There are those who plan the details of a new business idea out till they can almost guarantee zero glitches. Others go over every detail of a well thought out plan for as long as that plan is in motion. Even so, many if not all of these types of entrepreneurs almost always have GREAT expectations for their new venture.
Expectations are the lifeblood of entrepreneurship. Any venture warrior worth his weight in gold would be found outlandish without the usual above-average enthusiasm over a new venture. It is after all this very enthusiasm that resulted in the Dot Com era and one that continues to take business to new unimagined territories. The truth is to achieve something great one must be able to see past the obstacles, the challenges and the impossibilities to a finished product that will one day change the world. We call this vision. We expect vision from entrepreneurs.
On the other hand, expectations can also be fluff and the stuff that nothingness is made out of. Very often, the dreams and visions that result in the expectations of entrepreneurs sprout from ill managed recants of the previous successes of others that are so miraculous that they may never be duplicated. The problem is nobody ever tells you it may never be done again and, even if they did, no entrepreneur in their “right mind” would pay the never part much mind. They are wired to rise above the word “never” in the hopes of pioneering something extraordinary and life-changing.
Seven years ago, an entrepreneur I knew well, at hearing of the unbelievable opportunities in the property sector, cashed his inheritance in for a sizeable property in a nice neighborhood. Because he had been trained as an engineer, he considered himself a disciplined and rational person who was capable only of taking calculated risks. So when a year down the line the property didn’t yield the desired results, he did not hesitate to further dip into his remaining lifesavings for a boost for his investment. A year after that when his “investment” had managed to suck him dry, he realized that despite his great expectations of the property market, the “nice” neighborhood he was investing in and his personal superpowers of comprehension of what is rational and therefore profitable, he needed to have investigated how to spend his money more thoroughly before taking any action. He needed to have boarded up his expectations with some cold, hard facts.
How NOT to get ripped off by your great expectations
Mentally prepare yourself for a more objective outlook on your new project. If you can get the mind straightened out, you
will be able to contain and manage your expectations, no matter how well things
start looking up;
Ask all the questions there is to ask. Be specific, detailed and thorough. However, at this point focus only on asking, allowing your mind to filter out all the biases towards your project foremost;
Get three detailed opinions from three varied people from your professional circle. They could be your supplier, client and a business advisor. Each will be able to reveal a dimension of the project different from yours and each other;
Let it breath. The one common mistake we all make as entrepreneurs is act too soon, too fast or both. A “time-out” allows for us to see loopholes and traps we may have overlooked in order to get our fantastic idea past the ringer. A hard look at these loopholes and traps will help us tone down expectations if need be and focus on improving the idea;
Draw up a business plan. Many entrepreneurs loathe this part of beginning a venture because it means they have to hit the brakes of the project for a while, sit down and assemble the business together, in hypotheticals. A business plan can save you the biggest heartbreak of your life, not to mention hard-to-come-by money and time, if you use it to evaluate the viability of your business. There are business consultants and solutions around every corner of the business globe, ready and armed to assist with the compilation of your business plan, therefore excuses for not seeking help are no longer valid.
©RSGG Mashabela 2013
In : Business
Tags: failure business planning management consultants expectations "business plan"