Publishing

Setting Aggressive But Realistic Timelines For Your Ideas

Work expands to fill the time available for its completion. ~ Parkinson’s Law

You have no doubt heard of Parkinson’s Law regarding time and the way that we use it.  This is especially true when it comes to getting our ideas to the marketplace.  The goal is to be aggressive and realistic when it comes to putting together a time line for idea implementation.

I know realistic and aggressive don’t always seem to go together very well, but in this case it can and must be done.  The first reason is that if we give ourselves all the time in the world to do something, then all the time in the world is what we will need to get it done.  The other reason is that someone else is out there working on your idea and the winner is not the one with the best product, it’s the one who gets their product out first.

First off, I want you to assess what needs to be done and start with the end in mind.  In this case, I am only talking about the most critical tasks.  Write these down.

Next, I want you to assess the current marketplace and do some analysis.  You want to know who is already in the marketplace that you are trying to enter.  If your answer is “no one,” proceed very cautiously if at all.  The main purpose is to assess the difficulty of entering the market.

After you have assessed the idea, you are going to need to look at what expenses surround the idea and when do you need to have funds for those things.  This could entail office space, equipment, manufacturing costs, etc.

What about people?  This is going to be the area that you really have to pay close attention to.  People obviously cost money unless you work out some other arrangement with them.  The more people you have on your team, the quicker your idea will hit the marketplace.  I would spend as much as possible to get your idea moving forward quickly.  I have talked to so many business owners who have a great idea and they spent several years trying to do everything themselves only to achieve minimal progress.  That’s a waste of time, time you don’t have.

Lastly, take a look at systems.  Systems for your business. Systems for delivery of the product.  What are the systems that are needed and when do they need to be in place?  Do you need technology that is custom built?  Are there any other potentially long delays that would keep you from getting started?  Know these things up front.

Take a look at your next idea and ask yourself if you have assessed timelines for all the different areas of the idea creation process.  Sit down and put these together, and if you do splurge on one thing, splurge on people to help you move your idea forward as aggressively as possible.

Tags: business ideas, business planning, strategic planning process

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=828032066 Michael Drew

    I agree 100% with your point, in fact this is how we have our clients write their books, 30 minutes to create the book outline (bookoutlining.com) and 30 minutes to write, edit, add links and images before posting their blog posts (among other processes). Great post.

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