Friday, July 10, 2009

Start-Up Tip: Execute Your Plan

One of the start-up companies I've done plans for just died after three years of existence. I am really sad. When I was talking to the former CEO who had hired me to write their plan, he lamented that they had deviated from their plan just before execution. That was the beginning of their end.

One board member got cold feet because of a comment from a social media expert. He suddenly lost sight of his passion and his vision. What a pity. The vision had been great. They had raised several million dollars to execute it. Then, two weeks before the national roll out, they deviated from the plan and the vision. It was chaos from then on. I helped rewrite their plans, but they kept not executing. They kept changing things or not executing as well as they could have.

Eventually, professional managers took over from the founding entrepreneurs. That was the true death knell.

You've seen it on a national scale. Jobs had to return to Apple to get the company back on track. But Bezos never left Amazon or Gates, Microsoft, while he was building the business. The visionary has to see the dream through to fruition. He or she has to keep that focus and execute the plan.

So get a great plan that has focus, vision and passion. Then, execute it. Don't lose heart. Don't listen to the naysayers.

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