answer this question.
How will you get customers?
Do those three things and you’re on your way. Now get rolling. Action and momentum trump ideas and consideration. Execute with relentless determination and evolve on the move.
The road to success really is always under construction. Throw on your hard hat and keep swinging your hammer. Eventually you’ll break through if you have the three variables above nailed (bad pun intended).
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