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Be Great At Executing Plans and Strategies

May 3, 2010

Startup Tip #5 – Be Great At Executing Plans and Strategies

Some startup entrepreneurs with great ideas and concepts fail because they are unable to execute their plans and strategies. Having a business plan is great, but if you lack the capacity and ability to execute that plan, it may be worthless. An average plan executed well is better than an amazing plan executed poorly. Execution means moving forward in a step-by-step fashion and connecting the dots between strategy, operations, people and success.

A good technique to enhance execution is to create tasks in relation to functional areas of the business. Tasks should also be categorized by short, medium and long term activities. Create teams with responsibilities based on these functional areas and tasks. Teams with tasks are better and stronger than individuals with tasks. Teams should meet no less frequently than twice a week to report on activities, to collectively evaluate effectiveness, achievement and performance and to agree on next steps. Reports or summaries of meetings should be prepared and circulated to memorialize meetings and decisions.

As a founder, work tirelessly and enthusiastically to demonstrate the standards expected of those who are on your company’s team. Hard-working founders who are unafraid to roll up their sleeves, mentor and do heavy lifting, represent the best qualities of entrepreneurs. Leading by example is a great way to motivate and execute. When your team sees the vision evolve into reality and your passion to succeed, they will be motivated to be part of the process.

Just as a plan has a beginning, middle and end, execution of that plan should factor in these phases. Typically, human and other resources are less intensive at the beginning and end and more intensive in the middle. Utilizing and managing resources in relation to business phases is an important part of executing the plan.

Finally, no plan is ever executed perfectly, so part of succeeding means being prepared to overcome challenges. The ability to course correct and adapt to unexpected or unforeseen obstacles is one of the most valuable skills startup entrepreneurs can have and often the single most important factor when it comes to success.

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