People are often guilty of hypothesising an action they want to take in business, and never actually getting round to taking that action. That or they are too late to get to it.
We have previously discussed the benefits of planning in our blog but you need to make sure you are taking action from that plan. Otherwise that is all it is ever going to be – a plan. In this blog post I want to discuss when to take action, and why it is so important.
The art of doing
If you have started your own business then you probably already know a large part of the process is planning. But you will also know that without acting on the plan you created then you would not have a business.
This is the same if you are undertaking a project or carrying out any task. Research and planning is great, and very important, but putting an action in place is the end game. It is the reason why you spend the time on your plan.
Unfortunately, people can sometimes be bogged down in the research and planning stages a little too much. The saying, I am just waiting until it is perfect is very counterproductive and is exactly why I am writing this blog in the first place. "If we wait for the moment until everything, absolutely everything is ready, we shall never begin.” – Ivan Turgenev
When starting a business, perfect is not something that you are going to achieve until you put your business out there for the world to see. However much planning and research you do, you will still need to adapt to how your target audience interacts with you.
You cannot truly understand the pain points you meet for your audience until your audience tells or shows you. It was the great Chinese philosopher Confuscius who said, “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.”
I first found this quote in university and it has since shaped my views on learning. So powerful are those 3 short sentences, they completely changed how I approached learning and the training of others.
It is not always easy to overcome the barriers of putting your work out there and taking action. I have included a couple strategies that I use whenever I get worried about taking action.
For me, this is useful for most tasks I undertake. If it seems like the task at hand is very large, I just split it up into manageable sections. When I start completing those sections, it feels great, and it starts to build towards my end goal.
When it comes to taking action, you don’t need to throw yourself or business out there all at once. Use controlled audiences to start with. Receive feedback and when you start to feel more confident you can increase the target size.
You can start with friends, family or close peer groups, generally people who you feel comfortable critiquing your work. They will be able to give you useful feedback, perhaps about areas you had yet to consider.
Once you have made some tweaks, push it out to a larger controlled target group. Keep repeating these steps until you have the confidence to go big.
Release a beta version
You might think that this only works if you are creating a computer application. I think the beta concept can be used for almost any product or service. At the end of the day, a beta version of software is created for a controlled group to test and report any bugs or issues.
This can work the same for your non-software business, just look at restaurants and bars when they have a soft opening. If you clearly communicate to your target audience that this is a test version and that their feedback will really help improve the full release, then they won’t be too upset if it is not quite fully functioning.
Plus, you will get some great feedback early in your business lifecycle. Be sure to iron out any health and safety issues you may have if you are releasing a test version of your product, we don’t want any lawsuits on our hands.
Being able to put yourself or your company out there without the pressure of a full release will help you to take action. So what, the product is not perfect yet. You are going to receive some fantastic feedback that will make it great and give you the confidence for a full launch.
Reasons why action must be taken
Hopefully the methods above have given you some confidence to action that next step in your business, and you now understand why this is so important. Without this step then you won't progress to the next stage.
So, stop procrastinating or waiting until your business idea is perfect. Stop researching and planning great potential new processes or functions for your business. Put it all into action.
If you haven’t been completely sold by my two methods above then here is a list of reasons why you need to take action. Maybe these will help to spur you on.
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