We’ve all heard the phrase “paralysis through analysis”. Some of us have even felt the negative effects that this has created for our businesses. I ran across an article recently that had a really nice summary of this phenomenon and some advice on how to avoid it.
Jesse Pujji of Ampush Social summarized his thoughts as follows:
“It’s a cliché, but execution really is 99.9% of success in the early days of any start-up. Doing is far more important than thinking for start-up success!”
Three key points to remember are:
- Watch out for the most dangerous 4-letter word in the dictionary. … We were using the word “just” a lot: “If we just close a few clients and just buy some search campaigns, then we’ll be generating revenue in no time!” Of course, we didn’t understand until about six months in, when each of our “justs” took twice as a long as we expected and were four times more challenging. Today, it’s a mantra we live by internally: There is no such thing as “just.”
- You don’t know anything until you’ve actually done it. … The takeaway is to analyze less and do more; only after doing do you get the actual data you need to understand your business.
- Decision and action are always better than indecision and inaction.
This is great advice and especially relevant to start up and growth enterprises. One thing I want to expand upon though is that it’s also essential to establish a solid business framework for action. Sales are not to be pursued at any cost – only profitable sales. Actions geared to adding customers should be balanced and adjusted by working capital restraints. Strategic decisions like pricing and markets need to be vetted by a rigorous planning process that will guide good business “actions”. And finally, procedures need to be implemented that will allow for accurate reporting and monitoring of the effects of management’s “doing”.
Entrepreneurs bring creativity and energy to their business. They are the “Finders” in what B2B CFO founder Jerry Mills describes as the typical organization chart for small and growing businesses. And every Finder needs Minders and Grinders to help them accomplish their goals.
Plan, then do. Then monitor, review, adjust and do again. Or put another way, “First direction, then velocity”. It’s a process that should be never ending for a profitable business.