Platt Perspective on Business and Technology

Capturing your vision for a new business venture as a practical realizable goal

Posted in startups by Timothy Platt on May 4, 2015

My impetus for writing this posting stems from grand vision statements that I have heard as to why founders would start new business ventures, and for what they would accomplish through them. And it is about turning those and similar initial effort-driving visions into clear operationally attainable sets of goals with specific products and services included, as well as strategic and operational approaches for competitively offering them.

I have written recurringly in this blog about planning, launching and building a startup and about bringing it to and past its early stage business challenges and opportunities. In that regard, and here only considering online businesses per se as one thread of that ongoing narrative, I would cite my series: Online Store, Online Market Space (as can be found at Startups and Early Stage Businesses.) I cite that here to put this posting into its larger more organized perspective. My goal for this posting is to more explicitly focus on what might be seen as the second step in that and related series’ processes – and the first in actually turning a desire to strike out on your own and build your own business, into a reality.

An initial drive to break away from “tried and established”, if not “tried and true” and build from scratch is usually grounded in both reason and analytical judgment and on emotion, and the balance between these two motivators can go either way and with either dominating. Here, a preponderance of emotion – and particularly of frustration can simply mean an awareness that something is crucially fundamentally wrong where a would-be entrepreneur has been, leading them to want to step back and step away from that to find a new path that would be better for them. But ultimately, if a new venture is to succeed, reason, logic and analytically established detail have to predominate and certainly in actually charting and pursuing that new path forward.

You start out with a broad brushstroke concept of a product or service, or of a suite of them that you would develop and bring to market as your own business offerings. And you start out with a perhaps equally broad brushstroke concept as to how you would accomplish this, and hopefully with at least a basic check list of the business cycle steps in mind that you have to more formally work out and actualize, if you are to make this overall venture succeed.

• What I am writing about here, is developing a dual vision of your new business where you couple your overall broad brushstroke image of what you seek to accomplish as a whole, with a matching more detailed blueprint as to how you would day-by-day realize that.
• Put this way, building a new business is largely a matter of working your way through the give and take of identifying and resolving the details of the later, more detail-oriented half of this, while remaining as true as possible to the overall vision that motivates you to build a business in the first place.

One symptom that I have seen a number of times, that bodes ill for a new business from its conception, is when a founder and their founding team member friends keep getting lost in what at that stage should be the low priority and inconsequential, and never seem to be considering what should be their more immediate here-and-now next step goals and priorities. This problem happens when they fail to effectively develop this type of dual vision. And I have seen potential new business ventures in effect die at conception because no one there was able to effectively take this early essential step, moving past the only-broad brushstroke to include an organized detail-by-detail analytical vision too.

• In my experience as a consultant, sometimes the only real source of input required here, is a push in the direction of developing that ongoing dual vision
• With advice and guidance to help identify and focus in on one key first detail-step that has to be analytically planned for and worked on now.

That means identifying an immediate high-priority to-do task, and couching it as a single step out of many, with others having to addressed both consecutively after it and concurrently with it. And then as a consultant you stand back and let the owners and leaders of a new venture own and lead, while remaining available if and when they need more specific hands-on advice and guidance as their new venture unfolds.

• In this, think of identifying that first orienting analytically considered step to work on, as identifying and helping to resolve a key log in a logjam.

I offer this posting to fellow business founders from my own more modest efforts in that direction, and I offer it to fellow consultants from my experience there too, and as a thought piece for both audiences that I would hope would lead to more detailed reflection: and certainly for anyone who finds themselves feeling a bit overwhelmed by the overall complexity faced. Meanwhile, you can find this and related material at my Startups and early Stage Businesses directory.

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