Building your business: Planning of Instinct?

11 November

I was watching a spider fixing its web the other day from our stoep.

I wondered how it knew which strand was the next it needed to build.

At first it appeared that the spider was moving about randomly without a plan. As I continued to watch I could see a pattern emerge. The spider was doing one strand at a time but in various directions, then occasionally reinforcing some strand again while all the time returning to, and working from, the centre of the web.

This busy little guy made me think about the challenges of being an entrepreneur.

Do most of us have a plan with the next steps once we’ve decided to build something? Or was it mostly instinct and we live and learn as we go on?

Some of us are lucky enough to have training or get some level of education but so much is learnt on the fly. We make mistakes. We get things wrong. We also get things right and learn what works best while always keeping our eyes open for new opportunities.

It has long been a gripe of mine that small business doesn’t have the support that bigger business has. Sadly, the reality of small business teaches you that when it’s just you, you’ve got to learn quick. You need to hustle as nobody is going to play fairy god mother or teach you what big business has spent many years and tons of money to develop.

The trouble is that the very attributes that makes you brave enough to start your own business, also potentially trips you up when you don’t take the time to plan your vision properly.

As a small business owner (regardless of how long you’ve been operating) ask yourself these questions:

  1. What is the problem that I am trying to solve?
  2. How might I solve the problem for the client?
  3. Who am I trying to solve the problem for?
  4. Why am I, as a person, doing this?
  5. What criteria is needed to make this solution direction work for me and my family?

These are high level questions and the deeper you dig into answers to these questions, the more solid your plan will be in the end. This is the centre of your web where you need to keep returning to when you bring all the strands together.

There are many different processes that can help you with unpacking and exploring the above.

Having instinct, passion, courage and yes, next level stubbornness will without a doubt be foundations of your business success.

But jumping in blindly without taking the time to process your thoughts, ideas and asking the tough questions is setting yourself up for a whole lot of tears and drama.

Don’t do it.

Set yourself up for success.

Being an entrepreneur is hard enough without starting on the back foot.

People say: “Trust the Process”

Different things work for different people in different situations, however.

So I’m saying: “Trust A process”

You don’t need to build this web by yourself. Find a process with people who will work for and with you.

Oh, and by the way… a process takes time. It isn’t a pill you drink, and your headache disappears.  You must invest the time and effort into the process to make it work. It’s uncomfortable, frustrating, and confusing before it brings clarity and actions.

So much more important to find people that will challenge you, guide you and build with you.

Building that web takes time, you build it one strand at a time, strengthening and iterating as you go but returning again and again to the centre to ensure the integrity of your structure.

With this stronger, better web you will be more likely to catch the opportunities when they come flying at high speed.

Need to bounce some ideas? Book a free explore session here.