Sometimes, after meeting new clients, we need to encourage them to take a step back, to slow down for just a few moments. Before jumping into a new business, there is some up front work that needs to be completed such as writing a business plan, doing your research, evaluating expenses and sales projections, and ensuring that all regulatory issues have been dealt with. These are all important steps to ensure that the business puts its best foot forward and has the highest possibility of success.
However, on the other end of the spectrum, we meet clients who have reached a point in their planning where they need do nothing more than simply take action. They forget that the business plan can be an ongoing project, a “living document” that adapts and grows as you discover new realities in the business and plan to seize new opportunities. Over analyzing every detail could be the thing that causes us to never actually start the business. This has often been referred to as Analysis Paralysis.
Here are some suggestions to help you to overcome analysis paralysis:
- Set the date – There should be a date when you plan to have your business launched. Make sure that you set timelines on each of the tasks you need to complete to reach your goal. Your life running your business will be filled with deadlines that you will need to be disciplined enough to reach on your own (some see this as the downside to the “be your own boss” perk of entrepreneurship).
- Choose something that emotionally attaches you to the business – A business coach early in my days as an entrepreneur told me to choose a single action, when I was ready, that would force me into the business. This should be an action that will force the other tasks to be started as well. This could be calling a first prospective client for a meeting or perhaps leaving a job to work in your business full time.
- Choose a milestone that makes the business real – There needs to be a point in your business when you are no longer only planning and you consider the business real. This could be when you incorporate or register the business, or when you have a grand opening party. My personal favourite milestone to choose is the day you make your first sale.
- Take the specific actions that will get you there – Creating a list of the specific tasks you need to put into action, grouping them, then setting timelines and budgets that will help you to not be overwhelmed by the variety of tasks, and allow you to work through them efficiently to make the business a reality.
One of our goals at the Halton Region Small Business Centre is to empower small and medium-sized enterprises and provide access to the tools you’ll need to succeed. Contact us today! You can also follow us on Twitter @HaltonEcDev for daily tips and information.