We had, earlier, discussed the first of the requisite preparations that an aspiring entrepreneur should arrange, Mindset Preparation. After comporting their mind as to their ability and willingness to emotionally and socially do what needs to be done to achieve business success, the aspiring business person should then embark upon the next level: Technical Preparation.
Technical preparation is about the intellectual and physical preparedness of a start-up business person. It is about three objectives:
- Understanding the value proposition of the enterprise
- Establishing the mechanics of running the businesses
- Getting the mechanics to deliver the value
Based on the foregoing therefore, technical preparation is about:
- Establishing the feasibility of a business idea or ideas
- Drawing a business plan
Establishing the feasibility is the first and most important study that an entrepreneur must conduct to establish the viability of the proposition or not. Depending on the specifics of the proposition, a feasibility study is likely to involve various calculations and analyses on various dimensions of such as market viability, economic and financial model liability, technical viability, management model viability, regulatory concerns, etc. Without establishing the viability of the business the need for business planning doesn’t even arise. Viability means it will be the opportunity is workable and can be profitable.
It is an intense exercise.
After establishing the viability of the opportunity, a business plan can then be drawn to detail tactics and strategies that can turn the idea into profitable business.
Business planning is the process of developing a robust working business plan. A business plan is, normally, a written document that describes critical components covering two broad issues:
- What you want to achieve ?
- How you want to achieve it?
Some of the details of a business plan are:
- What your value proposition of the business is
- Products to be offered
- Target market
- Industry and competition analysis
- Financial planning
- Staffing, and several other details that may be business specific
Don’t just hand over the job to professionals and consultants. Be involved and be sure that information provided and assumptions made are real.
If you haven’t opened shop, you need a business plan relevant and sufficient for your scale and scope.
If you are already in business but haven’t had a business plan drawn, it is never too late to have one. You may have worked successfully without one but that is less than optimal and things will get more tricky with time. When they do, only information and knowledge may be your only saviors.
As the saying goes, the devil is in the details. So as much as is necessary but sufficient for your size, you should ensure that you have enough details.
Your business plan is both an educational tool as well as a working guide.
Finally, be aware that as brilliant as your world-changing idea, plan and strategy are, they are not worth more than the paper they are written on. This brings us to the key differentiator between failure and success: Action, which we call execution.
Execution: This is not about potential and it is not about capacity. It is about getting things done. It is where the rubber meets the road.
Without execution, no success is achievable is achievable or sustainable.
Its is what you do on day-to-day basis that builds up and puts you ahead of the competition. Execution is about:
- Meeting the prospective clients and convincing about your value proposition,
- It is about closing the sale, delivering the goods and getting paid and getting repeat businesses,
- It is about getting the investors to support you,
- It is about negotiating best terms possible as a contractor, etc.
There are two things that are very interesting over execution:
- With time we tend to develop our skills in getting things done: I guess experience helps, but,
- We also tend to get complacent with time.
Consequently, we must ensure that we continuously ignite and develop our interests, commitment and motivation to deliver. Our performances must show, as they say the proof of the pudding is in the eating.
Develop a culture of relentless execution in your business.
Technical preparation is, to put it, basically about:
- Intellectually preparing yourself by having all the details about your business. You are not an engineer but you must be knowledgeable about engineering issues pertaining to your business and more; you may not be an economists but you must understand economics and the economy; you are not a banker but you must understand finance and banking issues;
- You and your people must be physically alert and ready to do what needs to be done in order to achieve your stated business objectives