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Overplanning Can Kill Your Business Idea

Overplanning Can Kill Your Business Idea

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    Most articles about starting a business cover planning. Creating your business plan. Creating your marketing plan. Creating page upon page of plans, plans with great intentions and perhaps excellent potential for success. There’s nothing wrong with planning itself; if there was, I’m sure we wouldn’t see such an emphasis on it in business literature.

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    But not so often mentioned is the dark side of planning, and it’s the dark side that captures many a bright and hopeful entrepreneur into its trap ensuring that their great ideas never see the light of day: overplanning.

    I’m sure most of us have known, worked with, or even been the person who falls victim to overplanning. It’s no surprise as the planning phase is a tempting comfort zone; the idea is that the more there is planned, the more that is lined up in a perfect row and ready to go for launch, the better things will work. Things rarely work out this way. Businesses tend to grow organically, despite the best-laid plans, and when they explode with popularity from the very beginning it’s often plain luck. They may have had a good plan to help them on their way, but so did a slew of viable business ideas that didn’t succeed.

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    What’s important to note is that people who get stuck in the planning phase and never move on to execution are often stuck in planning because they are scared. They’re afraid of how their idea will be received, whether it’ll succeed or fail, and scared that if it does fail it’ll reflect on their abilities.

    Execution of plans is an art, because few people can draw on the courage to make things happen.

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    Two Alternatives to Overplanning

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      So what can you do to avoid the trap of overplanning? There are two approaches that might work for you:

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      Ready, Fire, Aim: I’m not sure who first coined this phase that describes a particular way of operating, but the first place I read about it was in this article a few years ago. The premise is that you dive straight in and start executing based on whatever plans you had to start with — in other words, acting on your idea as a plan in itself — and making adjustments as you go along. This way you’re organically growing your business as you plan its future, making sure you don’t get stuck in an unprofitable no-action phase. It’s a good concept and can be applied to plenty of businesses, especially fairly basic ones that involve providing a service as a freelancer or selling a digital product.

      Plan Deadlines First:
      Another way to try and dodge planning paralysis is to make the first act of planning the deadlines for implementation. You might stipulate that you should be advertising and working with your first client by the 1st of the next month, or your information product will be edited and ready for digital distribution within three months on a specific day.

      The hard part about making this concept stick is that you might just change the deadlines. Do what you can to make yourself accountable. Many people suggest telling a family member or friend about your self-imposed deadline but I don’t think this works effectively. It’s better to book an ad with a non-refundable deposit or make some other sort of business arrangement for that date so you’re forced to be ready!

      The first objection to that method of keeping yourself accountable is that you’re screwed if things go wrong and you simply can’t get ready by the deadline. I think it’s a fair risk to take and losing a deposit is much better than getting stuck in the planning phase!

      Lastly, I want to say that there are certain projects and endeavors that do take extensive periods of time to put together and coordinate before they can be launched. These are rare, few and far between and incredibly difficult to get off the ground, but they do exist. Chances you’re first business will be one of these? Well, I wouldn’t say it’s out of the question, but it’s also not too likely, so don’t use it as an excuse!

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      Last Updated on March 12, 2019

      20 Inspiring Vision Statement Examples (2019 Updated)

      20 Inspiring Vision Statement Examples (2019 Updated)

      There is normally a lengthy list of things you need to consider when starting a business, and if you don’t manage them properly, your excitement can quickly turn into overwhelm. What can support you to stay inspired and on the right track when starting out? You guessed it: this is your vision statement.

      What Is a Vision Statement?

      A vision statement is like a photograph of your future business, which gives your business shape and direction.

      A vision statement provides the direction and describes what the founder wants the organization to achieve in the future; it’s more about the “what” of a business. It is different from a mission statement, which describes the purpose of an organization and more about the “how” of a business.

      If you were to take a photo of your future business now, what would it look like? What do you want your business to be recognized for one day?

      You need to have a crystal clear vision when you start out, otherwise you can get easily lost in deciding the best way forward. When you are making strategic decisions for your business and even daily operation decisions, your vision statement will give you the inspiration and targeted direction you need.

      The Importance of a Vision Statement

      Without a vision statement, your business will lack motivation to keep going.

      If you don’t aim for anything, you might not hit anything. The more specific and clear you are, the better your chances are at seeing your vision turn into reality.

      The importance of a vision statement cannot be overlooked; not only does it provide long term direction and guidance, but it also gives you the inspiration and the necessary energy to keep going when you feel lost.

      Always keep your vision statement alive by revisiting it regularly and communicating your vision with other members of the team, to inspire and motivate them as well.

      How to Craft an Inspiring Vision Statement

      1. Dream big and use clear language

      An inspiring vision statement should inform a clear direction and priorities for the organization, while challenging all the team members to grow together. Based on our expert sources’ advice, we’ve got some great tips for you:

      • Imagine how you want the business to be like in five to ten years.
      • Infuse the business’ values in the statement.
      • Make sure that the statement is implying a clear focus for the business.
      • Write your vision statement in the present tense.
      • Use clear and concise language.
      • Ensure the statement is easily understood.

      There are many different types of vision statements and there is no wrong or right way to do it. The most important thing is to resonate with it. It will always inspire you and give you a clear targeted direction.

      2. Get inspirations from the successful companies.

      Having researched on a number of successful companies’ vision statements, I’ve shortlisted 20 good examples for the new startups:

      Short vision statements made up of a few words only:

      1. Disney

      To make people happy.

      2. Oxfam

      A just world without poverty.

      3. Ikea

      To create a better every day life for the many people.

      Quantitative statements are based on numbers, quantities:

      4. Microsoft

      Empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

        5. Nike

        Bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world. (*If you have a body, you are an athlete.)

          Qualitative statements are based on qualities that you want to have:

          6. Ford

          People working together as a lean, global enterprise to make people’s lives better through automotive and mobility leadership.

          7. Avon

          To be the company that best understands and satisfies the product, service and self-fulfillment needs of women—globally.

          Competitor based statements – this type is becoming less common, but famous examples are:

          8. Honda – in 1970

          We will destroy Yamaha.

          9. Nike – in 1960s

          Crush Adidas.

            10. Philip Morris – in 1950s

            Knock off RJR as the number one tobacco  company in the world.

            Role Model Vision Statements – using another company as an example:

            11. Stanford University – in the past

            To become the Harvard of the West.

            12. Reach for Success – in the past

            To become the next Tony Robbins in self development.

            Internal Transformations vision statements:

            13. Apple

            To produce high-quality, low cost, easy to use products that incorporate high technology for the individual.

            14. Giro Sport Design

            To make sure that riding is the best part of a great life.

            15. Tesla

            To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.

            16. Sony

            To be a company that inspires and fulfills your curiosity.

            17. Facebook

            To give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.

              Longer and more detailed vision statement:

              18. Walmart

              To give customers a wide assortment of their favorite products, Every Day Low Prices, guaranteed satisfaction, friendly service, convenient hours (24 hours, 7 days a week) and a great online shopping experience.

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              19. Coca Cola

              To achieve sustainable growth, we have established a vision with clear goals:

              Profit: Maximizing return to share owners while being mindful of our overall responsibilities.

              People: Being a great place to work where people are inspired to be the best they can be.

              Portfolio: Bringing to the world a portfolio of beverage brands that anticipate and satisfy peoples; desires and needs.

              Partners: Nurturing a winning network of partners and building mutual loyalty.

              Planet: Being a responsible global citizen that makes a difference.

                20. Heinz

                Our VISION, quite simply, is to be: “The World’s Premier Food Company, Offering Nutritious, Superior Tasting Foods To People Everywhere.” Being the premier food company does not mean being the biggest but it does mean being the best in terms of consumer value, customer service, employee talent, and consistent and predictable growth.

                The Bottom Line

                Remember, always keep your vision statement up-to-date to direct your company’s actions.

                Remember, once you reach your vision, it needs to be changed. General Motors overtook Ford as #1 automotive company in the world because once Ford’s goal was reached, they never updated it.

                Keep your vision statement alive and visibly in front of you, revisit it and let it help direct your actions and activities. This is the fun part: this is where you get to dream really big and allow your imagination to fly as high as you want.

                Don’t hold back, let your creative juices flow and give yourself permission to explore what is possible for your business.

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                To your success!

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