Monday, October 16, 2017

Strategy is Never Enough

This week's post is somewhat short and to the point.  Mainly, I've realized through some examples this past week why the greatest strategy is worthless without execution.  Strategy alone may work well in larger organizations where there are people dedicated to developing strategies, then having others execute it, reporting back with results and suggestions for correction.

But what about in a startup?

When you're bootstrapping, your timelines are short and you need to quickly course correct.  You have to be able to not only come up with a game plan for the sales channels to work through, offerings to provide and marketability of your solutions, but you also have to be able to actually test out your ideas, find their flaws, correct and try again.

In a startup, especially the early days, it's not enough to hand it off to someone else.  You have to be able to make decisions fast and correct the direction, and to do that you must be in the thick of actually doing what you planned.

Come to think of it, unless you plan on moving slowly in a slow moving behemoth of a company, even in larger firms you can set yourself apart from all others by engaging in both strategy and the delivery or execution of that plan!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Go With the (Sales) Flow

First, I apologize to everyone reading these blogs.  I've been late on this and the previous post, as well as skipped one in between.  As it turns out, not all of my weeks are as insightful as I thought they may be!  Or may be I'm just not keen enough to tease out the insights!!!

In either case, I missed the most recent post since I didn't have much to write or talk about.  However, I realize now that I should post at least an update on the business progress. So, I apologize and will ensure I have a weekly post by the end of each week on Fridays.

Second, let's talk about sales cycles.  As many of you likely already know, the sales process has a cycle, some of which may be personal, due to the rhythm you keep, the types of follow up you do or the products / size of deals you sell.

Some of it is due to outside influences.  What I've noticed is that my sales cycle is quite short, in the order of one to two weeks, for gigs smaller than $5k and they are about one to three months for deals above that, but less than $20k.  Anything more than $20k is less predictable, at least for now:   They seem to be six to twelve months.

Though that's interesting, there's another pattern that's quite curious.  What I've also noticed from my experience, and the handful of entrepreneurs I speak with regularly, is that there are seasonal effects as well.  Mind you, the folks I speak with are in software consulting / product development, business consulting,  or chemical product development businesses.  So, you'd think seasons would have no or very little effect, right?

Apparently, that's not true!

What this seasonal pattern actually looks like and how I believe I could take advantage of it, are the subjects of today's video.  Let me know if your experience is the same and how you deal with it in the comments here or on YouTube.

Enjoy!